Regardless of how it’s described, the Cincinnati Bengals had an awful showing on Sunday. Losing in a 51-14 thumping against the New Orleans Saints. In a game where Cincinnati’s offense and defense looked lifeless.
Going into Sunday, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon were considered the two main Bengals to watch on offense. They were the main producers in the Bengals opening drive. With a John Ross touchdown wrapping up the Bengals opening drive. Outside of this drive, the Bengals offense was mostly ineffective. This was especially the case in the second and third quarters.
The Bengals broke their scoring drought in the fourth quarter. With backup quarterback Jeff Driskel scoring a rushing touchdown. Sent into the game after a dismal performance from Andy Dalton. The Saints sacked Andy Dalton four times and Dalton threw two interceptions. Driskel came into the game after Dalton’s second interception.
Cincinnati’s defense had their worst performance of the season on Sunday. Giving up a season high 51 points to New Orleans; 28 of those points were scored in the second quarter alone. With the Saints scoring in every drive except their last one. The Bengals failed to contain Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas and running back Alvin Kamara. Collectively scoring four of the Saints six touchdowns on Sunday.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees had another stellar day. Surpassing Brett Favre in the record books; through taking second place in NFL career touchdown passes. The Bengals defense didn’t sack Brees once on Sunday. Making this the third consecutive game where Brees wasn’t sacked. The Bengals needed to make Sunday difficult for Brees and Kamara and Thomas. This depleted defense frankly failed to accept that challenge.
Sunday’s blowout loss is prompting a mid-season coaching staff shakeup. With the Bengals firing defensive coordinator Teryl Austin less than 24 hours after the game. Making Austin the second coordinator in Bengals franchise history to be fired mid-season. Former offensive coordinator Ken Zampese’s firing last year was the first. Head Coach Marvin Lewis will take on the defensive coordinator responsibilities for now.
Sunday wasn’t a season-ending defeat by any stretch. However, the game did expose a problem that could potentially damage their playoff hopes. The Bengals are performing poorly against this year’s playoff contenders. Losing in blowouts to the Saints and the Kansas City Chiefs. While not having a solid four quarters in any game this season.
The Bengals will need to regroup in the next several days. Before heading into back-to-back divisional games. With the Bengals facing the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore next Sunday. Then facing the Cleveland Browns in Cincinnati on November 25th.