The Cincinnati Bengals Evaluating Future Early

Bengals

As we all know, this season was the first of two seasons where Mike Brown wanted to get competitive again. It is evident that the first season regardless of the outcome became a failure. Bengal fans have tasted some success during the Marvin Lewis era but they want more and deserve more.

So let’s go over many things we do know should happen to catch up to being competitive next season.

We found out last game against the Cleveland Browns, that his team still mathematically have a shot at the playoffs but will not do a thing in the playoffs. Every team the Bengals beat this year is a mediocre team. They beat the Colts, Ravens, Falcons, Dolphins, and Bucs. They lost to the Panthers, Steelers, Chiefs, Saints, Ravens, and Browns. Every team but the Browns are competitive not only for the playoffs but 4 of the 6 teams are going for a super bowl bid.

So they can’t beat good teams. What else do we know?

We have noticed that the old blueprints of the team is not working. We have given the league almost 8 years of excuses for why Marvin Lewis and his QB Andy Dalton failed to win a playoff. Start from the top. Marvin Lewis needs to step down from the Head Coaching position. The players don’t have the same trust they had in him when they were winning at least 10 games a season. Then work your way out to the Offensive Coordinator (Bill Lazor) and they already removed Defensive Coordinator (Teryl Austin). The final piece is to get a new Qb. Andy Dalton has run out of excuses. He doesn’t have the same intensity that some fans found appealing when he first came to the league. We found out early he is only a sub par Qb without AJ Green and he is mediocre with him.

One piece of the puzzle has happened in the opening minutes of the 2nd half when Andy Dalton injured his thumb.

I hate when anyone gets hurt in the game we all love but sometimes injures come in the form of fate. Remember the Patriots Drew Bledsoe got injured in a game against the Jets. Then after Tom Brady came in history was being made. I’m not saying Jeff Driskel will become the savior of this team but this will open our eyes to the matter of its time to close the book on Dalton. Jeff Driskel had a great half of play on short notice and the players opened up to him. With Driskel having a full week of reps in practice and tailor making the offense to suit his style of play can get a good jump-start for the young QB. The other players are very optimistic with Driskel and can’t wait to see what he can do.

AJ Green announced earlier in the week he is healthy to come back this week.

This is great news. He knows the team is on a jump-start early rebuild but he will not want to sit out like Dalton will be doing. In fact Green made it known he does not want to sit out. He is a major contributor to the team and his stats show it. Holding Green back at this junction of the season to save him for next season will be the very way to make him want to leave the team. I think Green will enjoy the change at Qb and might be fun again which looks too me he hasn’t been having fun lately.

Could Driskel solve the problem with the defense?

Another great key to point out with the change at Qb is the command of the field Driskel has. Each scoring drive he had been at least 5 minutes and consisted of a mixture of run and pass plays. Long sustaining drives keeps that horrible defense on the bench which helped them play almost lights out defense while Driskel was playing. Browns QB Baker Mayfield had just over 250 yards by half time. When Driskel took over he didn’t even have 50 yards. In fact the Browns didn’t even gather 100 yards total in the second half.

Who knows maybe Bill Lazor can save his job if he can tailor the offense and get it right for Jeff Driskel. They still need offensive line help so they brang back Andre Smith. I would love to see some form of an option style offense (not full-scale but design it into the playbook).

Now Driskel keeping the defense on the bench will help some on the defense but you can’t really help productivity and injures. The Bengals decided to move Vontaze Burfcit to middle line backer. This will help the other Lb combinations that they have with Burfict. Let’s give Burfict these last five games to prove to us he still can lead this defense. If he can’t get a handle on it then this is another component that has been here for a while and gave us not the type of success that this city craves.

Here is a question to you all that read this. With the Bengals defensive personnel can they have a better defense with a 3-4 instead of a 4-3 defense?

