Where to start? The tough question here is what constitutes just Bad and what constitutes Ugly?
The Start of the Game – The game could not have started worse for the Bengals and I can’t even put much of the blame on play calling because penalties and interceptions basically threw any plan Gruden had out the window.
The Inability to Get Their Playmakers the Ball – This I can blame on Gruden. While BJGE had a decent game, I still don’t understand how your least effective weapon lead the team in touches/targets (16). Take a look at the touches/targets on Sunday: BJGE (16), Bernard (15), Gresham (6), Sanu (6), Green (5), Jones (2), Hawkins (2), Alex Smith (1) and Eifert (1).
How does a game plan call for BJGE to have more than 1.5x the touches of Green, Jones, Hawkins and Eifert combined? And how does a game plan call for 3 of your top 4 targets being BJGE, Gresham and Sanu? And better yet, how does the game plan call for Alex Smith to have the same amount of targets as Eifert? This type of a game plan is exactly what concerns me about Gruden.
Gresham – I gave Gresham his well-deserved credit for his nice catch and fight to get in the endzone, but for every play like that, you get the stupid penalty on the first drive (which was declined) where you seed Gresham looking perplexed by the call that EVERYONE in the stadium and on TV saw; or you get the wide open dropped 10 yard pass on 2nd and 20 with the team down 13 and looking for any spark. Gresham is like the movie “50 First Dates,” except every time Jermaine wakes up, he is a rookie again.