The Prevent Offense

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This article was written today prior to Jay Gruden being hired by the Washington Redskins.

Last Sunday’s loss to the San Diego Chargers displayed a unique but not uncommon formula for their success.  A heavy rushing offensive slowly eroded and marginalized the Bengals as the Cincinnati defense waited for a threatening aerial offense (SD is 4th in the NFL) to take flight; it never did (16 total passes). As the game remained close, Cincinnati abandoned its balanced rushing attack, effectively putting their offensive effort on Dalton’s shoulder.  Exactly the desired effect, San Diego was opportunistically able to focus defensively on a one-dimensional threat while its own offense continued to chew-up the clock with an effective rushing feign. 

Oct 31, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (12) is tackled by Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes (21) in the second half at Sun Life Stadium. Miami won 22-20. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Halloween’s Thursday Night match-up was eerily similar offensive strategy employed by the Miami Dolphins.  Only last Sunday, gritty overtime nerves caved to panicked play-calling.  A closer examination of these two games reveals a unique brand of offense that, ironically, Coach Marvin Lewis routinely employs when the Bengals lead by more than ten points: call it the Prevent Offense.