Cincinnati – New quarterback, same result.
Cincinnati had one week off to prepare for Baltimore Sunday in The Jungle. They made the move to bench Andy Dalton and go with Ryan Finley under center.
That was not the answer as the Bengals were pounded 49-13 to go 0-9 on the season.
The Cincy offense was non-existent, while the defense couldn’t stop a sleepy turtle.
The Ravens scored on the fifth play of the game and kept their foot on the gas until a few minutes remained.
The churned out 379 yards of total offense and held the Bengals to just over 300.
Baltimore (7-2) scored on its first seven drives and could have reached well-beyond 50 points.
The only bright spot for the Bengals was running back Joe Mixon ran for more than 100 yards for the first time this season. He earned 114 yards on 30 carries.
Finley encountered the same situations Dalton has faced all season and had to run for his life most of the game.
He finished his debut with 164 yards passing and completed 16 of 30 throw and had one touchdown, and one interception – a big one.
However, the Baltimore defensive secondary had more yards receiving than Finley did throwing to his own targets in the first half.
Finley had 84 yards passing at the break, and Baltimore’s defensive back Marcus Peters retuned a pick 89 yards for a touchdown with 3:42 to go in the second quarter.
“He’s going to learn from stuff like that. It’s not all going to be easy, and I coached with Marcus Peters last year and he does a great job,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor.
Finley agreed and described it as “just a bad throw.”
But the story was the lack of defense on the Bengals end. Poor tackling. Missed assignments.
Any time a team hangs 49 points on the board is a sign there is a problem with the defensive execution.
“We had poor tackling,” Taylor added. “We had some opportunities to tackle and we didn’t do it.”
I am glad he noticed.
Taylor noted he felt the team was engaged on the field but admitted the obvious.
“They scored 35 points against our defense, and that’s not good enough,” he said.
Not good enough. I agree.
The trend in the locker room and at the podium after games remains the same as it has the past few seasons.
“We have to do better” seems to be the talking points.
But when will they put actions to words?
At some point, I hope to see someone in the locker room just fed up with losing and show some excitement on the field.
They don’t tackle. They don’t score. They don’t hustle to the line. They don’t show emotion. They don’t win. They just “don’t.”
The next two weeks look like a gauntlet for the Bengals. They go to the West Coast to take on the Raiders (5-4) then home to host rival Pittsburgh (5-4) who knocked off the Rams Sunday.