Bengals tighten up rotations in loss to Bears

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Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Bengals relied mostly on their starters in their loss to the Bears.

The Cincinnati Bengals were dealt their first loss of the season against the Chicago Bears in Week 2. We also got to see some trends solidify themselves from Week 1 regarding the distribution of snaps. Is there any adjustments this team can make in personnel to get back on track?

Bengals snap count takeaways from loss against Chicago:

The Bengals were out snapped again this week. They ran 55 offensive plays to the Bears 65. Both teams struggled to convert on third downs, but the Bears winning the turnover battle with four takeaways likely made the difference. This really highlights how well the defense did at keeping points off the board Sunday considering a Joe Burrow pick-six was the only other touchdown allowed outside of the opening drive.
Starting off defensively, we have to talk about how Darius Phillips has become the latest player to be replaced by this staff. He has a clear strangle hold on the punt returning duties, but he is pretty far down the cornerback depth chart at this point. He failed to register a snap on Sunday while Eli Apple made his second straight start for the injured Trae Waynes playing all 65 defensive snaps on the day. Even when Mike Hilton missed a snap, it was Jalen Davis who came in to replace him. It seems like his days could are very much numbered in Cincinnati.
The offense saw something we haven’t really seen in quite some time Sunday. The starters all played a vast majority of the game, barely missing or rotating out for any snaps. Burrow and the offensive line played every snap, and Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins only missed a combined 16 plays between the three of them. The player rotated out the most was Joe Mixon (46) who played without giving up many of his snaps to rotation for a running back. It is rare to see an every down back in the NFL, but Mixon is pretty close to it.
The Bengals didn’t see much of a change to their defensive scheme even with Ricardo Allen out for a couple of weeks with a hand injury. Logan Wilson (51) remains the leader of the second-level defenders. Germaine Pratt followed him up with 39 plays while Akeem Davis-Gaither (16), Jordan Evans (6), Markus Bailey (3) and even newly acquired safety Sean Davis (7) filled out the rest. Davis-Gaither again showed up in obvious passing situations, while the rest seemed to be rotated in based on certain play calls.
The defensive lines’ rotation also seemed pretty tight this week. Sam Hubbard (53) and Trey Hendrickson (46) led the edges with Larry Ogunjobi taking off as the clear leader at the interior with 49 defensive plays. D.J. Reader was also a clear step above the rotational players at 39 plays, but Josh Tupou (23), Cam Sample (22) and B.J. Hill (20) all played about a third of the game. Wyatt Ray also got 10 snaps while rookie Darius Hodge didn’t get to hit the field as a defender on Sunday. The unit did well to stuff the run again as David Montgomery barely surpassed 60 yards rushing. The problem came with holding containment as Justin Fields and Andy Dalton combined for 56 yards rushing, most of which came on scrambles after the play broke down.

What was your biggest takeaway from Sunday’s snap counts?

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