ESPN pointed out a troubling trend this week for the Cincinnati Bengals that dates back to last season.
Ben Baby, an ESPN reporter who covers the Bengals, pointed out that Cincinnati has scored zero first-half touchdowns through the first two weeks of the season.
Baby noted that Cincinnati scored only two first-half touchdowns in their final three postseason games last year.
This is a troubling trend for the Bengals because it isn’t limited to 2022. In the final three postseason games of last season, including Super Bowl LVI, Cincinnati scored just two first-half touchdowns. The Bengals were able to overcome that offensive outage for a brief duration and almost won a title despite that fact. But over the course of a 17-game season, it’s almost impossible to win having that issue. Cincinnati knows this is a big problem and if it isn’t solved soon, the Bengals could put themselves out of the playoff chase by November.
So what’s the takeaway here?
Well, this tells us that opposing defensive coordinators aren’t having any issues preparing for the Bengals. They’re essentially preparing for exactly what Cincinnati’s offense is going to do.
Now, the Bengals have been better in the second half, which tells us they’re able to make the proper adjustments.
But Cincinnati clearly needs to be more creative in the first half. They can’t keep putting themselves in a hole that they have to dig out of in the second half.
Whatever gameplan the Bengals are using in the first half isn’t working. They need to get back to the drawing board and figure something else out.
Instead, they’re spending the week trying to convince everyone they’ll be fine this year.
Maybe they will be. But they’re going to have to change up their first-half approach first.
Featured image via Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK