Cincinnati Bengals: 10 Reasons the Miami Dolphins Won
On October 31st, 2010, the Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Miami Dolphins. The Bengals have lost four straight. The Bengals have lost a whopping 9 of their last 12.
Prior to the season, the Bengals had a strong defense with key players returning from injury. They had young guys ready to come into their own and produce. They took an offensive group that ran the ball well and added some weapons for the passing game. The offensive line was bound to improve with another year under their belts.
Now, the Bengals are reduced to the same level of football that many Bengal fans know all too well.
Here are some reasons why they got beat by the Dolphins.
1. The Offense
The Bengals had a good first quarter. However, here is how the Bengals started off the second half.
3 and out.
3 and out.
3 and out.
3 and out.
3 and out.
3 and out.
When your offense can't stay on the field for more than three plays, the defense has to play more. This results in a tired defense that will give up yards in big chunks. In the end, the Bengals' offense scored 14 points and half of those were from luck.
2. Carson Palmer
Most of quarterback Carson Palmer's stats were compiled in the first quarter. In the second half, Palmer was shut down. Once again, he had a few near interceptions.
When your offense can't stay on the field, the quarterback has to be blamed. Here are Palmer's numbers in the game:
17 of 38 for 156 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 63 quarterback rating
When the quarterback averages 4.1 yards per attempt, your team will have trouble scoring.
In the second quarter, Dolphins safety Chris Clemons dropped an easy interception. The ball popped into Terrell Owens' hands for a gift 37-yard touchdown. Without the gift touchdown pass to Terrell Owens, Palmer's numbers would look like this:
16 of 38 for 119 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions
In fairness, Palmer's receivers dropped ten balls.
3. No Pass Rush
The Bengals have sacked the quarterback six times this season. None of the six happened against the Dolphins. The offense has plenty of problems but this might be the weakest part of the team. They are so bad at even pressuring the quarterback, Mike Zimmer is probably considering dropping them all back in coverage sometimes.
Of all the Bengals starters ,the only one they should keep is Domato Peko. Robert Geathers is not an every down defensive end and should only be used on third downs to rush the passer. They should immediately get Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins as many snaps as they can handle.
4. Lack Of Effort From Terrell Owens
Fantasy football owners are thrilled with Terrell Owens. He has five touchdowns in the past four games.
In real football, Terrell Owens short-arms passes. Owens gets by on talent alone. If the ball isn't thrown right to him, he won't catch it. He flat dropped two passes that hit him in the hands (one of which was in the end zone). He lost another in the sun.
Carson Palmer took the blame for the interception at the end of the game but that doesn't excuse Owens' lack of effort. If there was one play to put out half-effort, Owens picked the wrong one.
Owens is now Palmer's favorite receiver.
5. Chad Ochocinco
Does Chad Ochocinco have to leave his feet for every catch?
Ochocinco had 34 yards on three receptions against the Dolphins. As said, Carson Palmer prefers Terrell Owens this year. Ochocinco's two big games came when the Bengals were behind and were up against a prevent defense.
If there was ever a time to get Jerome Simpson involved, now seems like it.
The offense did not help much but the defense did allow six scoring drives. Two of those drives were over 90 yards. They also gave up 4.4 yards on the ground. Miami only punted four times in the game.
In fairness, the Bengals only gave up 22 points and only allowed one touchdown which happened at the end of the game.
The Bengals' kickers had their worst days of the season.
Punter Kevin Huber averaged 39.9 on nine kicks.
Kicker Mike Nugent kicked off three times. Those kicks went to the 17, 15 and 18 yard line. Did Shayne Graham suit up in Nugent's place?
When your kickers aren't doing well, the other team usually gets good field position. This was true in this game.
8. Jermaine Gresham
Jermaine Gresham is one of the new weapons that was added. He simply has to do a better job catching the ball. Against the Dolphins, he was held to 17 yards on three receptions. The ball was thrown to him eight times. Like Owens and Ochocinco, Gresham had some drops.
This was Gresham's second straight ineffective game.
The game against the Dolphins revealed nothing new. Another bad challenge, more bad clock management, and time out issues. Not being able to properly manage the clock helped the Dolphins score three points at the end of the first half. Why did they call a shovel pass?
Play calling was predictable. They didn't use the no-huddle later in the game when they were struggling. They make no adjustments that are noticeable.
It should surprise no one if all the coaches are gone by the end of January.
Veteran players who aren't producing should go to the bench. Younger guys who are looking to get paid should get their shots starting next week against the Steelers.
As a start, Robert Geathers, Tank Johnson, Chad Ochocinco, and Dahani Jones all should find their roles gradually reduced.