The Bengals’ offensive lineup is a major question mark heading into 2017. The Bengals’ offensive line is a big question mark heading into 2017. They drafted Utah’s J.J. Dielman and brought back veteran Andre Smith. But, they are banking on younger players to bring it all together. Although Jake Fisher and Cedric Obuehi have had a difficult time in the NFL, they have received praise from the start of this offseason. Josh Adams is another player worth watching. Although he isn’t a certain starter, his presence could be a boon for the Bengals’ offensive line.
The Bengals took the lead in the third quarter after Dalton connected with Josh Malone on a 25-yard touchdown pass. Their lead was extended to 21-17 at the end of the fourth quarter when Dalton found Kyle Rudolph via a 16-yard pass. However, the Colts fought back and went ahead 23-17. But the Bengals were not done. Despite the improbable victory, it would take another loss for the team.
The Bengals could have a new running start in 2018 with the departure of Jeremy Hill to the Patriots. The team lost Frank Gore to the Dolphins and will need to replace him. Defensively, Teryl Austin was hired as the defensive coordinator, replacing Paul Guenther. Austin also brought a talented rookie class. However, the Bengals’ offensive line remains a big question mark. They’ll need to pick up the pieces to put together a winning offense.
In 2017, the Bengals have had trouble scoring in the second half. A late second-quarter touchdown is supposed to swing momentum, but the team has been unable to capitalize on it. The Bengals scored their first touchdown last year after the two-minute warning in the season opener. With just 30 seconds remaining, they led by 17 point last year. They had two chances to win on a two-minute drive last year.
The Bengals will be playing four road games in November. This was the Bengals’ last encounter with this challenge in 2014. They won three straight games. The team also faces Houston Texans in primetime. The Texans have won both of their previous meetings. Despite these early struggles, however, the Bengals still have several winnable games in their schedule. Three of their five opponents will also be new to the head coaching job.
Aside from Hill, the Bengals have three second-round picks in the running backfield. Mixon will likely share the workload with Hill, but his lack of consistency will force the team to rely more heavily on him. However, the Bengals also took a risk by drafting Mixon, so the team must evaluate his potential contribution to the offense. He could be the Bengals’ running back starting the season if he does.
There are many positives to be taken from the Bengals’ three previous games, but the team has not yet reached the level of play expected. Cincinnati did not win a playoff game between 1990 and 2021, but their five straight losing seasons are still a reason for optimism. The team is likely to reach the playoffs again in 2021, where they will compete for the AFC championship game and even make the Super Bowl.