The Cincinnati Bengals opened up a 21-7 halftime lead against the Green Bay Packers on the road Sunday. For the Bengals, it represented the first three touchdowns for the team this season.
Unfortunately for Marvin Lewis and Co., it still led directly to yet another loss to open the campaign. By virtue of another tremendous late-game performance from Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay came back to win, 27-24, in overtime.
If there was one positive Cincinnati could take out of this, at least statistically, it’s that Andy Dalton performed at a higher clip in than in the first two games. He completed 21-of-27 passes for 212 yards with two touchdowns and zero picks.
Lewis made sure to point this out during his day-after press conference on Monday.
Marvin: We got Andy back to being Andy.#Bengals
— Lance McAlister (@LanceMcAlister) September 25, 2017
If that’s getting Andy back to being Andy, the Bengals themselves are doomed for the remainder of the season. Sure the stats were fine, but Dalton continued to struggle with both decision making and pocket awareness throughout the evening at Lambeau.
He was sacked three times and pressured on well over 40 percent of his drop backs. Some of that had to do with Cincinnati’s poor offensive line, but Dalton himself was indecisive from a passing standpoint. This can’t happen on the road in an NFL game.
He also put up less than 100 passing yards in the second half and overtime. Primarily, his passes were of the short variety as a way to avoid mistakes.
Cincinnati now finds itself at 0-3 on the season and pretty much completely out of the playoff race at this early point in the season. That’s not good for anyone involved. And Dalton shares as much of the blame as any member of the Bengals, head coach Marvin Lewis included.