Matthew McAdow. Photo provided

By Matthew McAdow

Herald Contributor

The Cincinnati Bengals lost their second game of the season on Sunday and now find themselves in an early hole.  The Ravens squeezed out a 3 point victory and sure, the Bengals did look better than they did week one, but I am beginning to get worried.  With another tough matchup approaching next week on primetime television, the Bengals better turn it around fast if they want to be playing for a Super Bowl trophy come February.


  • Cincinnati was at least able to put up some points this week, including two Tee Higgins touchdowns.
  • Charlie Jones showed off impressive speed in his punt return for 81 yards.
  • The offensive line gave Burrow time throughout the day and looked way better than they did against Cleveland.
  • There is a lot of football left and Cincinnati has been in this position before.


  • Joe Burrow reinjured his leg yet again.  If we would have sat him the first two weeks to heal, we may have been 0-2, but he could be healthy right now.  Unfortunately, we now find ourselves at 0-2 with an injured quarterback.
  • The defense gave up over 400 yards.  They struggled to make tackles and gave up a whopping average of 6.2 yards per carry to Gus Edwards.
  • Joe Burrow doesn’t look like himself.  His play has even frustrated Ja’Marr, as you saw him throw up his hands in frustration numerous times on Sunday.  It seems like this team has failed to get anything going down field. 
  • 46 % of the drives have ended in 3 and outs.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Nearly half the time are we running three plays and going to Brad Robbins to kick a below average punt.
  • If Burrow can’t go for a few weeks, I am afraid we are in even more danger.  I want him to be healthy, but I also don’t want to watch Browning try to lead us to a victory in must-win games now that we are winless.
  • Pressure is beginning to become a major issue for our defense.  Cincinnati went an entire game on Sunday without recording a sack. 
  • Lamar Jackson is now 7-1 against Cincinnati.
  • Cincinnati continues to be predictable on offense.  There is absolutely nothing throwing off the defense and the offense just doesn’t feel like the threat that they were over the past 2 seasons.


With just 11 games left on the schedule, the Cincinnati Reds find themselves just a half game back in the wildcard race.  Can you imagine that you would be saying that last year?  If Cincinnati can go 7-4 over these last 11 games, I am confident that we will get to see this young and fun team gain some experience with playoff baseball.  The Twins, Pirates, Guardians, and Cardinals are the remaining opponents for Cincinnati, which leaves us with an easier schedule than most.  While we are all scoreboard watching the Cubs, Giants, Marlins, and Diamondbacks, Cincinnati just needs to keep winning each series.  There is almost no room for error in this race and the recent poor play from the Cubs over the last 10 games has made this even more interesting. 

Random Comments and Stats

  • The bullpen for Cincinnati has been unreal.  They have been tasked with so many innings and they are the major reason why this team is still battling in September. 
  • Nick Senzel is batting .343 against left handed pitchers.  That is 5th best in MLB.
  • David Bell isn’t treating anyone special now and is willing to sit Elly against left handed pitching when necessary. 
  • Graham Ashcraft being out for the season really hurts our chances.  Cincinnati was already struggling without Lodolo, but this injury might just be the injury that keeps Cincinnati from competing in a few weeks.
  • Once Matt McLain rejoins this team, it will be interesting to see the placement of Marte, Elly, India, and himself, as it will be the first time they are all together. 

With the recent poor play from the Bengals, a Reds playoff run would be just the recipe to lift the spirits of the Queen City.  I have said for months now that Cincinnati will be playing playoff baseball and by the time I write my next column, I expect to be writing about just that.  Go Reds!

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