Aug 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden in the third quarter of a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
For all the praise Gruden gets and all the discussion amongst media types that he is a potential HC candidate, his lack of production seems to be conveniently forgotten. I could listen to the guy talk all day (he and his brother are phenomenal in interviews, etc), but right now I can’t stand watching his offense for 3 hours every Sunday. In his three seasons in Cincinnati, his offenses have ranked 20th, 22nd, and 21st respectively.
I would give him a pass in 2011 with no mini camps and a rookie QB and rookie WR, but that was his best year! Gruden has weapons that would make any OC in the NFL jealous yet the offense looks completely dysfunctional. The offense I saw against Chicago was dynamic and exciting. Since then, I haven’t seen anything other than a Bratkowskiesque offense.
I actually liked the balls it took to go for the 4th and 1. I despise the play call. Everyone in the world knew BJGE up the middle was coming. Hell, the Browns wanted that to be the case. That plays right into their strength.
If the running game was working, I’m ok with it. If defending the run was not the Browns strength, I would be ok with it. But the run game wasn’t working (at least not with BJGE) and the defending the run is Browns strength.
I would have liked to see something more creative. If the huge failure of a play wasn’t bad enough, according to Whitworth, a bunch of the players did not know what play they were running – which means Dalton is at fault for not calling a timeout.
Messed up Snap
The inability of the Bengals to complete one of the most fundamental aspects of a football game (the snap) may have cost the Bengals the game. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Bengals had pulled within 4 (10-6), the defense gets a huge 3 and out (yielding -9 yards), the Bengals get good field position and convert a huge 3rd-and-13 with a nice catch from Gresham taking them down to the Cleveland 41, just a first down out of FG range.
Then, disaster struck after Kyle Cook and Dalton screwed up a snap like I have never seen before, leaving the Bengals an insurmountable 2nd-and-24. The Bengals would stall, punt, and the Browns would take it 91 yards to take a 17-6 lead with less than 5:00 to play. Game over.
It is a topic every week, so I am not going to harp on it, but the 3rd down conversion rates, poor execution, poor play calling, etc are all just parts of the poor preparation we seem to see week in and week out with this 2013 Bengals team.