Instant analysis after Bengals blow out Lions, move to 4-2

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The Cincinnati Bengals took care of business on the road in Week 6, besting the Detroit Lions in 34-11 fashion.

It wasn’t always pretty, but the end result was never really in doubt just based on the eye test those winless Lions just can’t pass. Joe Burrow was smooth, the defensive line was dominant and Joe Mixon got a ton of work as the Bengals moved to 4-2 and get ready to play Baltimore next.

Here’s some instant analysis coming out of the win.

Quick Hits

— Besides an odd 2nd-and-long run call early, the first offensive drive of the day featured some smooth play-calling from Zac Taylor. The attack involved Tee Higgins, worked in some pre-snap disguises and capped off with a big touchdown pass to rookie back Chris Evans.

— In other sixth-round rookie news, Trey Hill derailed a drive while getting his first career start at right guard. Two consecutive penalties led to a Joe Burrow pick as he tried to target Ja’Marr Chase down the field on a 3rd-and-20 attempt.

— Trey Hendrickson bullied Penei Sewell the entire first half in a brutal welcome-to-the-NFL moment. He’s been worth every penny so far.

— It’s important to point out just how awful the winless Lions looked from the opening gun. Call it a good day to have serious offensive line issues.

— Burrow and Chase hooked up for a 34-yard gain to set up a field goal before halftime.

— Chase, right out of the halftime tunnel, then threw a wicked block to spring Joe Mixon for a touchdown.

— Speaking of that play, brilliant design by Zac Taylor, as the misdirection before the snap set up not only a conversion on fourth down, but a touchdown. That’s totally different from what we’ve seen from him, for the most part, this season.

— Bengals had some concerning woes on the interior. They yanked Trey Hill, then Jackson Carman left with an illness, then center Trey Hopkins had a leg injury. Had it kept him out and they had been down three interior guys, the Bengals would have thrown tackles Fred Johnson and Isaiah Prince in there somewhere.

Key Stat

228: Total yards for the Lions, which was under 200 well into the second half. They might be the worst team in the league and literally nothing went right for them. It’s a testament to that Hendrickson-led pass-rush that they wound up 5-of-14 on third downs, too.

Game Ball

Chris Evans: Tough call, as pretty much everyone performed as expected against a bad team. But the rookie Evans was an exception — he stepped into a bigger role than usual and gained 18 yards on four carries and caught three passes for 49 yards and a score.

Top Takeaway

As expected: Anything short of hanging 25-plus on these Lions would have been pretty disappointing for the Bengals. But it’s also good they didn’t avoid a letdown considering they face the Ravens next week. Even better, they escaped Detroit pretty healthy.

List

Bengals vs. Lions game recap: Everything we know