After having a good night’s rest to clear my mind about the more than disappointing loss yesterday, I thought about a few things that I personally, would like to see happen for this Bengals team going forward. I was worried about this offense and it’s inability to score, trouble on third down, lack of a true second receiver, and Andy Dalton’s Mark Sanchez-like play in the recent weeks.
I really thought that the Bengals would pull out a victory for the first time in 23 years. The Texans backed into the playoffs, their defense had been struggling as of late, and the pressure that Cincinnati’s defense had been putting on quarterbacks were all a perfect recipe for a win. I also had somewhat of a bad feeling about a Bengals offense that has only 4 Andy Dalton passing touchdowns in the past 6 games. That’s a stat that jumps out at you. The blame can be placed on Jay Gruden, Andy Dalton, and at times, the receiving corp.
Before I go any further, in my opinion, you can’t blame Mike Brown on this season. The talent is there to be able to make a playoff run. Brown has been a scapegoat for most of the years he’s held ownership but this time, you can’t use that crutch.
The blame falls on the coaches and the players. Marvin Lewis has had four opportunities to get this team ONE playoff win. Technically, you can say three because of the Carson injury in the 2005 game against Pittsburgh. In 2009, they had a very winnable game against Mark Sanchez and the Jets. In 2011, Andy’s play and a pathetic showing by the defense sealed their fate. The game yesterday was all on Dalton and the coaching staff.
There’s no excuse to not use your best player on the team until the second half. No excuse.
The creativity in offensive playcalling significantly dropped off for whatever reason after the Oakland game. You can’t tell me that there is such a huge talent gap between Marvin Jones and Sanu, that Jones can’t create separation and get open. The inability to have a balanced offense(11 rushes by The Law Firm yesterday) can create problems with predictability.
I’m an Andy Dalton fan. I like his leadership qualities and the way he answered the challenge presented to him to step up as a leader by Lewis earlier in the season. He has shown glimpses of great play, smart ball control, and ability to make big plays in crucial moments. In the recent weeks, that play has fallen off and his performance yesterday makes me question whether he is truly the answer for this franchise. He has problems with accuracy, overthrowing open receivers, not getting the ball out quick enough, not throwing the ball away when needed, and only throws to receivers when they are wide open. Obviously as a quarterback, you have to be able to have pinpoint accuracy to land throws in tight spaces and Dalton rarely shows that he has that ability.
The 2012 season was crucial for this team and yesterday was a must win. It was a must win especially for Marvin and now he has proven to the city of Cincinnati and Bengals fans that he can’t get the job done. He can’t get the team ready for big games. He needs a change of scenery just as much as the Bengals do and deserves to have another shot somewhere else. It just doesn’t work here.
There are many things I would like to see happen for next season but I would like to hear what you would like to see happen. What do you do with Marvin, Gruden, and what would you like to see done with this offense?