Dalton’s Pick – There are non-concerning interceptions, aggressive interceptions and concerning interceptions. This interception falls into the latter category. A QB with the experience of Dalton cannot make this mistake. I had a number of issues with this pick: 1) Dalton seemed to not see the defender, 2) Dalton seemed as though he had his mind made up where he was going with the ball without taking into account the defense, 3) this pick likely cost the Bengals 3 points, 4) if not for a great defensive stand, it would have given the Bills 3, 5) this almost created a 6 point swing right before half with the Bills getting the ball after half.
Ability to Close a Game – I don’t trust Jay Gruden to call plays to close a game for his life. Sunday was a prime example.
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.