“Let Dalton start. Let the kid take his lumps now.” Well, Dalton got some lumps this week. But I am glad that most Bengals fans seem to understand it and are not riding the kid for it. (I just wasn’t in one of the more winnable games of the year.)
If the Bengals are to ever make that big step toward relevancy, here are some of those growing pains that they are going to have to work through.
Growing Pain #1: 3rd down/field goals. I know these are obvious, but they are true. TD’s instead of FG’s makes that a completely different game. This should improve as Dalton, Green & Co. continue to grow. (It had better, or we are in for a brutal second half of the season.) Then again, avoiding third down altogether is even better.
Growing Pain #2: tight ends. I swear that every tight end in the league has had the Bengals game circled on their calendar for at least the last decade. At some point they have to learn how to cover one.
Growing Pain #3: use Bernard Scott. Marvin’s verbal commitment to use Scott resulted in all of 2 carries against SF. 8 carries in 3 games. Marvin, that is especially for your offense in desperate need of options.
Growing Pain #4: Green and Gresham. These two are the heart of the passing game, and every team they face are going key on them. When they learn to produce in spite of extra attention, the passing game will take a huge step forward. (They will, but when?)
Growing Pain #5: Rey Maualuga. I’m not hammering Rey hard because this was one his third game in the middle, and he deserves some time to grow into his potential. But in his third year he won’t get as much patience as Dalton does, either. Let’s go, Rey!