November 21, 2014

Reaction to another Bengals playoff loss

I tend to be the level headed Bengals fan. I see you on twitter, on almost every bad play there is the barrage of tweets calling for so and so to be fired, or so and so to be cut. It is an instant reaction to what you just witnessed on your TV screen. One suck conversation after the Bengals again lost to the Houston Texans in the opening of the playoffs was this:

 

I love that the guy is a fan and has a platform to voice his opinion. I also love that he knows it is a gut reaction to the horrible display of football we all witnessed.

Earlier in the season I called for the firing of Marvin Lewis. I think I am still on that bandwagon. As crazy as it seems that you would want to fire a coach that has turned the culture of this team into one where the playoffs become fairly regular from a team that was consistently the worst in the league, I still think it may need to happen. I think Marvin may have taken this team as far as he can. A team that is competitive and has great talent, but may not know how to win in big games.

The answer is not to promote Gruden or Zimmer. Each has his own shortcomings in the parts of the team they control. Sure, the defense was great in the back half of the season, but the Dolphins and Browns were not impressed. The Ravens made them look silly.

The majority of yesterdays game debacle falls on the shoulders of Jay Gruden. Why in the hell do you go away from your best player in a game? That would be like the Vikings trying to pass it constantly to get other people involved rather than run Peterson all day. It is insane and is almost a fireable offense. Why does it take until half time to realize that the game plan you drew up was just about the worst thing you could have designed? Was there no plan B? AJ Green has to get the ball in the first half. A screen, reverse or bomb is fine,  just put the ball in his hands.

 

It is not all bad though. I know you are pissed, it is good to be pissed. But if I was to rewind to coming off the OchoCinco / TO experiment when Carson Palmer decided he wanted to go to greener pastures and said to you:

The Bengals are going to win 19 of their next 32 season games and make the playoffs both seasons

You would have said I was crazy and been very excited at the possibility. It is good to want more, that is what success is built upon. Remember when the Arizona Cardinals made it to the super bowl? Now they are excited when they are not in last place. They had a flash in the pan season and followed with nothing. It is good to be competitive and have a chance in the post season.

I have seen some quotes from the coaches / players that have given me pause. I wanted to point out a few. First from Marvin:

From the kind of the onset of things we didn’t get off to a good start offensively.

You have to realize that before halftime. The Texans were trying to gift you this game and you just wouldn’t accept it.

Andy Dalton:

We were trying to get some of the other guys going, but we weren’t making plays. I need to do a better job making sure A.J. gets his catches. He is one of the best receivers in this league. He needs to have the ball thrown his way a lot. I think I could have done a little bit better job, but we tried to get other guys involved as well

- Were they taking AJ Green away as an option? -

No, they weren’t necessarily taking him away; we just had designs where we were going to other guys. We got to the second half and I started throwing his way.

Ugh, this has to be addressed as the dumbest move of the season. All season it was known if AJ was in single coverage then he was getting a shot. Why change that in the biggest game?

Finally, I got this one of Twitter from the local news and honestly I am having a hard time believing it is true. But I am going to post it as I got it:

Rey Maualuga:

I know for a fact I didn’t give it my all in the first half. It’s so frustrating when it’s the playoffs and you don’t show up.

As my head shakes in disbelief one other quote comes to mind from the movie Rudy:

You just summed up your entire sorry career here in one sentence!

I hope Rey gets picked up by another team next season, I have a hard time believing he will be a Bengal.

Comments

  1. johnfromkentucky says:

    This article is excellent. Pardon me as I adjust my bengal’s tin foil hat. I would argue this game was intentionally thrown away by the offense. Seriously it looked suspicious as Green never saw a pass in the first half. No consistant handoffs to Ellis. Gresham dropping the ball while being open near the 50. Cook at center again while Robinson earmed the bench. Was the mafia at work behind the scenes? Does the NFL hate this team so bad that they have told Gruden he best not score? LOL. Well let me now remove my tin cap and admit the truth: There is no mob or conspiracy involved. The Bengals coaching staff are just as stupid as the game dictated. The plan to get everybody involved was activated just as this article explains in brief but entertaining detail. I just can’t believe this coach is returning. Back to back playoffs are nice but any last hope I had for Lewis is shattered.

  2. WHO DEstiny says:

    Step back from the ledge, fellow Who Dey faithful-

    I am as thoroughly disgusted by the play yesterday as you all are. However, I am not on board with getting rid of ML.

    1. First of all it doesn’t matter – he isn’t going anywhere. No way Mikey Boy jettisons ML at this point. 3 playoffs in 4 years – remember, Mikey won’t even consider firing anybody until they’ve gone 2-14 at least 3 years in a row. And if you give us a “tease” of a season – something like 7 or 8 wins one year – make that 5 years of suckitude before you’re canned. You heard it here first – ML will leave this team on his own accord, when he’s ready.

    2. And secondly – do you really trust Mikey to pick another coach who’s better???? You have to think not only about how ML has done, but not just anyone can do well under Mikey. I think ML has figured out how to push Mikey’s buttons – i.e. when he wants to do something stupid (i.e. draft Gabbert), convince him to do the right thing (draft Dalton) but make him think that it was his idea to change his mind in the first place…..

    At any rate, we will clearly see some changes in leadership next year – There is no conceivable way Zimmer will not get a HC job this off season. I think it is laughable that Gruden is getting interviews – his resume is way too thin to be a HC in this league. And given the offensive gameplan and play against the Texans – I can’t imagine him getting a HC gig now.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’d much rather have Zimmer back vs. Gruden – Even with Maualuga mailing it in, I still pin this loss squarely on the offense.

    Offseason checklist:

    OFFENSE

    We are fine at:
    QB
    WR

    We desperately need:
    OL
    RB help – I like BJGE but he cannot carry the load. We missed Scott this year more than I thought we would

    I’m not sure about:
    TE (I was big on Gresham last year – thought he’d really break through this year, but hasn’t. Last night was painful to watch)

    DEFENSE

    We are fine at:
    CB
    Safeties
    DE
    DL

    We desperately need:
    LB’s!!!!!!!

    SPECIAL TEAMS:
    Nugent’s contract is up I believe but as Brown showed us good kicking should never be hard to find
    Returns were OK.

    WHO DEY!!!!

  3. John says:

    Andy Dalton was HORRIBLE, and so was REY, that is the whole game. Yeah, Gresham needs to catch at least two of those, but Andy was short on a touchdown to Marvin Jones and then long to AJ?? Cmon, I know he has “moxie” but I complained about this all year, not sure if he is the answer. And we need a young nasty safety for sure, and how many years we gonna get decent play from Newman, Pacman and Clements?? Need a young corner, Middle linebacker, Running back, and possible new OC, if this guy cannot figure out what is working during the game. I thought we would lose this game, but we had every chance to win and blew it!!