Three Things We Learned From The Cincinnati Bengals win over the Jacksonville Jaguars

Three Things We Learned From The Cincinnati Bengals win over the Jacksonville Jaguars

Willie Lutz
1 year ago
3 min read
Three Things We Learned From The Cincinnati Bengals win over the Jacksonville Jaguars

Thursday Night Football in Cincinnati wasn’t the prettiest win in team history, but it still meant a lot for the 3-1 Bengals. 

Things didn’t start hot against Urban Meyer and the winless Jacksonville Jaguars, who jumped out to an early lead. However, like a night out at the Urban Meyer Pint House things got spicy in a hurry between the two teams. 

No. 1: Joe Burrow is 100% That Guy and Can Lift the Bengals Franchise

If it wasn’t known already, it seems like Joe Burrow is the real deal. When the team picked him first overall a year ago, they had “franchise changer” in mind.

After completing a masterful, comeback performance on Thursday Night Football, it seems they’ve got what they hoped. Against Jacksonville, Burrow completed 25-of-32 passes, two of those catches being touchdowns and his receptions good for 348 yards.

Further, it was Burrow’s intelligence and gamesmanship that took the Bengals to the finish line for a victory.

As recounted on a mic’d-up clip, Burrow audibled into a jailbreak screen to tight end CJ Uzomah, who took the ball 25 yards and into field goal range with just over a minute remaining in regulation.

The Bengals salted the clock, lined up the clock, and walked off with the AFC North lead in their control. Further, it looks like they’ve got something special brewing with Joe Burrow at the helm. 

No. 2: This Defense Needs Jessie Bates III (and Need to Pay Him ASAP)

While the team did a lot right this off-season and their transactions seemingly looking like strong investments, the one they didn’t make looks increasingly suspect.

Without Jessie Bates III in the game on Thursday, the Jacksonville Jaguars and rookie passer Trevor Lawrence seemed to easily move the ball down the field. Jumping out to a 14-0 lead and nearly making it 21-0 prior to a massive Bengals goalline stand, Cincinnati’s defense was missing its core component.

Slated to return in time to face-off with Aaron Rodgers in the Packers in Week Five, Bates’s contract continues to look more expensive for the Bengals.

Currently, the two sides are at a stalemate on contract negotiations. However, the group has looked like a top-five-to-ten unit in football when he’s ben available.

As the season progresses, it seems like Bates will only get more expensive.

The Bengals should look at their performance against Jacksonville as a reason to pay Bates in a hurry. Otherwise, they could price themselves out of his picture.

No. 3: Drafting a Kicker Has Never Looked Better with Evan McPherson at the Helm

As Tennessee Titans fans learned on Sunday, the Randy Bullock experience can be a particularly painful one; Tennessee lost their shot at a tie with Bullock sending a kick wide against the Jets late in overtime.

Now, pan to Cincinnati, where the team left the field on Thursday with their second walk-off field goal of the season.

After four years (and change) as the Bengals kicker, the team moved on from Bullock during the off-season, drafting rookie Evan McPherson in the fifth round of the 2021 Draft.

In the time since, he’s become a reliable weapon and a fan favorite. While he did suffer the first miss of his career early in the contest against Jacksonville, it’s his 35-yard walk-off kick that sailed through the uprights when it mattered most.

On the young season, McPherson is 5-of-6 with a long of 53 yards (where he hit from in both weeks one and two). Plus, he’s got two game-winning kicks under his belt in just four weeks.

The sky is high for McPherson, who is tied for 21st in the league with 26 points to his name. So far, it’s been an impressive run for the rookie kicker out of Florida.

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