What Week 5 taught us about the Bengals offense

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens / Tasos Katopodis/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Bengals are 2-3 after falling to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football. The loss was frustrating because it felt like the offense should have done a hell of a lot more damage than it actually did.

The main source of frustration was the play-calling, which is Zac Taylor's responsibility. Fans were pointing the finger squarely at Taylor when the game was in the rearview mirror and the biggest reason why was the plays he called when the team was on the goal line looking to go ahead.

After eating up over eight minutes of the clock, the Bengals had 1st-and-Goal from the Ravens' two-yard line. An incomplete pass led to 2nd-and-Goal and Taylor opted to call the Philly Special play from the Super Bowl a few years ago. It failed miserably, as Tyler Boyd was sacked for a loss of 12 yards. Ja'Marr Chase got some yards back on 3rd-and-Goal and then, rather than kick it and take the points, Taylor went for it and called a shovel pass to Stanley Morgan. Yeesh.

It was a bad look for the offense, that's for sure, but we learned that the offense can also run the ball well still. This was something that hadn't been working for the team in the first month of the season but Joe Mixon finally got it going this time around.

Zac Taylor is a lousy play-caller but at least the Bengals' run game has figured things out!

Mixon had 14 carries for 78 yards and the run game as a whole finished with 21 carries for 101 yards. It was Mixon's best performance since Week 1 when he had 82 yards on the ground.

The frustrating part of the rushing attack finally rearing its head was that Taylor didn't use it in times of need. Running the ball when the stripes were on the goal line would have been ideal but nope -- We got the Philly Special and a shovel pass instead.

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The Bengals offense still has the ability to be very good but the play-calling is holding it back. We finally got to see the run game have a nice night and that's important moving forward. Hopefully, Taylor calls more run plays when the unit is actually succeeding.