Zac Taylor has to be better or the Bengals could be in trouble

Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals are currently 3-2, second in the AFC North, and fifth in the AFC. They are playing solid football, no question about it. But is Zac Taylor doing his fair share to make the Bengals reach their full potential as a team?

The Bengals’ struggling areas are not all on Zac Taylor, and I don’t want it to make it seem like everything that goes wrong is always Taylor’s fault because it’s not. Players have not delivered in areas where they should be, contributing to some of our losses and miscues. But I also don’t think Taylor is living up to his end of the bargain for this team.

The talent on the offensive side of the ball for the Bengals is loaded. The way Ja’Marr Chase has emerged as possibly the Bengals’ best offensive weapon already is impressive, but even with Chase, Taylor needs to be getting him the ball more. Five or six catches a game isn’t enough.

Chase should see wide receiver number one type of looks and fans can claim that there’s also Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd on the field who also need to see the ball. Against Green Bay, Boyd only caught four passes the entire game while Higgins caught five.

Chase won’t be leading in targets every game, but the Bengals and Zac Taylor need to put the ball in their playmakers’ hands as much as possible, and the conservative play calling is holding back this offense.

The sky’s the limit for this team on the offensive side of the ball, but only if Taylor’s play-calling can also translate to that. His aggression at the end of halves and in the fourth quarter has been good but the Bengals have seven points total in the first quarter this season. They are starting games extremely passive, which put them in the wrong spot in the Chicago game specifically.

Opening up this playbook, letting Burrow throw the ball down the field to all his receivers, and implementing some off-balance unpredictable plays will only make this offense more dynamic.

As of right now, Taylor is holding that back because he is the main play-caller. The offensive line has to hold up, and if they can’t hold up, then yes, these plays won’t work because they do require time in the pocket and time for the play to develop, but there have been countless times where it just seems like it’s a consistent check down or obvious running play.

I don’t think Taylor should be fired but being 9-27-1 through three seasons won’t keep your job secure. The Bengals have to win games and so far this season the culture has changed and part of that is the positive energy that the third-year coach has brought to the table.

The chemistry between the coach and the players is very strong and that’s what you want but the decision-making or Zac Taylor moving forward will have to improve if Cincinnati wants a shot at the playoffs and more.