Cincinnati Bengals’ Loss To Bills Shows No Urgency

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Nov 20, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) loses the ball under pressure from Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Jerry Hughes (55) during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bills won 16-12. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) loses the ball under pressure from Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Jerry Hughes (55) during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bills won 16-12. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /
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Both the Bengals and Buffalo Bills faced a must-win scenario at Paul Brown Stadium.Cincinnati was in familiar territory and failed the test again.

The Bengals offense looked stagnant and slow, against the Bills. Unfortunately, the cat is now officially out of the bag. If you take away A.J. Green, the game is a wrap. That’s what happened as the Buffalo Bills stunned Cincinnati 16-12 at Paul Brown Stadium.

In essence, Cincinnati was outplayed in every phase of a game they needed to win. They had one job. The only thing the Bengals had to accomplish was beat the Bills. In doing so, they would keep pace with the Ravens and set up a battle for control of the AFC North. Instead, they have dug a deeper hole and truly face an uphill battle. 

Though the Bengals defense gave a passionate effort, the Bills still took advantage of another opening drive. Tyrod Taylor and Co. marched down the field and punched the rock into the end zone. The Bengals defense has now given up 39 TDs and three field goals on opening drives. If that type of play continues, the attention could go from Marvin Lewis to Paul Guenther.

After Green left with an injury on the Bengals first possession, Cincinnati looked as if they could still compete offensively. Tyler Boyd stepped up and gave fans the hope they needed. The Red Rifle was able to answer the Bills’ drive. Andy Dalton engineered a 50-yard touchdown drive that ended with a beautiful touch completion to Boyd. But, what should have been a game-tying score was squandered. Kicker Mike Nugent continued his erratic pattern and missed the extra point. 

What’s Really Happening?

The season is slowly slipping away from the Bengals. From the Week 1 win against the Jets, there seemed to be something missing from the current version of the Stripes. There is evidently a lack of leadership in coaching. With the exception of the Browns and Phins, the Bengals have not dominated any teams this season. The offense has scored 30 points only once. That was against a horrid Cleveland squad. Total defensive control was “almost” achieved against Miami.

As the window of opportunity gets smaller and smaller, the sense of urgency doesn’t rise. It’s Week 11 and Ken Zampese’s offense is still an utter mess. Outside of the space-age cuteness that comes with whacky formations, there’s no threat. If the Bengals are going to make a last-ditch run at the postseason, coaches need to be called out and players need a gut-check moment.

Please. Don’t mumble about Green being the heart and soul of the team. Buffalo still racked up 150 yards rushing without LeSean McCoy.

Next: Nugent Must Go

Yes, the defense played well enough to win. Holding the Bills’ to 16 points was truly honorable. But, in the NFL, games are won with points…not honor. This is not the AFC North Championship team of 2016. In its place is a misled group of talented players waiting for something to happen. The problem? It seems like there isn’t anyone capable of doing that.

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