This game was so bad that most things that went wrong were too terrible to just be considered “Bad” and ended up in the laundry list of “Ugly.”
Jan 5, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) on the field before the AFC wild card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
The Invisible Playoff WR Named AJ Green
Maybe it’s the game plan. Maybe it’s Dalton. Maybe it’s what the defense did. But, no matter what, when you are an elite receiver like Green, you have to find a way to make an impact.
Part of that is on the quarterback, a large part is the OC, but down 20-10, Dalton threw a great pass down the sidelines that Green should have caught and would have put the Bengals inside the 10 with a chance to make a late comeback.
In 3 playoff games, Green now has 13 catches for 161 yards and 0 TDs. In 2 of those games, Green had less than 50 yards (47 and 34), and in none of those games did he have more than 80 yards. That is disappointing.
For the most part, the guy did ok, but in the first drive out of the half, the Bengals are forced to punt from their own 50 and Mesko puts it 50 yards into the endzone for a Net punt of 30 yards.
As a guy that spends all day practicing the art of punting, how can you not punt the ball to land within the 20 yard line from the 50? That is 20 yards of leeway.
From the 50, any punter should be able to put it high in the air and either force a fair catch or give his coverage team a chance to down the punt. It was as if it was a preview of what was to come. San Diego took the touch back and went 80 yards for a 14-10 lead and never looked back.