August 16, 2017

Second Take: Five Thoughts on the Bengals/Broncos

Denver escaped with a 24-22 win.

1) You have to walk away from the Broncos game encouraged. Andy Dalton looked like an elite quarterback, A.J. Green looked like an elite wide receiver, and the team battled back from early deficits to make things interesting at the end. There may not be an abundance of wins this season, but you have to like the character of this club and its potential for the future.

2) The AFC North is presently wide open with all four teams tied at 1-1. However, if you were looking at nothing other than the schedules, Cincinnati is in the early clubhouse lead. The Bengals are 1-0 in the division (a key tiebreaker) and have played both of their games on the road. The other three teams have had a home game.

3) I think it’s time to open up contract extension talks with Jerome Simpson. Certainly, his sample size (i.e. games played) is not ideal, but he has done enough to prove that he is an above-average receiver. With Simpson, A.J. Green, Gresham, Shipley (who may have a significant injury), Whitworth, Cook, and Dalton locked up for the immediate future, this offense could be set for years to come. Plus, getting Simpson to extend early might provide some sort of discount. And we all know Mike Brown wants that.

4) If you didn’t see the graphic during the game, Cincinnati’s upcoming schedule certainly gives them a chance to compete. Home games with San Francisco and Buffalo are up next, followed by a road game with the Jaguars and a home contest with the Kerry Collins Colts. Then, there’s a bye week and two more winnable road games. The Bengals should not – SHOULD not – play themselves out of contention anytime soon.

5) I need more from the defense. Expect the defense to play better at home – don’t they always? – but the unit has the looks of a bend, but don’t break group at times. Perhaps the return of players from injury could help, but that won’t happen for a while yet. The unit will have to border on dominance to give the team a chance against Baltimore and Pittsburgh. I think the group might be capable of that, but they didn’t exactly look it yesterday.


  1. In a year that is as much or more about progression/growth as it is wins/losses, I did feel pretty good with the game. The fought back from a 17-3 deficit, and could have had the win if they were not forced to settle for 3 after forcing a turnover at the Broncos 15. (I had a hunch that those 4 missed points would be big.)

    You are absolutely right that now is a good time to try to extend Simpson. With the young cores that the Bengals have on both sides of the ball, securing him will allow them to do something this spring that they have not done in quite some time… draft for depth.

  2. I’m not sold yet on Simpson. Too many drops for my liking, especially on 3rd and 1 yesterday. Granted the throw was a little behind him, but it was catchable considering it hit his hands. I wouldn’t give him #2 WR money just yet. Most of his 136 yards came on one busted coverage (84 yards) so lets not get wrapped up in the high numbers.

    The offensive and defensive lines played like garbage. Couldn’t run the ball and couldn’t stop the run, that formula will never win you any games.

    • Now is a good time precisely because they should be able to get him pretty cheap. No way I give him #2 money either. With his contract up this year and not much time on film, he probably would sign to have a guaranteed place to play next year.

  3. Agree with Bill. He’s not worth top-tier 2 money yet, but he shouldn’t be looking for that either. His hands should improve and he’s got good skills after the catch, which is good in the West Coast.