Bengals Give Us That Familiar Feeling


Jan 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) is sacked by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Ricky Jean Francois (99) and inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (50) during the third quarter in the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After a relatively solid first half which saw the Bengals down only 13-10, the Bengals reminded us of yesteryear with a completing anemic second half.  The Bengals went largely without a meaningless first down in the second half and, predictably, were shutout.  They finished the game with their fourth straight Wild Card loss, 26-10.

The Bengals’ defense struggled to apply pressure to Andrew Luck, and so, the Colts maintained possession for much of the second half.  The Colts converted several big plays and wore down the defense.  Considering the offense’s performance, the defense actually played rather well holding the Colts to just 26 points with so many opportunities.

The offense played a particularly poor game.  They were never able to establish the run the way they needed to.  Jeremy Hill finished the game with just 47 yards on 13 carries.  Andy Dalton committed one turnover, but it wasn’t until late in the game.  Largely, the receivers were unable to get open, which limited Dalton’s options.  Yet it seemed clear that the offense’s play-calling was limited as they took the conservative approach in order to avoid the turnovers that have plagued this team in past years.

This loss falls largely on the shoulders of the Marvin Lewis.  His inability to make the necessary adjustments at the half left the Bengals helpless to find success.  After losing yet another playoff game (0-6, and 0-4 in the past four years), the longtime head coach’s future should lie outside of Cincinnati.  He’s done some good things to help this team improve from it’s darkest days, but this team has plateaued and is unable to find meaningful success.

We’re now “on to Cincinnati” for the off-season.  Katie Blackburn, Mike Brown, and the rest of the front office has some big decisions to make.  Marvin Lewis‘ firing seems inevitable at this point, especially when considering his extension through 2015 was largely to avoid having players think he was a potential “lame duck” coach.  As far as Andy Dalton goes, as another leader of this team, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the team open up the competition at the position.  The Bengals already possess A.J. McCarron, who’s had a year to learn, and they could draft another quarterback this year.

Stay with Stripe Hype this off-season for some uniques perspectives.