I truly think Sam Hubbard can play better in a 3-4. Lawson played a 3-4 in college as an outside linebacker. Geno Atkins can play defensive end and Andrew Billings be the Nose tackle. Carlos Dunlap can be the other outside Lb while Jordan Willis will play opposite of Atkins. The 3-4 would focus more on gaps than the pass rush but off course the edge rushers the Bengals possess are super quick to get to the Qb with different schemes every down.

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This is the longest most time-consuming post I ever wrote so I hope you like it.

 

 

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The Bengals Play Without Two Key Players

AJ Green

The Cincinnati Bengals will be playing without their star wide receiver AJ Green for the third straight week. Plus the Bengals will be missing cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.

With the Bengals playing against the state rival Cleveland Browns, they will be doing it without the contribution of AJ Green or Dre Kirkpatrick. AJ Green is still suffering from a toe injury. The Bengals are more than optimistic that 2nd year wide receiver John Ross will have a breakout game. It is a surprise that even you the fans can agree with that seeming John Ross has been playing better but still has a wide range of potential that needs to come out. Remember he could be AJ Green’s successor when the future Hall Of Famer retires.

For the defensive side, Kirkpatrick got injured at the wrong time to save him from a miserable season. Rumors are being talked again about his future with the Cincinnati Bengals and this could help the rise of a future star. Darqueze Dennard will take Dre’s place at cornerback and rookie Darius Phillips will play the slot. We all found out last year Dennard plays better in the slot but he needs to step up this week and take Dre’s place. Darius Phillips was an excellent nickel corner in college so we will see what he can do.

 

Jessie Bates having a Pro Bowl Season

When you look at the Pro Bowl voting for Bengal players you automatically have to think AJ Green and Geno Atkins is high on the list. Can you think of a time when a Rookie Free Safety by the Bengals got major votes at this time of year? Jessie Bates is having the season we were hoping for.

The Cincinnati Bengals are getting an A+ in the second round of this past draft. Jessie Bates the stand out Free Safety from Wake Forest came into training camp thinking he was going to be the backup for veteran Free Safety George Iloka. One of the big noises in the off-season was Iloka getting cut and putting the rookie in as the starter. Picked as the 4th Safety in the draft, Bates might have a better season than any of the other safeties in his class.

Jessie Bates has compiled 80 tackles, 5 deflected passes, 3 interceptions, and a defensive touchdown. 65% of his tackles were solo tackles. The kids vision is extraordinary for a rookie. He reads the eyes of the QB like a center fielder eyes a ball in the outfield. He covers the field with dominating speed. He does not allow a lot of yards after catch.

Bates first game against the Bengals rival Ravens had his first interception in his young career. He had an Interception to help decide the game against the Miami Dolphins. Then against the Tampa Bay Bucs he scored his first touchdown.

The Bengals had Reggie Nelson go to the Pro Bowl in 2015. That’s the last time the Bengals brought a safety to the Pro Bowl. When you talk about his talent and knowledge of the position at such a young age you have to think back to David Fulcher in the 90s. Bates isn’t built like Fulcher but his knowledge exceeds that expectation. There is a very good belief that we will see Bates in the Pro Bowl for many years.

Parting ways with George Iloka seemed like a bad idea at the start but it created monster dividends. This is the way the Bengals should look toward the next couple seasons. When is it time to let players go and hand the torch over to younger more versatile players like Jessie Bates. There are a lot of main players that have not made this franchise move to the next level and now they need to roll the dice again.

Again Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers. If you like this article give me a follow and share when you can. Thanks also for it is close to the sites 1st year. I am looking forward to giving you the posts that you would like. Give a comment if you want to know some news and I can get that for you. Thanks again!!!

The Cincinnati Bengals Should Cut Ties With Burfict

The Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict will discover himself in a weird place. Most fans of the Bengals have been siding with him but his on the field antics and injuries are not helping the Bengals get back on track. 

When the Bengals drafted Burfict in 2012 from Arizona St., they knew they were getting an exceptional talent but with that talent came on the field antics that left you baffled. Dennis Erickson, Arizona St. head coach thought of him as the next Ray Lewis. Vontaze Burfict was Pac-10 Defensive Freshmen of the Year in 2009 and Pac-10 Defensive Player of the year in 2010. With this greatness he had an unusual amount of Personal Fouls and Un-sportsmen like penalties which led to a mediocre Junior year. 

