Offensive Play-Calling – The game plan got thrown out the window pretty quickly, but I have one issue before the game plan was blown up and one issue after. On the first drive of the game, with the game still 0-0, the Bengals start with BJGE in the back field and on 3rd and 1, Gruden again went with BJGE and for what feels like the 800th time this year, BJGE came up short.
When he came to Cincinnati, he was known for 2 things, not fumbling and picking up short yardage. I have not been impressed with either so far. Bernard can’t do worse than BJGE has been doing in these situations. My second issue with Gruden came once the Bengals were down big. In the second half, down 30-7 there was no urgency in the offense.
The Bengals needed 4 scores and yet rarely utilized the no-huddle and continued to move as if they had been informed that the game would have 5 or 6 quarters.
Defensive Play-Calling – The issues in the secondary may have resulted in some of the inabilities of the Bengals to get to Ben, but on the only TD given up by the defense, the Bengals rushed 2 guys and had Peko in coverage? Miscommunication or not, that can’t happen.
Worse yet, despite having 9 guys in coverage, Antonio Brown was able to get wide open in the end zone.
Team Preparedness – A coach’s job is mostly accomplished before the game ever starts. The head coach is responsible for preparing the team, but much of what goes on during the game has little to do with the head coach and much more to do with the coordinators.
So, while I don’t blame Lewis for much of what occurred on the field, the team seemed overwhelmed on Sunday night…as they have for almost every big game. And that, I put on Lewis.