Marvin Lewis is a Poor Game Manager. Not lately he isn’t. Coach Lewis has shown a lot of moxie over the past several games, going for it on fourth and short repeatedly, getting highly aggressive with his play calling, and showing enough fire on the sideline to set Reggie Nelson’s hair ablaze. Most importantly, not a single red flag has been thrown in vain since prior to the Bye. While the more pessimistic would argue that the Dallas game was poorly managed, the counter argument would be dropped passes lost that game, not weak coaching or play-calling. Interesting related statistic: AJ Green currently leads the AFC North in dropped passes according to ESPN’s Stats & Information, not Mike Wallace.
While Coach Lewis certainly has a track record, it hasn’t shown up the second half of the season. Steelers Week isn’t the time for Bengaldom to be bringing it up.
Maualuga isn’t a Good Middle Linebacker. Correction – Maualuga wasn’t playing like a good middle linebacker a month ago. True, he did start the season looking like he had cement cleats, and as if he didn’t really want to play in the Queen City in 2013. Lately though Maualuga is holding the middle of the field better against the slot, reading runners in order to get to them at the line of scrimmage, and flying around the corners laying big hits. Best of all is a growing voice of leadership within a defensive element that has an extremely veteran secondary like Adam Jones and Chris Crocker. Surprisingly, Maualuga leads the team in tackles, second to only rookie Vontaze Burfict. That’s a long way from mid-season when the pundocratcy was calling the Bengals linebacker corps one of their biggest weaknesses. At this point, Rey-Rey looks like he’ll be back in stripes next season, and that’s probably a good thing.