The Cincinnati Bengals decided to take a chance on Burfict in the 2012. His on the field antics hurt his draft status so much that he went from 1st round prospect to un-drafted. His first season wasn’t too bad as he collected 127 tackles. In 2013 he led the league in tackles with 171 and made his first Pro Bowl. 

A compilation of Vontaze Burfict dirty deeds.

2013 was Burfict’s best year and it was also the year the on the field antics started to appear. In a game between the Green Bay Packers he hit a defenseless receiver and hit a player in the groin. Then in 2014 he twisted Cam Newton and Greg Olsen’s ankle. Then in 2015 the mass destruction with 18 seconds left of the AFC Wild Card game he hit Antonio Brown defenselessly causing the Bengals to self destruct. The 2016 season he started the season on a 3 game suspension. In 2017 he started the season on a 5 game suspension and this season he started the season with a 4 game suspension. Along with the suspensions he started to develop injuries also. 

I can go on and on about Burfict’s un-sportsmen like nature but this really isn’t about the long list of on the field antics. This is about what have you done for us lately. He was the driving force of the defense since 2015. The fans protecting him because of his ability. After the destructive loss in the playoffs we figured he would get us back to where we were. It has not happened. The Bengals went from making the playoffs 5 straight years to missing the playoffs the last 2 seasons(in danger of missing a 3rd straight season). 

It is time to wipe the slate clean. A rebuild is in order. Dropping Burfict in the off season will save almost 7 million in cap space for next season and almost 9 million for 2020. There are exceptional talent in Free Agency next year at the LB position. Jadeveon Clowney is the best LB at free agency with extreme upside but has a hefty price tag of 16.5 million a year market value. C.J. Mosley is a cheaper value at 9.5 million a year market value. Both the Texans and the Ravens will most likely cut ties with both star LBs. The Ravens have no choice to cut ties with Mosley due to lack of cap space. The Bengals don’t have much more cap space but they will be cutting ties with a lot of their last year contract players. Include the drop of Burfict and the Bengals can have a beefy Pro Bowl Lb core. 

Mike Brown wanted to go back to competing in the next two years. He needs to make the proper steps to get back on track. He played the Free Agent market last off season but paid for mediocre talent. He needs to pay for players too get you to the big dance. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all you fine Bengal fans out there!

The Problem With The Bengals

Marvin Lewis

Marvin Lewis was given two more years to get them competitive for a ring. The thing is with all the problems they have it looks like Marvin and company are on their way out.

Marvin Lewis was given 2 more years to become competitive again. They played well during the off-season. They were able to trade for Cordy Glenn (Bust) and also got Preston Brown. They were also able to pick up two coaches in the off-season. Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin has already failed ad was replaced by Marvin Lewis. Offensive line coach Frank Pollack is trying to hold on to what he has to work with. He is not happy with the outcome so far.

The injuries don’t help. The defense has been decimated with injuries all year along with Giovanni Bernard and now AJ Green for the offense. The issue has been an issue for years. They don’t have great depth at skilled positions. The Bengals virtually have no depth in the line backing core. The only place they have depth in is at receiver but they have too many fails at that position.

Now let’s go to the meat of the whole problem. Marvin Lewis is an idiot. He has no clue how to adjust at half time. There is good belief that Marvin Lewis lost his trust to the team since the 2015 playoff fiasco. He doesn’t trust his QB. He doesn’t have any control over the team what so ever. Yet that still isn’t sole problem. Lazor is an inadequate Offensive coordinator. His play calls come at the wrong time, can’t read defenses well, and has lost his trust for Andy Dalton.

