Two Wins. Three Losses. Those Stats Count.
Players win games; not coaches, not stats and not fans. At the same time, statistics can tell the story of what the players and coaches are doing and not doing.
Consider this. The Bengals have:
- Allowed 14 touchdowns but have only scored 8.
- Given up 1,693 yards this season placing them in 12th place overall.
- Allow an average of 114 rushing yards per game, ranking them 20th overall.
- Concede an average of 22 points per game, ranking them 16th overall.
- Have accrued 303 penalty yards, ranking them 18th overall.
At best, the Bengals defense is good but not great. Good defenses and good defensive coordinators don’t win Championships…great ones do. The reality of the situation is that allowing 114 rushing yards a game is horrendous. Ezekiel Elliott‘s performance does skew that average somewhat but the fact is the Bengals are weak up the middle. If the Bengals could stop the Pass there might be hope. However, they have allowed eleven passing touchdowns this year but only three on the ground. What does this mean? It means that the weakness on the line of scrimmage are causing Safeties to cheat to help the run defense. In turn, an aging Adam Jones and inconsistent Dre Kirkpatrick are left on a lonely island.
Get Out of the Penalty Box
For a team that can’t stop the run, giving away 303 free yards on penalties is wholly unacceptable. Penalty yards are a reflection on the discipline instilled in the team and there is obviously little discipline on this team. The entire coaching staff is at fault and this ultimately falls on the lap of Marvin Lewis. Paul Guenther is not directly responsible for every penalty on his defense. Furthermore, not all of those 303 penalty yards are on the defense. With all that said, fans still remember Adam Jones and Vontaze Burfict banning together to lose a Playoff game via stupid penalties while Lewis and Guenther were left powerless. If both coaches want to keep their jobs the penalties must stop.