Watching that game was down right painful and the outlook is now worse than before.
Buffalo beat the Jets and is now 3-4, and nope I don’t think the Bengals can beat Buffalo so we’re probably looking at 2-6 after next week. Equaling their poor start in 2004. They did get to 8-8 that year…
Key disappointments this week:
- Play calling. Outside of the first drive, it was pitiful, and predictive as hell. When Palmer audibles with a closed fist, they are running. If I can catch that don’t you think the rest of the league has?
- That gutless 4th and one call. You’ve got to be kidding me. Every team has a sure fire play to gain one yard. Generally a quick slant pass play that’s good for one yard and can’t be stopped. Given the score down 14-3 at the time, knowing you’re already 2-4 and haven’t stopped Pittsburgh all day you have to go for that. The whole complexity of the game changes if you make it.
- Chad and TJ, though Chad more so than TJ. I understand these guys are getting played soft, and/or double teamed. When a team sits back and takes away the deep stuff, there’s all kinds of open stuff underneath. Good teams (will just pick you apart if you stick to cover-2, and force you to move up, thus opening the long ball. These guys have to get open, if they aren’t someone else is. You can’t blanket cover 3 wide outs and the tight end. Someone is open and Carson had time today.
- Clock management. From the time O’neal intercepted that ball we should have been in the two minute drill. There wasn’t any sense of urgency with the Bengals. You can take your time and put together a 17 play 8 minute drive when you have the lead, not when playing catch-up. The Steelers drove 67 yards in 9 plays/2 minutes to and the half. I know you need to rest the D and keep the Steelers of the field, but you need points more at that stage of the game.
- Challenges – my goodness who is Marvin getting feedback from? This person needs their eyes checked.
I thought last week that 4-6 was a possibility. I’m revising that to 3-7… The Bengals *might* steal a win in the next 4 weeks, and expect they’ll maybe finish 5-11 or worse 4-12. Of course adding Chris Henry to the mix will help but it’s not going to help enough.
The best part of today? My weekends have opened up considerably.