James Rapien

James Rapien

James Rapien came to talk sports and chew gum, and he's all out of gum.Full Bio


Five observations from the Bengals' 27-24 loss

The Bengals lost to the Packers 27-24 on Sunday. Things started out well, but they couldn't finish the job. I wrote a 'sights, sounds and reaction' article that you should check out. 

Here are my five observations from the Bengals' loss in Green Bay:

1. Bill Lazor > Ken Zampese

You may think that's an unfair assessment after one week, but Lazor featured A.J. Green and Joe Mixon. They didn't win, but we're not left wondering "what if?" Green and Mixon combined for 34 touches. Mixon had 18 carries for 62 yards and added another three receptions for 39 yards. Green had 10 receptions (13 targets) for 111 yards and one touchdown. 

2. 2015 Andy Dalton isn't coming back

It's easy to look at Dalton's stat line and say he played great. He completed 21-of-27 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. Dalton was good on Sunday, but he will always have limitations. He doesn't trust the line and he pulls the ball down the moment he feels pressure. Dalton didn't turn the ball over, but he missed Brandon LaFell on a deep ball that could've put the Bengals up by two scores. He missed a wide open Green at the end of the first half and the Bengals had to punt. His biggest miss of the day had to be the one below. Even CBS analyst Tony Romo was shocked after the play. 

3. Carl Lawson is a future star

Yes, the Packers' offensive line was banged up, but that doesn't change the game Lawson had. He was Pro Football Focus' top rated rookie pass rusher coming into Week 3. He followed it up with 2.5 sacks today.

4. William Jackson III might be the best cornerback on the team

The Bengals' defense has played well through three games. They sacked Rodgers six times today and William Jackson III returned an interception for a touchdown. Dre Kirkpatrick had his moments today. He gave up a score, missed a tackle and got called for pass interference on the same drive. Adam Jones got called for pass interference too. Kirkpatrick and Jones are good, but it's becoming more and more clear that Jackson III is their future number one defensive back. 

5. This team needs its' stars

The Bengals played without Vontaze Burfict, Tyler Eifert and John Ross. Burfict will join the team on Monday morning following his three-game suspension. Eifert is dealing with back and knee injuries. Ross was sidelined because of a knee injury. 

Burfict could transform a good defense into a great one. They've survived without him, but if this team is ever going to recover from an 0-3 start, it's going to need its' best defensive player on the field. 

Maybe a healthy Eifert would've made a difference today in the second half. The offense only scored three points after halftime. There's a reason they drafted Ross in the first round. He will add another dynamic to an offense that should be better moving forward. The Bengals finally featured Mixon. Hopefully, Ross will get plenty of opportunities starting next week against the Cleveland Browns. 

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