Example 2 – Overtime – For the second week in a row, I can’t blame Marvin for passing on the FG:
1) it is a 50 yard FG in the wind – the same wind which Nugent missed a 42 yard FG in earlier in the game
2) a miss would have given the Ravens the ball at their own 40, just 30 yards from a game winning FG
3) a great punt would pick up just 25 yards of field position – an average punt may get you just 13 yards of field position
4) a FG doesn’t win the game – a TD does; 5) the head coach has to trust that the OC will call a play that at worst gets 0 yards and turns the ball over at the 33 – not a call that sees the offense lose 11 yards and give the ball back at the 44.
Hence why I blame Gruden, not Marvin. I start with the 3rd and 2 call. BJGE is essentially a specialist on this team – he specializes in short yardage. You have 2 plays to get 2 yards – put Peko in and run it twice with BJGE. If you decide to go another route and leave yourself with a 4th and 2, a screen pass/wheel route is not the way to go. It is a play that either nets you the 1st down or loses yardage (if the defense is playing the right defense). The Ravens called the right defense and the result was the latter. Why not call a play that gives your QB some options depending on what the defense gives you? A read option? A roll out? On a 4th down play, why would you ever call a play that dictates where the ball goes regardless of the defense?
Dalton’s 51 Passes – aka Gruden Issue #3
No quarterback in the NFL has thrown the ball more than Andy Dalton (383). Let me repeat that: no quarterback has thrown the ball more than Andy Dalton. Not Manning (369), not Brees (363), not Brady (340), not anybody. That is simply inexcusable and goes to the poor play calling of Gruden.
Even worse is the fact that the Bengals have been in so many close games, meaning there is no reason to have so many throws. Dalton is not the type of quarterback that is going to excel throwing the ball 50+ times. He is most effective when he has a running game and can pick and choose his spots to throw. Yet Dalton has thrown 50+ times twice this year and thrown 40+ 5 times!All five games were close games and did not dictate throwing the ball so much. In those 5 games, the Bengals are 2-3.
In the 5 games where Dalton throws less than 40 times, the Bengals are 4-1 (Chicago). In games when Dalton throws the ball 30 times or less, the Bengals are 3-0. Coincidence?