The Cincinnati Bengals Identity Crisis

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Dec 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati defeated Baltimore 34-17. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

On the heels of a disappointing playoff run, the Cincinnati Bengals are still searching for some kind of an identity on offense and even on defense. With former Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden becoming the ringleader of the Dan Snyder owned Washington Redskins, and defensive rock Mike Zimmer the frontrunner for the Minnesota Vikings, it appears the Bengals are left picking up the pieces coming off of a division winning, 11-5, one and done playoff season.

It appears Cincinnati will retain head coach Marvin Lewis and the longest tenured head coach will get one more crack at winning that elusive playoff game. In 5 tries, Lewis has come up short all 5 times.

Until an absolute collapse during the second half of the Bengals game against the Chargers, the Bengals were in control of this latest playoff loss. The biggest question for this team going forward, is what is their identity? Under offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, the Bengals didn’t really have any identity.

Pass first? Not a good call with how inconsistent their quarterback Andy Dalton is. Run first? Not hardly. The Bengals were unable to sustain a reputable running game at any point this season.

With injuries piled up on the defensive side, the physical, run stopping defense was a virtual no show for the third straight postseason game. Now, with that said, the defense is the least of the worries. The Bengals, with or without Zimmer, will be a prolific defense moving forward. Once again, the question of identity comes up.

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