Speaking of Andy Dalton, this is the one player that has got a pass every single season and had a different excuse every single season. This is the biggest factor of the team’s failure. Granted I was a huge Andy Dalton supporter but face it he can’t beat playoff teams. He is average at best with AJ Green and without him he is a lost soul. At the beginning of the season I thought he was finally progressing. He was getting time and checked off has 1st and 2nd receivers to get the 3rd. He was reading the field not just looking to AJ. This was just a phase I guess because now he is lost.

The best thing to do for the Bengals is to start all over. Do as good as you can with the crap you are dealt with. Replace Marvin Lewis since he is nowhere near a competitor. Get a new Offensive Coordinator and a new Defensive Coordinator. For the love of God please select a QB in the first or second round. Andy Dalton had eight years to progress and it never came.

Andy Dalton Is Progressing

Andy Dalton

Through the first three games of the Cincinnati Bengals 2018 season, there is one huge factor that you can see immediately. Andy Dalton has progressed finally after 7 seasons.

When Andy Dalton came onto the scene in 2011 he had to start as a rookie with no one to follow and learn from. He was a 2nd round Qb from TCU and wasn’t really a Qb that looked like can start right away and gain success right away in the league. He accomplished something rookie Qbs barely do which is lead their team to the playoffs in the first five seasons. The thing is though he never had a chance to learn the whole game and he never really progressed as a player in areas he struggled in.

The biggest area he struggled in was pocket awareness. Yes we all know he found his success with A J Green and he will continue to do that. With a receiver like that a young Qb will never learn pocket awareness and checking off a couple of receivers to find the open man. This year he is doing this.

The last two years Dalton has been relying on his quick release to get as much protection as he can get with a horrible offensive line. This makes matters worse for progression and being aware of the pocket presence. This year with a better offensive line that has been giving Dalton more time, it gives him the chance to take more time to check off his primary and go to a second or even third outlet. This year in every game he has been able to hit seven to eight different receivers on average. He is able to hit every TE on a two TE set. He doesn’t even hit Green his primary target when he isn’t open causing a forced throw. He feels the pocket if it collapses.

Dalton still struggles with over throwing his receivers but that will in time rectify due to learning pocket awareness. He will learn not to hurry his throws with time in the pocket.

 

These are situations rookie Qbs learn from the Qbs over them but Dalton never had the chance to learn. The Bengals still have a window for success. With Dalton finally developing he can lead them into a post season victory. This was what Dalton sympathizers have been waiting for. Think about how dangerous Dalton can be when he develops a pocket presence.

Dalton needs to develop more during the Atlanta Falcon game this Sunday. With the time he should get with an injury filled defense the Falcons have, he should have time to check off and hit a secondary and third target. He will be unstoppable when he masters pocket presence.

The Bengals Need To Overuse Giovanni Bernard

Giovanni Bernard

In week 4 the Bengals play the Atlanta Falcons. This season so far the Falcons allowed over 400 yards average on defense and has a ton of injures especially in the line backing core. Giovanni Bernard needs to be used and used often.

The Bengals this season is ranked 21st on the run and 12th in the passing game. A lot of the yardage is from Joe Mixon or Gio in the backfield. With Joe Mixon out for another week Gio will be picking up the slack again. The key to slowing down the Falcons offense is to never go away from the run at all. Gio should be 65% of the offense on Sunday.

A solid and effective run game will dominate time management. The defense will stay on the bench and will keep the high-powered Falcon offense on the bench also. Short passes will also help keep the time on our side. The Offensive line has been protecting Andy Dalton very well this season and still has one of the quickest releases in football. Gio will have huge miss matches in coverage with that hurt line backer core the Falcons have. The run game and short curl routes and screen passes will open up the deep ball which AJ Green and Tyler Boyd has miss matches.

When it all comes down to stopping a high-powered offense like the Falcons all you need to do is keep the offense on the bench. Long 7 to 8 minute drives and capping it off with red zone touchdowns. The Bengals defense will be so rested they can start with huge pressure on Matt Ryan.

Prediction for the game is 28-17 Bengals. As long as the Bengals overuse Gio they might even win by an even bigger margin.