Looking ahead: 5 takeaways from Bengals-Redskins

The Cincinnati Bengals lost preseason game No. 3 to the Washington Redskins on Sunday.

The final score doesn’t matter, but here are some things that do (maybe):

1. The juiced up pass rush is really going to be a thing. 

Without Geno Atkins doing anything in particular, the Bengals were able to get into the Washington backfield regularly, and a variety of players got in on the act.

You have to love the motor on both Carl Lawson and Jordan Willis. Those guys really go all the time.

READ MORE: Bengals start fast, fall to Redskins in third preseason game

Aside from the young guys, seeing Michael Johnson beat a guard with speed and quickness on a passing down was intriguing, and Chris Smith had his requisite sack.

2. The news of Vontaze Burfict being suspended comes with he linebacking corps already looking underwhelming to me. 

His pick-6 was the latest example of how he combines size and speed with uncharacteristic instincts to be a unique player.

That said, it’s past time to conclude he is not capable of playing on the edge without going over it.

RELATED: NFL suspends Bengals’ linebacker

I find the NFL’s “defenseless player” designation ridiculous, but I will say the hit Burfict put on Kansas City fullback Anthony Sherman was “unnecessary roughness” in the most literal sense. He picked off Sherman for no other reason than he could because he wasn’t going to be involved in the play as it was being chucked downfield.

I’m guessing covering backs out of the backfield and tight ends will continue to be a nightmare for this team, especially if Burfict is not on the field.

3. This might mean nothing because it is the preseason, but I found interesting how much they used 12 or 21 personnel (two receivers, two tight ends and a running back or two receivers and two backs and a tight end) when the first team was in the game. 

Despite their best tight end (Tyler Eifert) being inactive and the presence of a plethora of receivers they presumably want to see as much of as they can, the Bengals worked mostly out of power sets. That included Joe Mixon getting time dotting the ‘I’, and he did not disappoint.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Like our Cincinnati Bengals News Now Facebook page

Since this was the “dress rehearsal,” are we got surmise that means they still want to be more of a power team than one that makes teams defend speed in space?

I’ve thought in the past they limited themselves somewhat by not committing to one style over the other, so it bears watching how this plays out when the games start counting.

4. The No. 1 offensive line looks far from dominant, but it might be adequate. 

I doubt this will be a team that can ground and pound opponents. Big plays will probably be the name of the game for the Bengals to succeed.

5. Whatever the Bengals get from John Ross will be a bonus. 

An underrated aspect of this season could be Dalton having a better rapport with Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd in their second year together.

About the Author