The 0-2 Bengals look like a Super Bowl hangover victim

It made sense in case you assumed the Cincinnati Bengals would simply choose up the place they left off.

The Bengals have a enjoyable set of younger gamers that made a fantastic postseason run. A play right here or there, and so they’d have been Tremendous Bowl champions. When you’ve gotten a quarterback like Joe Burrow, you are not speculated to take a step again.

It seems some warning indicators have been ignored.

The Bengals are off to a tough begin to this season. They’re the primary group within the Tremendous Bowl period to start out 0-2 regardless of being favored by a minimum of seven factors in every of their first two video games. The losses got here to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys, who have been quarterbacked by Mitchell Trubisky and Cooper Rush. The Bengals offense, which is loaded with expertise, turned it over 5 occasions in Week 1 and managed one landing in Week 2.

There was a telling sequence on Sunday. The Bengals tied the Cowboys 17-17 and the protection pressured a punt. Burrow received the ball on his personal 8 with 2:13 to go. It was a protracted solution to field-goal vary, however quarterbacks like Burrow are anticipated to win the sport there. The Bengals are speculated to be a high-powered offense that may transfer up and down the sector when they should. As an alternative, the Bengals went three-and-out, with three completions gaining simply 8 yards. The Bengals did not even do an honest job working a while off the clock; Dallas had greater than sufficient time to get a game-winning subject aim.

The Bengals haven’t been good. They are not getting sufficient explosive performs downfield, which was an indicator of their 2021 season. Joe Mixon, an excellent again, is averaging 3 yards per carry. The offensive line is being blamed for the 13 sacks allowed in two video games, however it’s not all the road’s fault. The Bengals aren’t seeing the return on funding they made into their line this offseason, however Burrow is holding onto the ball too lengthy and that contributes to the issue. And the sacks are an enormous purpose Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins aren’t making deep catches downfield.

It was exhausting to see the Bengals offense being this dysfunctional by two video games, however the sluggish begin wasn’t completely unpredictable.

The Tremendous Bowl hangover is actual, particularly for the dropping group. It is a lengthy season and it is exhausting to climb the mountain once more. There is a purpose just one group for the reason that 1993 Buffalo Payments has made the Tremendous Bowl after dropping it the earlier season. Of the primary 55 groups that misplaced a Tremendous Bowl, 17 did not even make the playoffs the next season.

The Bengals might need been particularly susceptible. They have been 7-6 at one level final season. They gained six of seven after that, however 5 of the wins have been by seven factors or much less. It is exhausting to maintain that.

Two weeks into this season, the Bengals appear to be they have been however not nice group final season that received on a lucky streak of shut wins. The expertise is there to show issues round shortly. However this season could not have began a lot worse for the reigning AFC champions. They’ve already dug themselves a big gap.

Joe Burrow and the Bengals are off to an 0-2 start this season. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Joe Burrow and the Bengals are off to an 0-2 begin this season. (Picture by Cooper Neill/Getty Pictures)

Listed below are the ability rankings after Week 2 of the NFL season:

It is actually unusual that the Falcons do not use Kyle Pitts in additional inventive methods. He had the identical two-catch, 19-yard stat line in each video games. Perhaps in the event that they used one of the vital gifted tight ends in soccer extra, they might have accomplished that comeback from 28-3 down as an alternative of falling simply quick.

Rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. hasn’t been good however it’s clear that the Texans made a extremely good choose once they took him third total. So long as Stingley stays wholesome he will be an excellent participant. You possibly can already see the potential in his finest performs.

The Panthers’ upcoming schedule: vs. Saints, vs. Cardinals, vs. 49ers, at Rams, vs. Buccaneers. At the least most of these video games are at dwelling, however the Panthers in all probability will not be favored in any of them. This might flip into 0-7 in a rush. And it looks like Matt Rhule is already in bother.

Here is the checklist of Bears vast receivers who’ve recorded a reception this season:

Equanimeous St. Brown, three catches for 57 yards

Dante Pettis, one catch for 51 yards

Byron Pringle, one catch for 22 yards

Darnell Mooney, two catches for 4 yards

That is it. Seven catches for 134 yards over two video games. One sport was performed in a loopy rainstorm, however it’s nonetheless a troubling stat. Mooney specifically must get far more concerned.

