The Cincinnati Bengals enjoyed a Bye Week, after an overtime tie against the Washington Redskins in London. Now, it’s time to get back to work.
After an overtime tie against the Washington Redskins in Cincinnati’s first ever international game, the Bengals received some much-needed rest. Before the Bengals have to travel to New York to play the Giant’s on Monday Night Football, they get a chance to rest and really prepare for a late season playoff run.
The AFC North is a very weak division this season, so, the playoffs are not out of the question. For the Bengals, they’re not that far away. They currently rank second in the division at 3-4-1, while the Steelers and Ravens are in control at only 4-4. The Bengals could take hold of the division, but it starts with capitalizing on their bye week.
Cincinnati has made some moves to try to get better by bringing back former defensive end Wallace Gilberry. In order to get Gilberry eligible to play, the Bengals had to waive cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris, who has since been signed by the Baltimore Ravens. Even though Harris was a very solid piece to the secondary, Gilberry may prove to be more useful.
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Gilberry left Cincinnati at the end of last year to sign with the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately, an early season injury limited him to only four games as a Lion. Gilberry was a part of the Bengals when Cincinnati could actually rush the passer. Perhaps, that’s exactly what this signing is aiming for. To bring some consistency and experience rushing the passer from a familiar face.
On The Right Path?
However, this is only one small thing on a terrible defense that Cincinnati has to fix. The defense isn’t bad, they’re just playing like it. The linebackers and defensive line are some of the best at their position and the secondary can play with anyone. Cincinnati has always had the bend-but-don’t-break mentality, but lately their breaking.
Hopefully, the bye week addressed this issue as well as improved the Bengals’ strength. For a long time, Cincinnati has leaned on their defense, but now, it’s time to lean on the offense going forward. Dalton has ironically performed very well this season. He’s still playing at the level that he was last year, Cincinnati is just not winning as much.
A.J. Green is second in the league in receiving yards, Jeremy Hill is among the top 10 in rushing touchdowns, the rushing game in total is the sixth best in the league and Tyler Eifert provided an instant boost in his first real game back. The strength of Cincinnati is its offense and it has to be used more efficiently.
Ken Zampese and Paul Guenther are the focal points and if they want to retain their jobs, there has to be a stronger push in the second half of the season as well as smarter coaching decisions.
A new team could emerge out of this Bye Week, but it’s all on the coaching staff to get them there.