Bengals: Well, about that honeymoon phase

By Lance McAlister

September 16, 2019

Opening observations:

Final: San Francisco 41 Cincinnati 17

Well, about that Zac Taylor honeymoon phase..........

The Bengals were outschemed, physically dominated and appeared to have their spirit broken by the 49ers Sunday afternoon at PBS in a 41-17 defeat that drops the Bengals to 0-2. There was no fluke. It was straight up domination from start to finish.

Just one week removed from a 21-20 loss at Seattle that produced multiple positives, the Bengals produced a multitude of negatives. Difficult to calculate is the damage done to a fan base that allowed themselves to dream a little after last Sunday, only to get smacked in the face with a dose of reality this Sunday.

The tone was set early as the Bengals failed in all three phases: Newly signed LB LaRoy Reynolds was called for holding on the opening kickoff, Andy Dalton was sacked on first down, then fumbled and Joe Mixon recovered on second down, Kevin Huber punted just 40 yards. The 49ers answered the Bengals opening three and out with a TD drive highlighted by a Jimmy Garoppolo 38-yard TD pass to Marquis Goodwin.

A Bengals defense that allowed just 232 yards in Seattle last week, had allowed 291 to the 49ers by halftime and wound up surrendering 572 yards on 8.4 yards per play. The defense was gashed and chunked from jump, allowing gaines of 38, 39, 34 and 38 in the first half and then 39 yards on the first play of the second half. In total, they allowed six plays of 30+ and 10 plays of 16+ yards. Things reached the point of absurdity as the 49ers repeatedly ran free with a convoy of blockers leading the way. It felt like the 49ers offense was playing Madden with the cheat codes.

Down 7-0, the Bengals uptempo offense answered the initial 49ers score with a 9 play, 69 yard drive to tie the game. Andy Dalton connected on a 47-yard pass to Tyler Boyd and then capped the drive with a 1-yard TD pass to Tyler Eifert. But that was basically it for the offense until the final minute of the game. Penalties wiped out numerous positive plays and put the Bengals behind the chains early. They faced 3rd and 19, 15 and 24 in the first half.

Down 14-7 and with things clearly teetering, William Jackson III registered the first INT by a Bengals CB since the 2017 season. But the offense could not ride the momentum to any points.

Any chance of getting back in the game faded late in the 1st half. Down 21-10, Dalton was picked off with 1:14 remaining and the 49ers turned it into a field goal and a 24-10 lead at the half.

The 49ers came out in the 3rd quarter and outgained the Bengals 222-8.

For the second consecutive week the Bengals had no running game: 19 rushes/25 yards (1.3). The 49ers: 42 rushes/256 yards (6.2).

Mixon: 11-17 (1.5). Bernard 6-6 (1.0).

The OL was wrecked by the 49ers DL and injuries. Andre Smith left the game with a groin injury and was replaced by John Jerry. Jerry is their 4th option at left tackle (Jonah WilliamsCordy Glenn, Smith). Smith was called for a hold and false start on the same drive. Left guard Michael Jordan exited with an injury and was replaced by Billy Price. Price was called for a hold that wiped out a Dalton TD pass to Boyd with 4:05 left in the game. San Francisco got repeated pressure by rushing just four guys.

Dalton: 26 of 42, 311 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 4 sacks, 90.5 rating. He was called for an illegal forward pass and had another pass batted down.

John Ross caught a 66-yard TD pass on 4th and 4 with :45 left in the game. He had 4 catches for 112 yards. His first touch came with 14:00 left in the half.

Tyler Boyd added 10 catches on 10 targets for 122 yards. Drew Sample recorded his first two NFL catches.

Special Teams: Randy Bullock missed a 52-yarder.

In case you were wondering.......teams starting 1-1 make the playoffs 41% of the time. Teams starting 0-2 make the playoffs 12% of the time.

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