Zimmer Defense in Crucial Situations – Zimmer Example 1: with a 14 point lead, 4th and 8 on the Bengals 22, Zimmer dials up a blitz that puts the Bills best pass catching threat on a DE (Carlos Dunlap) – result = TD. Why blitz on 4th and 8 when your defense was getting pressure with 4 rushers , and putting Dunlap in pass coverage? On Chandler? Really? That was Mickey Mouse bullsh*t. Zimmer Example 2: 1st and 10 at the Bengals 40 with about 1:20 to play, up 7 and the only thing that can hurt you is getting beat deep…so Zimmer dials up another blitz (why?), bringing the safety (Nelson) who doesn’t get home and Newman gets beat for a 40 yard TD. What the hell was Zimmer doing in those two possessions? After the initial drive (69 yards, 7 pts), Zimmer’s defense went the next 42:15 giving up a grand total of 127 yards and 3 points. Then, in two 4th quarter drives, the Bills put together 122 yards in a matter of 4:05 for 2 TDs. How does that happen?
Ability to Close a Game – I love Zimmer as a whole, but I do not trust Zimmer or Gruden to call plays to close a game for their life. Sunday was a prime example. See the two examples above for Zimmer. Gruden Example 1: the defense just let the Bills back into the game with a TD drive, and the Bengals are clinging to a 7 point lead with just over 10 minutes left to play, the Bengals take over on their own 20 – they scramble for 5 yards, run up the middle for -2, get a friendly holding call for a first down, and then they go run up the middle for -2, run up the middle for 0, and then an incomplete pass. Needing to kill clock and move the ball, the Bengals killed 3:00 and moved the ball a total of 6 yards, 5 of which they got via penalty. Gruden Example 2: with 3:00 left, facing 3rd and 1 on their own 46, the Bengals could all but seal the game with a first down. They have one of the best short yardage backs in the NFL, and they run it up the middle with Bernard? BJGE best way to contribute on this team is getting the tough yards. His bread and butter is 3rd and 4th and short. Yet Gruden left him on the bench to watch Bernard fail to get the 1 yard.