The Bengals, after their 3rd straight defeat of the season to AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers are now sobering up to the harsh reality that their current form suggests they’re one of the bottom dwellers of the NFL. Adding further insult to injury is that they’re now 1-3 within the AFC North and have been humiliated by the previously winless Cleveland Browns, happy times they are not in the Nati.
Taken from all of their losses so far and the win against Washington is a repeating theme of the Bengals collapsing in the second half of games. Leads over Miami, Cleveland and Pittsburgh have been easily wiped out by poor defense, turnovers and poor offensive play especially from the running game. And yet the signs were there for Marvin Lewis to see against Baltimore and Washington, if you recall the Bengals against the Ravens were within 4 points of Baltimore going into half time, only for then in the second half to produce zilch offensively the second half and against Washington the Redskins produced 21 unanswered points before Cincy sealed the win. It has been only in 2 games against Jacksonville and first Cleveland game that the Bengals have looked comfortable, easily leading from the outset.
All of which suggests that this team is finding pressure hard to bear with, understandably last season’s success of a brief foray into the playoffs has heightened the expectations of supporters and it was generally expected that the Bengals were more than capable of going into the bye with a winning record. Coach Lewis has got to root out the cause of these collapses and has nearly two weeks in order to do so, he is not blameless in all the Bengals demise and there indeed murmurings of discontent of Lewis’ decision making, play calling and adjustments amongst the orange and black support. The preseason and Bernard Scotts season ending injury has shown that the running game needs urgently addressing yet nothing has been done, the ineffectiveness of the run is making the offence one dimensional and producing turnovers at an alarming rate. Apart from AJ Green and Gresham, receivers aren’t finding separation and why Brandon “take it to the ten yard line” Tate is still returning kicks is now puzzling scientists at CERN.
So far i’ve only highlighted the negative, positives I can take so far from the season is the performance of the offensive line which is giving Dalton plenty of time to make throws. Additionally, AJ Green has been so good that I have sought legal advice in order to prevent him from ever appearing on the Madden cover. However I digress and it’s at this point I would like to finish with a prediction. If we lose the next game against Denver then Cincy can kiss the playoffs goodbye and preparation for next season begins. Whether that is with Coach Lewis is prediction I wouldn’t bet on.
A couple of points
The Steelers are going to play the Vikings in London next September, it’s highly likely i’ll be there booing them the entire time but i’m really interested to hear US based fans perspective upon the international series?
Please can someone take out a court order or legal injuction you have in the US that forbids AJ Green and EA sports from ever being on the Madden cover?
Yours in sport