Why there’s no cause for concern for the Bengals after Week 8

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals, Zac Taylor
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor – Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

Level of Concern with Cincinnati Bengals Coaching — 2

I hesitate to show any concern at all where coaching is concerned, as Zac Taylor and company have exceeded all my expectations thus far. However to be fair, my expectations were low for this season, so it wasn’t a high bar to cross to begin with.

Taylor was the betting favorite to be the first coach fired, but he has avoided the unemployment line by getting this locker room to buy into his vision and engineer the best start of his tenure. There have been numerous potholes coaching-wise, but the overall talent level has been enough to overcome some questionable decisions with play-calling and personnel.

What we need to see is a better plan for the first quarter. The Bengals have been notoriously slow starters this season, and have at times needed a strong second half to overcome. If Taylor can craft better-scripted plays, it will take pressure off the offense to try to do too much later in the game, as well as give the defense a much-needed head start.

Speaking of the defense, there hasn’t been much to find wrong with Lou Anarumo’s bunch until the Jet game. Lack of pressure, poor tackling, and total lack of intensity and hustle all contributed to what was perhaps the most embarrassing loss of the Taylor era.

How will this unit respond against a wounded, but still very good Browns team, in Cincinnati? The answer to that question will go a long way to determining our collective state of anxiety over the BYE week.

Win, and it’s all accolades and rainbows and kittens. Lose, and most of us spend the next two weeks looking at the fall foliage and hanging our Christmas lights (don’t judge me, I hang my lights early).

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Either way, let’s once again focus our collective mental energy and attempt to will the Bengals to a beating of the Browns at PBS Sunday, because hey, we DONT know that mental energy doesn’t help.