What's Going on with the Bengals Offense?
The Bengals picked up where they left off in 2021 - still unable to protect Joe Burrow. Despite upgrading across the offensive line with additions like right tackle La’el Collins, right guard Alex Cappa, and center Ted Karras, Cincinnati has allowed a league-high 13 sacks through their first two games of the season.
There has been some debate over who is most at fault. Is it the new players up front, or at least a lack of continuity? Is it Joe Burrow? Is it the play-calling? The truth, while boring, is that it’s a combination.
Burrow’s Role in the Pressure
A couple of Cincy’s 13 sacks came from Burrow holding onto the ball too long. On the first play of the season, in fact, he failed to pull the trigger on an open quick-out route, resulting in a sack:
I’m not sure why he didn’t take that throw, but that sack was on him.
Burrow has been very good early in his career at navigating the pocket and throwing with bodies around him. In the early going this season, however, there have been a few plays where instead of remaining stoic in the pocket, he has been too responsive to the pass rush and has even moved into pressure.
Take this play for instance. Yes, there was pressure up the middle, but Burrow also moved into it immediately at the top of his drop: