What did we learn from Bengals vs Colts in Week 8?

The Bengals were able to pull victory from the jaws of defeat, with a Week 8 win over the Colts. But, now, the road gets much tougher.

It was more than some Bengals fans could stand. On a cold, overcast Cincinnati day, the home team almost laid an egg. The Indianapolis Colts were on the verge of staging the upset of the day, before Carlos Dunlap stepped in and provided some last-minute heroics. Yes, it was a close 24-23 win for the Orange & Black. But, was it really a win to be proud of? An ugly win is better than a pretty loss. But, there are still some things to be concerned about with this team.

So, what did we learn? The issues run the gamut. From special teams to the defense, there were things to be picked out. Should fans just rejoice in the 3-4 record and pretend all is well in Bengals Land? Of course not. Ignoring the problem only makes it worse the next time.

As the Bengals prepare for a three-game road stint, they have to take care of a few major areas. Realistically, they need to come back to PBS with three Ws. But, going 2-1 could keep them afloat.

What’s The Deal With The Offense? 

Since Bill Lazor placed his stamp on the offense, there’s been a neurotic feel to things. The offense put up 24 points, in a losing effort to Green Bay. Then proceeded to paste 31 on the Cleveland Browns. But, the totals have gone down since then. They posted 14, in an anemic performance against the Steelers and managed just 17 against the Colts. If the Bengals have any desire to make the postseason, something has to be done about the system. It’s easy to say that it all goes back to the O-line. But, good coaches find a way.

Andy Dalton is getting murdered. Anyone with half an ounce of common sense realizes that. But, there has to be more than the O-line to blame. A ton has been made about the losses of Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler. But, even with them on the line, the Bengals gave up 41 sacks. Currently, they’re on pace to surrender 50+ takedowns.

Lazor is in control. It’s imperative that he finds a solution to the low scoring output. To be honest, most of the problem comes from not being able to get A.J. Green free. Josh Malone and John Ross were brought aboard to get the double and triple coverage away from Green. But, Ross is having trouble getting on the field. His return to action against the Colts never happened. His speed could have made a big difference in the Colts’ coverage.

Defensive Adjustments, Please And Thank You

It’s a given that the Bengals are slow to make any changes after halftime. For some weird, unimaginative reason, Marvin Lewis just doesn’t see the need. Yet, other coaches never fail to adjust to what the Bengals are doing.

That being said, please start shutting down tight ends. Keeping that position from having a huge day will go a long way in making the current defense even better. Jack Doyle had 12 catches from 14 targets and piled up 121 yards. No, not Rob Gronkowski…Doyle. In Week 7, the Jags held Mr. Doyle to 44 yards on 6 receptions. It’s a simple case of looking at film and seeing what the other teams are doing. Why? Because something isn’t gelling with the current method of film study. The blueprint for stopping teams is out there. Marv, get a clue and stop being so stubborn (snooty).

The first stop on the Bengals’ three-game Iron Man tour is in Jacksonville (4-3). Los Angeles, the Giants and Tennessee all have kept the Jaguars under their 26.1 scoring average. This would be the week to pay close attention to what they did.

What did we learn? The Bengals still have a chance to make the Big Dance. But, the margin for error is razor-thin.