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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