Throughout training camp and the preseason, the biggest concern with the Bengals defense has been the secondary. Yes, there are six first-round corners on the roster but three of them were injured and saw minimal snaps.
In Monday night’s 44-13 loss to the Ravens, the concerns were well founded.
Cornerback Leon Hall said after the game that he couldn’t remember any blown coverages which would be a concern since none of the corners played particularly well. Hall was routinely beat on routes, including the first play of the game when Joe Flacco connected with Torrey Smith for a 52-yard gain. Terence Newman and Nate Clements had their moments as well.
The good thing is the Bengals face rookie quarterbacks four of the next five weeks. The bad news is after that they get Ben Roethlisberger twice, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo, Michael Vick and Flacco one more time.
Said Clements: “We got out-executed. We were prepared. We anticipated the no-huddle but it all boils down to who can execute and be more consistent throughout. They did a better job of that than we did.”
There could be some changes coming to the lineup for Sunday’s game against Cleveland. Taylor Mays started at one safety spot but after a woeful first half, he was pulled in favor of Jeromy Miles. Cornerback Jason Allen was inactive due to a nagging quad injury and first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick might not play until midseason due to his knee injury.
If there is any solace, it is that the quarterback they are facing on Sunday — Cleveland’s Brandon Wheeden — threw four interceptions and had a passer rating 5.3.