November 1, 2014

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

 

 

An old coach used to tell us that if you play not to lose, then you will probably not win. No statement sum ups this past game as much as this to me. The Bengals worked their way into their most comfortable lead of the season, and through a few key blunders, managed to give the game up in the final seconds.

 

 

The key blunders were:

1. Fall on the football instead of trying to score. We as fans scratch our heads when we watch the professionals who have been playing the game their whole lives, forget the fundamentals. When there is a loose ball, your first priority is to secure it. The Bengals failed to do this and gave the Texans life. Bad decisions by the Bengals defense to try and pick up the ball here.

2. The false start in the 4th quarter on 4th and 1. Maybe the Bengals were actually going to run a play. However, the O-Line jumped and made the decision that the Bengals needed to punt the ball away. You could argue they jumped because the defense hopped into the neutral zone and you would have a good argument. But as the wordy Hochuli pointed out “The defender that jumped was too far away from the false start” (which just sounds like BS to me.)

3. The failure of the Bengals to cover the tight end or running back when doing the short crossing routes. This burned the Bengals in the 4th, but was the same all game. The middle of the field was a weak spot for the defense. Receivers were wide open when running this route and Zimmer and the defense failed to adjust to it.

Lastly, I hope the Bernard Scott VS. Cedric Benson debate is finally put to bed. What is still clear to me is that Benson can carry the team while Bernard Scott contributes sporadically. Sure, he can be flashy, and has the potential to break some runs, but Benson can be counted on for the hard yards. When Benson was in the game the offense moved. When Scott was in they stalled. Rarely is Benson caught for a loss, mush less a 4 yd loss. Scott is not the every down back many Bengals fans claim him to be.

We have talked about it on the site and probably will for the end of the season. The Bengals can still make the playoffs, but it is no longer in their hands. Sure, teams can lose and the Bengals could be pushed back up to the wildcard spot, but honestly, it is not likely.

It is ok to be disappointed, although this team overperformed this entire season (based on many peoples preseason expectations) we knew they had a chance to make the postseason. I for one am pissed about how they played on Sunday in the second half. I hope they are also.

Comments

  1. Eric says:

    Great take. A few reax from me:

    1. wouldn’t have been a problem had Geno held onto the ball or just fell down. He was trying to do too much there and that’s why he fumbled in the first place. We had possession inside their 15 yard line when he fumbled. Geno shoulda put both hands on that ball.

    2. The whole O-line knew that they could jump if a defender was in the neutral zone. So why on God’s green didn’t Andrew Whitworth or Nate Livings? The two guys right in front of the jumping Texan didn’t move. Had they, it would’ve been a first down. Also, I hated Brat as much as the next guy, but in his offense when the player jumped Kyle Cook would’ve immediately snapped the ball. Why didn’t they do either one of these things?

    3. This one is concerning and needs to get fixed in a hurry. You better believe the remaining teams on the Bengal schedule are watching film on that. Zim better have an answer today for his charges. Of course, on the TD, the linebacker (Thomas Howard I think) drifted out of his zone to double a wide receiver, and that’s how Walter was so open. You’ll notice he catches the ball on about the two. Had Howard been there, all he would’ve had to do was tackle walter inbounds and the game would have been over. I also noticed on a couple plays where it looked like one guy was playing man while everyone else was playing zone.

    Point here is, all 3 were boneheaded plays where it seemed their football smarts escaped them.

    As for Ced Benson, I disagree that he’s “rarely” tackled for a loss. I’d say it happens 3-5 times per game, and it happened on the last drive. He didn’t impress me Sunday outside of the one long run. I’d still like to see Scott get more opportunities, but either way, I think Benson is gone after this year and the team uses a high pick on a bell cow back, particulalry a west coast guy who can catch as well as run.

    • Greg says:

      I completely agree with you.

      Bernard reminds too much of DeeDee Dorsey. He’s better that DeeDee. But the man.

      Point Two, EXACTLY! HOW DOES WHITWORTH AND LIVINGS NOT FLINCH OR COOK SNAP THE BALL. AGREE. AGREE. AGREE.

      Point Three. I’m not sure. But that might be because I haven’t considered it yet. I was too obsessed with my hatred for the prevent defense. But you may be right.

  2. Number 1 Fan says:

    Eric,

    I counted 3 tackles for loss on Benson (1 on an idiot shotgun delay call). 3 out of 21 is not bad at all. Scott MAY break 1 play a game. However, you see him tackled for loss at least 1 out of 3 plays and when he gets positive yds it is 2 sometimes 3 yds at a time. Benson averaged 4.3 yds a carry, Scott .7.

    I do not see why people are holding on to Scott as a feature back idea. Since he has been with the Bengals he has had 2 games where he has shown anything. The Steelers game where he returned a kick and the 1 game where he was the feature back.

  3. Bill says:

    Don’t forget the false start on Williams on the 1-yard line the turned a TD into a FG. That isn’t the first FS penalty on the goal line that the O-line has had this year. Livings did the exact same thing on the 2 against the Browns.

    Williams… Livings… McGlynn… all guards. Hmmm…. Maybe Paul Alexander has some ‘splainin’ to do about why his guards can’t maintain discipline in critical moments.

    On the flip side, big kudos to Anthony Collins, the next quality lineman to leave because he can’t get playing time. I sure hope he doesn’t end up in Cleveland.

  4. Reid says:

    Couldn’t agree more with the Benson/Scott debate.

    Benson has proven time and time again to be the workhorse that we have needed. He works hard and runs hard.

    Scott is mediocre at best. Every so often breaks off a run of 7 or 8 yards, but alot of the time gets tackled for a loss. There should be no debate about this. Benson over Scott any day

  5. Personally I think the Benson/Scott debate is being taken in the wrong direction, it should be who do we get to replace them. Scott isn’t an every down back and Ced hasn’t been the same runner he was first coming to Cincinnati. Time to find that free agent/drafted rookie to either take over or start learning the system. (not a first rounder)

    And the thing that pisses me off the most about that final drive was the Bengals dropping into prevent defense. I don’t know why but this is done every game we have a lead in the Marvin era. The Bengals have a a slim lead and stop attacking and drop into a prevent defense. And usually lose. A prevent defense only prevents you from winning.

  6. Nate says:

    I think Benson had like eight carries for like minus one yard in the 2nd half. I’ve been on the Scotf bandwagon, but not as a feature back, just a change of pace runner who is dangerous in the open field. I actually think the rotation has been pretty good this year. I’m more puzzled by the fact that Andre Smith wasn’t moved to left guard this year. Anthony Collins showed he’s a very capable right tackle. I think the team invested too much in Andre Smith and feels the need to justify it.