‘Lot of urgency, but no panic’: Joe Burrow confident Bengals will fix issues on offense
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is strategic with everything he does.
That’s why when asked why he’s confident the Bengals can turn things around on offense, he chose his words wisely.
"We’re not panicking … we’re two games in, we’ve got 15 games left,” Burrow said on Wednesday. “Let’s all just take a deep breath, relax. We’re going to be fine.”
Cincinnati has yet to get its first win of the season and the main reason for that is what’s taking place on the offensive side of the ball. The Bengals defense is exactly what everyone expected them to be: Consistent.
And that’s a reason to believe the Bengals can fix what they need to fix and string together some wins.
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“We’ve got great players, great coaches understanding our plan,” Burrow said. “We know what we need to fix it. And two, we did it last year. We were in here talking about the same exact stuff several times last year, and everyone saw how it worked out. We’re focused on getting it right, getting better, but like I said, no panic. Lot of urgency, but no panic.”
Bengals, Joe Burrow slow starts against Steelers, Cowboys
The biggest theme in both losses was Cincinnati’s sluggish starts offensively. Against Pittsburgh, the Bengals trailed 17-6 at the half. Burrow’s second half performance got his team back on track and they lost in overtime. Dallas was a different story. The Bengals trailed 17-3 at half and looked in complete disarray because of the pressure the Cowboys were bringing on Burrow. But two Evan McPherson field goals and a 19-play scoring drive that ended in a successful two-point conversion, the Bengals tied the game 17-17 with 3:45 to play.Ultimately, the Cowboys were able to move the ball enough to get into field goal range and won 20-17 with 0:03 seconds left to play.
Head coach Zac Taylor echoes Burrow’s sentiment in that if a few areas are cleaned up here and there and the Bengals can get out to a lead, they believe they can get back on track.
Because of the success the Bengals had last year on offense, specifically, expectations were going to be high this year. Not only did the team return all of their starters at the skill positions, but Cincinnati’s front office also spent a significant amount of money in free agency in hopes to upgrade its offensive line. Alex Cappa, Ted Karras and La’el Collins were all brought to the Bengals to be the final piece to take this offense to a new level.
So far, the Bengals’ offense looks out of sync and lacking explosive plays. There’s several layers to the issues which is why it’s not necessarily an easy fix. In order to open the passing game up like they would prefer, Cincinnati has to run the ball better. Right now, running back Joe Mixon leads the league in attempts (46) but is only averaging three yards per carry.
Bengals run game part of the issue
The run game needs to start clicking for the Bengals. Protection for Burrow also remains a theme once again. Through two games, Burrow ranks No. 1 in the league in sacks taken (13). He also admitted some of the sacks are on him for holding on to the ball for too long.
If the Bengals can start faster, run the ball more effectively and give Burrow better protection, this offense should look a lot closer to the unit you saw in 2022.
And it needs to happen this week when the team travels to New Jersey to take on the Jets. In 2021, the Bengals played one of their worst games collectively against the Jets and lost to one of the worst teams in football at the time.
Burrow knows the pressure is on. And it wouldn’t be surprising if he ends up playing his best game of the year now because of it.“Obviously, we have to go out and play well and get a win,” Burrow said. “Can’t go down 0-3. But like I said, we’re not panicking. We’re focusing on one week at a time.”