At the start of the season, the Bengals were considered Super Bowl contenders. In just 5 weeks they have disappeared from Super Bowl conversation, and the conversation has become what’s wrong with the Bengals?
What’s wrong with the Bengals?Injuries and free agent losses: Let’s start at the Wide Receiver position, the Bengals lost Marvin Jones and Muhammad Sanu to free agency. They replaced those two with draft pick Tyler Boyd and free agent Brandon LaFell, while they have played ok, their production is nowhere close to Jones and Sanu. On defense, the loss of safety Reggie Nelson has been a huge blow to the defense as his replacement Shawn Williams has given up big plays. TE Tyler Eifert has still not got on the field this season and seems injury prone. The first-round draft pick CB William Jackson and 4th round pick DT Andrew Billings, both suffered season-ending injuries in the preseason. Throw in a season-ending injury to special teams captain Cedric Peerman and a very talented and deep roster has become not so deep real quick.
Coaching questions in Cincinnati?
Marvin Lewis has done a great job of turning the Bengals franchise around, and I believe he is a good football coach. At some point, you have to take this team to the next level and he has not! Last year was their best chance and they lost in a fashion that still seems hard to comprehend. It looks to me a team that used to play with great intensity, no longer does. Could this season so far be attributed to the way last season ended, the Bengals play like the heart has been removed from the team?
Why does Marvin Lewis keep his job?
Stephen A. Smith from ESPN the other day said if Lewis was white he would have already been fired. Of course, Smith is known for stirring the pot to get attention, I think Bengals owner Brown keeps Lewis because he is comfortable with Lewis and as long as the Bengals are “competitive” Brown is okay with that. As a Bengals fan my worry about Lewis being let go is who would Brown replace him with? If you are a Bengals fan that prospect has to scare you.
What can be done to save the season?
The Bengals are still a talented team, going to the Patriots probably puts them at 2-4 and in a big hole. The next two games after that before the bye are the Browns and the Redskins, to stay relevant they have to win those two games. They need to get Eifert back and Tyler Boyd needs to step up. My question then is can the offensive line block good enough for this team to win? Russell Bodine, in my opinion, is the worst center in the NFL and Clint Boiling has not played well either. I was happy when Andre Smith left, but in return, we got Cedric Ogbuhei, who has as hard as it is to believe has been worst than Smith.
What needs to be done after the season?
Number 1 get LB Rey Maualuga out of Cincinnati! He has been terrible this year, constantly out of position and it appears out of shape. Would love to see Vontaze Burfict moved to middle linebacker. The Bengals Need to maybe bring in a veteran linebacker also, P.J. Dawson has been a complete bust and I am not sure about linebacker Nick Vigil just yet, maybe it is close to time to give him a shot?
Need to draft some offensive lineman and even though it is against Mike Brown’s core beliefs a veteran free agent on the interior line would be nice also.
In closing, I think Marvin Lewis has overstayed his welcome in Cincinnati, but I am afraid of who Mike Brown would bring in to replace him.