Cincinnati – As he does after every game, the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Borough He sat in front of his locker and thought about what had just happened.
Seven months after the Bengals had an unexpected race to the Super Bowl, Burrow was on top of Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys as he threw just 199 yards while being fired six times. In the visiting locker room at AT&T Stadium, Burrow sat introspectively, looking to see if he could do anything different to help the AFC champions avoid streak of losses.
“Oh, two are tough, but don’t panic,” Burrow, who completed 24 of 36 passes and scored 48.4, said after the match. “We’ve lost two games in a row before, and we’ve lost two games in a row a few times last year. There is a lot of football left to play.”
Through two games, the Bengals are (0-2) 21Street In the NFL, in points per lead and then in yards per game. The latest stats indicate just how difficult things have been for the foul, who ranked seventh in that category last season. Cincinnati’s offense was a mess that plunged everyone on the team — including Burrow.
“I think as a unit, we just need to keep improving and score more points,” Bengals coach Zach Taylor said when asked about the Boroughs on Wednesday.
Much of Cincinnati’s problems in 2022 involve the team’s offensive line, which still ranks in the bottom quarter of the NFL in pass block win rate despite four new starters in the five-man unit. center Ted Krass, one of the new additions, said Monday that the offensive line needs to make Burrow feel more comfortable in the pocket. Behind his new streak, Burrow has been sacked 13 times to date – a pace that would see him break the NFL record for most sacked in a season (David Carr, 76, in 2002) and double his total from last season (51).
While a lot of early sack totals could contribute to facing two of the NFL’s first-pass forwards at the Pittsburgh Steelers, TJ Watt and Dallas Micah ParsonsWhen Burrow is not under duress, the numbers show that the problem is greater than the offensive line. When Burrow wasn’t pressed in 2021, he was second in the NFL in completion over expectations (CPOE) percentage, according to ESPN stats and information. At a small sample size in 2022, Burrow ranked 25. At throws of 15 air yards or more without pressure, the difference in Burrow’s CPOE from last year to this year is 23.1%.
“Obviously we haven’t played to our standards yet,” Burrow said when asked about the difference between this year and last year.
The Bengals offense boasts two 1,000-yard receivers (Ja’Marr ChaseAnd the T. Higgins), thruster 1000 yards (Joe Mixon) and Burrow, known for elite accuracy since his last season at LSU. But the unit has been mired in mud, just as it was during last year’s post-season, in early 2022. The Bengals’ passing pool win rate, an ESPN metric powered by NFL Next Gen, has improved slightly from 30 in the NFL to 25. And Mixon , who finished third in the NFL in the dash race last season, has the lowest dash yards versus expecting any dip when running against formations with six or a few defenders near the line of scrimmage. Meaning he gains the fewest yards out of any running back in favorable operating conditions.
“Our level of execution isn’t the standard we think it should be, we think it is, and I think everyone in our locker room thinks it should be,” said Brian Callahan, Bengals offensive coordinator. “Joe is part of that.
“Everyone can play better. We can train better. We can plan better. We can play better.”
After the Dallas loss, Callahan and Borough noted the increased amount of “Tampa 2” defenses the Bengals have faced this season. This type of “Cover 2” formation features two players each protecting a deep half of the field and another defender occupying an area below them. Callahan said he’s seen more variations in Tampa 2 in Cincinnati’s first two games than he’s seen in the past 10 years.
“People just know how to fit in with us now,” Chase said after losing to the Cowboys. “I feel like we need to learn how to make more game tweaks. Everyone knows what we’re going to do now.”
Despite all the team struggles in the first two weeks, Cincinnati moved every contest into the final play of the game, losing a field goal at the end of the game to both the Cowboys and the Steelers.
Sunday’s game on the road against the New York Jets (1 p.m. EDT, CBS) provides the Burrow and the Bengals with another opportunity to begin their attack and shake off the early-season malaise that has plagued loneliness.
“We have great players and great coaches who understand our plan,” Burrow said. “We know what we need to fix it.”