Bengals’ Winners and Losers vs. Panthers

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Aug 24, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther (left) talks with head coach Marvin Lewis prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Loser – Paul Guenther

After much talk earlier in the year about how this defense hasn’t missed a beat, Paul Guenther’s defense has looked pretty awful lately.  They’ve been terrible against the run throughout the year while they’ve created little pressure on opposing quarterbacks lately.  This after the preseason talk about how Guenther wanted to blitz more and bring more dynamic fronts to the defense in an effort to get to quarterbacks.

We haven’t seen much pressure lately as Tom Brady sat very comfortably in the pocket last week behind what was seen as a questionable line prior to the game.  This week, Cam Newton enjoyed a similar comfort.

There’s little debate over Newton’s improvement as a passer this year, but with as much time as he enjoyed yesterday, nearly any quarterback could’ve produced a solid if not spectacular game.  Newton made timely throws to move his offense, while also running like his old self finishing with 107 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

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The Bengals simply had no answer for the dynamic quarterback who went into the game with a nearly nonexistent running game.  Yet he made his average receiving core look spectacular.  The Bengals’ defense simply needs to do better if this team is going to find success later this year.  They’ve historically relied on a stout defense while getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks with a four-man front.  Instead, the Bengals currently rank 22nd against the pass and 28th against the rush.

Paul Guenther is a first year defensive coordinator, so to expect no “bumps in the road” would be foolish.  But he’s been handed a ready-made defense with leaders in place.  This type of production is simply inexcusable and needs to improve going forward.