The Cincinnati Bengals played about as bad as they could’ve in week one and they still nearly beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It has to go up from here, right?

Based on what we saw from the Bengals last season, that would be my takeaway. Cincinnati is better than what we saw on Sunday.

CBS Sports, however, doesn’t see it the same way.

They suggested on Monday that Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow won’t make it through the rest of the season due to Cincinnati’s offensive line issues.

From CBS Sports:

Joe Burrow won’t last the season with this Bengals offensive line

Overreaction or reality: Reality

New offensive line, same problems for Joe Burrow — who was sacked seven times in Sunday’s overtime loss to the Steelers. Counting the Super Bowl, Burrow has been sacked 14 times in the last two games (by far the most in the NFL). Burrow was sacked 70 times last season and 84 times in his last 21 games — an average of four times a game.

The sacks affected Burrow, who had four interceptions and a lost fumble in the loss (four of those giveaways came in the first half). This is a recipe for Burrow to suffer a significant injury for the second time in three seasons — and end any hope the Bengals have at a Super Bowl.

Cincinnati needs to correct its offensive line issues. There’s too much talent for Burrow to be hit this much.

Bengals
Sep 11, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) runs with the ball against Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith (56) in the second half at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

I can certainly understand the concern — Burrow took a beating against Pittsburgh.

But it’s important to remember that part of the reason Burrow took so many hits is that the Steelers’ defensive line is really, really good. And Burrow tends to hold the ball longer than he should while trying to make a play.

Sometimes that results in a highlight reel pass to Ja’Marr Chase and sometimes it results in a sack. That’s the tradeoff Bengals fans have to accept for some of the magical plays that Burrow makes.

CBS Sports is right that Burrow has to be protected better or he’s at risk of suffering another catastrophic injury. No one wants to see this turn into an Andrew Luck situation.

But I don’t think it’s time for Bengals fans to freak out. And I don’t agree with CBS Sports’ prediction…for now. I think we need to give this new offensive line some time to gel.

However, things definitely need to change for the better in the next couple of weeks or the AFC North division title might not belong to the Bengals at the end of the season.

Featured image via Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports