Three Things We Learned from the Cincinnati Bengals Overtime Loss to the Green Bay Packers

Three Things We Learned from the Cincinnati Bengals Overtime Loss to the Green Bay Packers

Willie Lutz
2 years ago
3 min read
Three Things We Learned from the Cincinnati Bengals Overtime Loss to the Green Bay Packers

With the Green Bay Packers in town and the Cincinnati Bengals looking like one of the league’s exciting young teams, the two teams broke out into quite the insane match. 

Sure, the Packers took home the 25-22 victory in overtime and a 4-1 record, but the Bengals must feel good with their 3-2 start. 

Amidst five-straight missed field goals between Evan McPherson and Mason Crosby, the Bengals were inches from stealing a win against the Packers, who’ve made back-to-back NFC Championship appearances. 

While there are no moral victories in the NFL, the Bengals must take their lessons with their heads held high. 

Despite the Loss, The Bengals Look Ready to Battle the League’s Elite Quarterbacks

Is the rebuild timeline speeding up in Cincinnati? Through the first five weeks of the 2021 season, it seems to be trending in that direction. 

While their 3-1 start provided some skepticism, a narrow loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers proved a lot about this Bengals team. 

In the future, it seems likely that Joe Burrow won’t be making the same sort of poorly thrown interceptions in key spots. Throughout his young career, he’s proven to recover from low moments like his overtime-opening pick. 

Regardless, this Cincinnati team, who was listed at a 6.5 win projection on the Vegas over/under line, seems to be ready to battle for a playoff spot. 

Certainly, they’ll have their work cut out for them in upcoming weeks, but this team seems ready to make noise in the AFC North. 

The Cincinnati Bengals Have a Top-Ten Defense (If They Can Stay Healthy)

After ranking as the worst run defense in the league over the last two seasons and not putting up much of a fight across the board, the Bengals defense has some serious teeth. 

On Sunday, they held Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to just 22 points in regulation and 25 points after the final overtime whistle. 

Further, they regularly forced the potent Packers offense to settle for field goals amidst strong drives. 

Ranking within the top ten in several key statistical categories this defense, headlined by Trey Hendrickson, DJ Reader, Jessie Bates III, and Chidobe Awuzie, continues to look like a force. 

Granted, they’ve been healthy up to this point and need to keep that trend up if they want to stay on their current trajectory. Without ample depth, this team needs its starters to stay as healthy as possible in 2021. 

Ja’Marr Chase is the Clear Offensive Rookie of the Year Frontrunner Through Five Weeks

Partially due to poor performances by young quarterbacks, but mostly due to his explosive start, wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase looks like the league’s best offensive rookie. 

Frankly, it’s easy to make an argument that he’s been the best first-year player in the league regardless of position. 

Through five games, the 21-year-old receiver ranks seventh in receiving yards (456), fourth in yards per catch (19.8), second in touchdown receptions with five, and has the highest PFF grade among all rookie receivers (79.9).

Right now, Chase is putting up numbers that rival the historically great rookie season posted by Hall of Famer pass catcher, Randy Moss.

Not only has Chase impressed by rookie standards, but he also seems like a potential Pro Bowl candidate and looks like one of the league’s top-tier depth threats. 

Certainly, it’ll be interesting to see what Chase can do next Sunday against the Detroit Lions. The Cincinnati fanbase and national media spent much of the pre-draft process debating whether Cincinnati should select Chase or the eventual seventh-overall pick, Penei Sewell.

For now, the pro-Sewell arguments have been easily tapered by the unbelievable start from the rookie receiver out of Louisiana State. 

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