Bengals’ Offense Needs An Immediate Overhaul

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Dec 18, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree (48) and nose tackle Javon Hargrave (79) in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree (48) and nose tackle Javon Hargrave (79) in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Bengals’ offense has struggled for most of the season. With two games remaining, Cincinnati needs to figure out how to score.

With two games left on the schedule, the Cincinnati Bengals’ offense is still reeling. The explosive unit that captured the AFC North in 2015 has suddenly gone missing in action. Though some of the offensive woes can be attributed to former kicker Mike Nugent, the bulk lies with execution and lack of performance. A quick fix would satisfy a few fans. But, the problems need to be addressed before they continue to mount. This team is better than they’ve played in 2016.

Crying over the departure of Hue Jackson has played out. It is what it is. The current staff has to find ways to get the ball into the hands of playmakers and get the offense back on track. When Ken Zampese took over as the new offensive coordinator, the expectations were high. But, as the season winds down, he has been under severe scrutiny for his play calling. Any football purist will agree. His choice of plays has been…questionable. 

What’s the best thing to do at this point? Suck up the tears and get ready for the Texans and Ravens. But, that doesn’t mean there has to be a drop-off in play. Just like the Week 15 game against the Steelers, the Bengals need to come out strong.

The Case Of The Disappearing Offense

Sunday’s game at PBS was a cause for celebration and a nightmare. The first half showcased what the Bengals offense can do when it’s clicking. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been many times this season. True, the Bengals’ offense is ranked among the leaders. In fact, according to ESPN, Cincinnati is in a comfortable spot at No. 12. Why does that matter? Because last year’s offense finished the campaign at No. 15. Strange huh? 

The biggest problem is scoring. Last year, the Bengals’ offense was able to generate 26.2 points a game and place within the top ten. This year, the team is floundering along at 20.6. Also, the rushing numbers are similar to the 2015 campaign. The offensive line helped Bengals runners average 112.8 yards per game. With the musical chairs game, this year’s bunch has managed to rack up 111.9 yards a match.

So, what’s wrong with the offense? Why are they struggling if the rushing game is still there and Andy Dalton looks decent? Simple. Timing and red zone execution. Zampese’s problems with play calling are becoming painfully obvious. His decisions have been the difference between touchdowns and field goals. And those choices…have cost the Bengals some games. Did Tyler Eifert play Sunday?

3 Points…That’s All?

It surely won’t happen but sticking Zampese back as the quarterback’s coach is a quick solution. That raises the problem of who would replace him. At this point, the Bengals don’t need more in-house hires. A fresh set of ideas is needed.

The Bengals’ offense has been stagnant to non-existent, in the second half. While the Steelers were able to make necessary halftime adjustments, Cincinnati’s brain trust was outcoached. The offense was able to do nothing. In fact, it was a tale of two games. The offense produced a goose egg to end the game. In two consecutive battles, the Bengals’ offense has generated (drum roll please) a total of…one field goal.

Next: Someone Has To Go

Scoring is everything in the NFL. Running around between the 20-yard lines may be fancy and awe-inspiring but it doesn’t win games. Points, coaching, and execution get the job done.

Until Mike Brown gets the memo, look for Zampese to keep his position. Maybe things will get on track for 2017. But, life as a diehard Bengals fan says you better not put the farm on it.

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