Whatever Cincinnati Bengals cornerback William Jackson was thinking as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell approached him running the ball, it was wrong.
Jackson was ridiculed for his “tackle” attempt on Monday night, and rightfully so. You won’t see this happen too often on a football field. Bell caught a checkdown pass and was running down the sideline. For some reason, Jackson just stopped even though he was right in front of Bell. Presumably he thought linebacker Jordan Evans, in pursuit, would push Bell out of bounds. Maybe, if you really want to be an apologist, Jackson was worried about a late hit flag on Bell as he angled toward the sideline.
That still doesn’t excuse Jackson, a 2016 first-round pick, stopping and then watching Bell run right by him for the easiest touchdown of Bell’s career. Jackson even seemed to straighten up to allow Bell an easier path past him.
Jackson had to instantly be dreading having to sit through that play when the Bengals have their film session this week, particularly after they blew a big lead to lose 23-20. It won’t be pretty.
The Bengals have been known as an undisciplined group for most of Marvin Lewis’ tenure. You see a play like that, and it’s easier to understand every one of those criticisms.
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