It ought to be full pace forward for Garrett Wilson, and we’ll look again at Week 1 and marvel why the Jets weren’t that includes him in that sport too. The tenth total choose of the draft regarded nice on Sunday, with 102 yards on eight catches. Between Wilson, Elijah Moore and Corey Davis, there’s greater than sufficient for Zach Wilson to work with when he returns.

The Seahawks offense hasn’t scored a landing in six quarters. No matter received into Geno Smith for that first half of the opener in opposition to Denver in all probability is not coming again. The Seahawks are lucky the Broncos have been horrible by the aim line and mismanaged the sport within the opener, as a result of wins are going to be very exhausting to return by.

The Titans received blown out by the Payments, and so they will not be the final group to get embarrassed by Buffalo. Nonetheless, this 0-2 begin has been fairly ugly. I am undecided Mike Vrabel can flip this round. The one constructive is the remainder of the AFC South could be mediocre or worse.

OK, Trevor Lawrence. That is higher. Lawrence missed too many throws in Week 1 and it appeared like an extension of his rookie season. Then in Week 2 he made a number of large throws, together with many off-platform, in an excellent win for the Jags. It helps to have Christian Kirk, who continues to be overpaid however an enormous addition within the offense.

The quantity of explosive performs the Commanders allowed to the Lions on Sunday was troubling. Washington had a extremely good protection two seasons in the past, however that appears to be lengthy gone. They are not going to have a ton of success this season attempting to win shootouts.

The principle query is how lengthy the Steelers stick to Mitchell Trubisky. The offense has not regarded good but. That is not all his fault, however everybody is aware of rookie first-round choose Kenny Pickett is ready behind him. The Steelers play at Cleveland on Thursday in what’s in all probability going to be a low-scoring sport, and there will likely be requires a QB swap if there’s one other unhealthy outing by the offense.

The Giants’ subsequent two video games are in opposition to the Cowboys and Bears at dwelling. Is it potential we’re a 4-0 begin for Brian Daboll? The Giants won’t be all that good, however unusual issues can occur when a group features some confidence early within the season.

The Lions might need a extremely good offense. They’re averaging 35.5 factors per sport. Amon-Ra St. Brown is a star receiver. D’Andre Swift is a big-play working again. However what actually offers the Lions life on offense is an elite line. They will not preserve placing up 35+ factors every week, however they are going to be a whole lot of enjoyable to look at.

Micah Parsons is even higher than final season. If he stays wholesome, he seems primed to win NFL defensive participant of the yr. If Cooper Rush performs like he did within the win over the Bengals on Sunday, the protection will preserve Dallas in video games. Perhaps they will be OK by the point Dak Prescott comes again.

DeVante Parker has one catch for 9 yards by two video games. That in all probability is not what the group had in thoughts when it traded for Parker this offseason. Parker has by no means been recognized for his consistency, however his quiet begin in all probability says extra a few poor Patriots offense than him.

There ought to by no means be one other sport wherein Davante Adams will get two catches and 12 yards. It is not just like the Cardinals have a lockdown cornerback. It was merely a failure to not get Adams the ball extra, and it is one purpose the Raiders took on a very depressing loss after main 20-0 at halftime.

The Cardinals are complicated. They regarded terrible for the primary six quarters of the season. Perhaps even the primary seven. They’d a loopy comeback in opposition to the Raiders that they gained in extra time. Does that imply they turned a nook? Or was it only a blip in an in any other case unhealthy begin?

The Saints offense has been unhealthy apart from the fourth quarter in opposition to the Falcons and a few rubbish time in opposition to the Buccaneers. They’ve 13 factors within the first by third quarters his season. That is not a fantastic development, and neither was seeing Jameis Winston revert again to forcing interceptions in opposition to the Bucs.

The Bengals get the Jets this week, and if that is not a win then there’s actual issues. However the three video games after which can be vs. Dolphins, at Ravens, at Saints. The Bengals want to repair their points in a rush or this season might get away from them.

