If you didn’t realize it yet, the Cincinnati Bengals are in first place in the AFC North. Yes, they’re tied with Baltimore, but the Bengals hold the tiebreaker victory over them currently. That’s because they went to Baltimore this last week and let the rest of the league know that they aren’t going away anytime soon. That’s as long as QB Joe Burrow and rookie WR Ja’Marr Chase remain healthy and productive the way they currently are. Remember when so called ‘football’ people were concerned about Chase dropping passes in the preseason? I and many others have made fun of this franchise for many years referring to them as the ‘Bungals’. But I’ve had hope for them since they drafted Burrow. Keep him healthy and upright and good things will follow. Heed this advice and you could be competing for a division title this year.
Yeah, There’s A Problem
Their defense is allowing 29 points per game, over 400 yards and has sacked the opposing quarterback only 8 times. Not to mention their offense has been sputtering of late. It is predicated on the ‘big play’ and that hasn’t been happening as frequently as before. Credit to defense’s finally adjusting and making the Kansas City Chiefs play a different style. QB Patrick Mahomes is tied for the lead for most interceptions thrown with 9. Zach Wilson of the New York Jets shares that honor with him. Things will certainly break their way if the defense plays a lot better from here on out. However, Mahomes is struggling and he is beginning to come down with a case of fumblitis. This team is too good to count them out, but time isn’t on their side right now.
Dare I Say It’s Over?
A completion percentage just above 61% to go along with 7 touchdown passes and 8 interceptions for QB Sam Darnold. Carolina started out 3-0 and their star RB Christian McCaffrey was producing and opening up other possibilities for his teammates. Now they’re mired in a 4-game losing streak and Darnold was benched in their latest defeat to the New York Giants. While I don’t believe the Panthers have given up on him, this isn’t a good sign going forward for the once number three overall pick. The New York Jets did no favors for him and this was a great opportunity for him. Yet, it seems the Panthers offense relies a lot on McCaffrey for it to function. Once he returns things should return to what they were in the first 3 games.