There’s plenty to unpack (no pun intended) from the Cincinnati Bengals 27-24 overtime loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. In a game that featured some good and bad news for the Bengals.
The first news from Sunday’s game would frankly be considered good or bad news in the eye of the beholder. With the Bengals giving their own response to President Donald Trump’s comments about athletes protesting the National Anthem. Comments that sparked a backlash from many NFL teams, including the Bengals in their own ways. The Bengals literally took an albeit subtle but united stand, locking arms while standing for the anthem. Like many other teams, the Bengals were dropped into an awkward situation here.
Considering the Bengals went into this game 0-2; being the only team in the league that hadn’t scored a touchdown yet. The anthem protests probably weren’t a top priority for them until the weekend hit. There’s also the factor of how fans and even players would react. The last thing a winless team would need is disunity in the locker room over politics. There’s a lot more that could be said about this situation, but for now back to the game at hand.
The first drive produced some good news for the Bengals; they finally scored a touchdown. Sure, it only took them until their first possession of Week Three to do it. However, it was bound to happen sooner rather than later. The touchdown came from Andy Dalton connecting with A.J. Green. It was part of a stellar first half from the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals second touchdown came thanks to Giovanni Bernard. Leading to the Bengals taking a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter. Later in that quarter William Jackson III gave the Bengals a two possession lead with a pick six. Randy Bullock’s extra point would give the Bengals a 21-7 lead, one they would take to halftime. The Bengals were lucky to run into a mostly ineffective Packers offense during the first half.
The Bengals defense largely contributed to the Packers offensive woes in the first half. With Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers getting sacked five times in that half. The second half brought in the bad news for the Bengals. Green Bay gradually chipped away the Bengals lead in the second half. With the Bengals offense retreating back into largely unproductive form.
After their best offensive performance of the Bengals season to start the game. The Bengals only points in the second half came from a 46 yard long Bullock field goal in the fourth. The Packers had the chance to win the game in regulation. With a two point conversion in the final 30 seconds of the fourth quarter. They went for a field goal instead, with the Bengals sending the game to overtime.
After an ultimately unproductive drive from the Bengals. The Packers again turned to kicker Mason Crosby to end the game. Kicking the game winning field goal for the Packers. Dropping the Bengals to an 0-3 record, the first time the Bengals started a season 0-3 since 2008. Which is ultimately the worst portion of the bad news for the Bengals regarding Sunday’s game.
The bright side for the Bengals is that they exceeded many expectations. The down side is ultimately that they still lost the game. Getting to the NFL Playoffs after starting the season 0-3 is a difficult accomplishment. One feat that the Bengals won’t achieve if current trends continue.