Some Cincinnati Bengals fans may overreact to today’s crushing one-point loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but the team showed a lot of promising developments that people around the city and organization should be excited about.
Cincinnati pretty much dominated the Seahawks on both sides of the ball. They out-gained Seattle by nearly 200 yards. Coming off of a season where the Cincinnati defense broke the record for most yards allowed per game, holding the Seahawks and Russell Wilson to just 233 total yards is incredible. The Bengals ran 70 plays while Seattle’s ran just 49. The defensive line was all over Wilson, and aside from a couple breakdowns the secondary played very well.
The offensive side of the ball showed great promise as well. Andy Dalton and company looked quite comfortable in first year head coach Zac Taylor’s scheme. Dalton set a career-high in completions and passing yards with 35 and 418, respectively. While the run game struggled with Joe Mixon leaving the game with a sprained ankle, the passing game looked its best in years. John Ross had the game of his career thus far; posting 7 receptions for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns–all of which are career highs. Seven other Bengals caught passes from Dalton and the line did a remarkable job giving him time to throw.
If it weren’t for the Bengal’s red zone woes (zero touchdowns on three trips) this game wouldn’t have been close. The run game is a bit of a concern, too. All that said, the Bengal’s went in and took what figures to be a very good Seattle team down to the wire in a hostile environment on opening day. There are plenty of reasons to be excited about this Bengals squad. Hopefully, they’re able to come home and get back to .500 next Sunday against the Niners.