The Cincinnati Bengals simply don’t have the talent to be truly competitive in the NFL right now, but first year head coach Zac Taylor is doing his team no favors as the play caller.
Having spent the last two years on the offensive staff of a then high powered Rams unit, fans expected big things from Zac Taylor’s offense when he took over as head coach and play caller for the Bengals. They have no doubt been sorely disappointed.
The Bengals sit at 0-9. It is impossible to point to a singular issue, but the Bengals have only scored 20 or more points twice in nine games. That falls at the feet of Taylor’s offense.
No one would argue that running back Joe Mixon is Cincinnati’s best and most consistent offensive weapon that has been available all season. Mixon had over 1,100 yards in just 14 games last year. There has been a lot of talk about Taylor misusing Mixon this year. Here is why.
Mixon did not get 20 or more carries in any of the first eight games. One might assume that Cincinnati might not be in close enough games to make force feeding their best weapon realistic. This is not entirely true. Half of Cincinnati’s first eight losses came by one possession. You can talk about offensive line issues all you want, but that unit was far from great last year and Mixon was still great.
There is no excuse for Mixon not getting the ball more in close games this year. That brings us to last Sunday’s game.
Cincinnati was blown out 49-13 at home against divison leader Baltimore. The Bengals were never in the game and trailed by 14 at the end of the first quarter. Despite all of this, it also marked the game where Mixon finally got a bunch of carries, 30 to be exact.
Sure, Cincinnati may have wanted to protect rookie quarterback Ryan Finley as much as possible in his first career start, but you have to call plays as the scoreboard dictates, at least to some extent.
Taylor has failed miserably at this all year. It is as big a factor in Cincinnati’s winless season as ownership, the offensive line, or anything else fans and media have thrown criticism at this season.