Another close, prime time loss to the Houston Texans has Bengals fans hot. This may be the signs of a rebuilding year on the horizon.
There was the typical hoopla surrounding Thursday Night Football. Fans did the tailgating thing, there were arguments among die-hard faithful about how the offense would bounce back and look dynamic. Instead, the Bengals got handed another close loss to the Houston Texans. This time it was 13-9. The offense didn’t score a touchdown and this is starting to look like an early case of rebuilding.
Remember that phrase about defense winning championships? Welp, the Bengals do seem to have a passionate defensive unit this year. In fact, that was the highlight of Thursday night’s action. Yes, there were a few sparkling moments between Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. But, they weren’t often enough to make a difference. True. The game wasn’t lost because Green and Dalton didn’t look like Montana to Rice.
Actually, the Bengals lost because they have no direction. In essence, the play calling is predictable and weak. John Ross made his first start of the 2017 season and, honestly, it was a huge bust. When Ross was handed the ball on the first sweep of the night, it felt like Christmas in September. His speed and grace were a thing of beauty. But, then it happened. Kareem Jackson puts his helmet on the ball and Ross politely puts it on the ground. The result? Texans get their first points of the night and take a 3-0 lead. This is starting to be predictable and pathetic.
Speaking Of Repetitive…
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Watching the offense of Ken Zampese really takes me back. Does anyone remember the insanity of Bob Bratkowski? The Bengals parted ways with him when the offense took a turn for the worse. If things don’t turn around for this version of the Stripes, Zampese should be put on alert. This team has too much talent to be floundering along kicking field goals and tossing passes over receiver’s heads. Oh, my bad. Was I not supposed to notice Brandon LaFell get overthrown on a critical third down play?
To be honest, Dalton looks like he’s not comfortable with Zampese’s play calling. Truthfully, the entire offense looks like it did under Mad Brat. It has become a conservative wasteland that looks like a misguided semi-pro team. At this point, the Bengals offense wouldn’t stand a chance against guys like that.
The last time I checked, the Bengals were in the AFC North. If memory serves me correctly, that division is in the NFL. Surprisingly, there are coordinators who will take a chance. Sometimes, you have to risk it. But, that doesn’t mean play stupid. Down 10-3 at the end of the first half, suddenly there was a change of heart and the Bengals began to stretch the field. Either Zampese grew a pair or Dalton went rogue. Whatever happened, there was a spark. But, it didn’t last long.
Please, just be real. If this was going to be a rebuilding year, just say so. Fans would probably accept the season a little better if they were treated with dignity. Don’t lie to the faithful and lead them astray.
When Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitlertadium, there was a collective groan. I didn’t want to be part of the negative brigade. But, now it seems like the truth is slowly coming to the surface. The Bengals defense is good enough to win a championship. They’re overachieving, actually. They have put the offense in amazing field position in both the opener against Baltimore and the latest stinker with Houston.