The Colts passing offense clearly is not going to be excellent with out Michael Pittman Jr. within the lineup. Hopefully he returns in Week 3. The query is, are the struggles Sunday absolutely attributable to accidents, or is there an actual concern that Matt Ryan goes to have a horrible season?

Jacoby Brissett was truly fairly good for Cleveland on Sunday. He was 22-of-27 for 229 yards. His solely interception got here within the closing seconds when the Browns needed to press for yardage to get in field-goal vary. It is not Brissett’s fault the Browns protection gave up two touchdowns within the final two minutes, or that the particular groups could not get better an onside kick. Brissett will not be nice however Cleveland will take it if he retains taking part in like he did Sunday.

There is no want in piling on Nathaniel Hackett any extra; that has been executed loads. It is justified after all of the organizational errors by two video games. We’ll assume that will get fastened, to some extent. What could be extra troubling is the offense has had some tough moments. Russell Wilson did not look comfy on Sunday. Accidents have not helped. Hackett the play-caller must get higher at that facet as effectively.

Kirk Cousins was urgent and regarded terrible in Monday evening’s loss to Philadelphia. We have seen that earlier than from him. It is not a purpose to surrender on the Vikings being good this season. The Eagles would possibly simply be that significantly better.

There’s an argument to be made that the 49ers will win extra video games this season now that Trey Lance is out. We had no concept what Lance was going to do. He might have had a fantastic season, or appear to be he had barely performed in two seasons. We all know precisely what Jimmy Garoppolo can do. He would not have a excessive ceiling however he’ll run the offense. The 49ers are loads simpler to foretell going ahead. Perhaps that is good

The Ravens took a nasty loss, however Lamar Jackson was nice. He had an ideal passer ranking and 118 dashing yards throughout the fourth quarter, which is outstanding. He is fantastic. It is the secondary that could possibly be a difficulty. The Ravens have to get wholesome there, and quick.

All the eye this week will likely be on Justin Herbert and his rib cartilage fracture. Evidently, the Chargers aren’t profitable many video games if Herbert has to sit down out, or if he’s restricted in any approach. He was clearly in a whole lot of ache on Thursday evening, although he nonetheless accomplished two fourth-down passes together with a landing after the harm.

Aaron Jones is a extremely good participant, and the Packers have been proper to confess their Week 1 mistake in not getting him concerned extra. He was the focus on Sunday evening, which he ought to be most weeks. It will likely be attention-grabbing to see how the Packers do Sunday in opposition to a Buccaneers protection that has been phenomenal this season.

Properly then. Tua Tagovailoa deserves each little bit of reward coming his approach this week. His 469-yard, six-touchdown sport ought to be a reminder that there ought to be some endurance with quarterback improvement. Now that he has a coach that believes in him, and Tyreek Hill to throw to after a reasonably sharp commerce, we might see a real breakout season from Tagovailoa. The primary two video games look fairly good.

The Vikings shut down Aaron Rodgers in Week 1. In Week 2, Jalen Hurts had 333 yards in opposition to them in a simple win. If Hurts is displaying that he’s going to take an enormous step this season, the Eagles can completely make a Tremendous Bowl.

Ought to we deal with how good the Rams regarded in taking a 28-3 lead on Sunday? Or how they let a nasty Falcons group again within the sport and wanted a Jalen Ramsey interception to keep away from a disastrous loss? Both approach, the begin to the Rams’ Tremendous Bowl protection could possibly be going loads higher by two weeks.

The Mike Evans suspension is not an enormous shock, contemplating it is the second time he has blindsided Marshon Lattimore and he received suspended for a sport the final time he did it. It does go away an enormous gap within the Bucs offense, particularly if Chris Godwin is not again. Julio Jones missed Week 2 as effectively, and now the Buccaneers want him again in an enormous approach.

The Chiefs are doing simply fantastic, however relying extra on backs and tight ends within the passing offense. JuJu Smith-Schuster has 89 yards in two video games and Marquez Valdes-Scantling has 57. Finally the Chiefs will want a receiver to emerge as a harmful choice, however this strategy is working for the Chiefs up to now.

The Payments have been almost good to start out the season. They actually might have the perfect offense and finest protection within the NFL this season.