CINCINNATI -- Just two preseason games in and already Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has identified an issue so problematic that it had him seething Saturday night.
It's the turnover issue, one that has plagued the Bengals early this season, primarily on the second- and third-string teams. Still, regardless of experience level or depth-chart status, Jackson believes the turnover problem is one that affects his entire offense.
He can't stand for that.
"I've got to get this solved," Jackson said minutes after Cincinnati's 25-17 loss to the New York Jets in the home preseason opener.
Against the Kansas City Chiefs in their opening preseason game, the Bengals were intercepted twice. Against the Jets, they were only intercepted once, but also lost two of the four fumbles they had in the game. When it came to retaining possession, the Bengals struggled, and the scoreboard reflected that.
Both of the lost fumbles resulted in Jets touchdowns on New York's ensuing drives. Backup quarterback Matt Scott was unable to hold on to the ball at the midpoint of the second quarter when he got blitzed and blindsided on a sack. Five plays later, Jets running back Bilal Powell scored on a 2-yard touchdown run that cut the once-wide 14-point lead in half.
Running back Cedric Peerman's late-third quarter fumble immediately preceded another Jets touchdown that put the visitors ahead 23-17. With a safety tacked on following a punt blocked into the back of the end zone, the Jets had all the room they needed for the win.
"We keep turning the ball over and we keep putting the defense in a tough situation," Jackson said. "This turnover thing is not what we should be doing. That's my responsibility and we've got to get it fixed."
He's got eight days to work on it. The Bengals are next in action next Sunday for a night game at the Arizona Cardinals.