Bengals1 Posted October 8, 2007 Report Share Posted October 8, 2007 From Mark Curnutte's blog:First-quarter report card The Bengals are 1-3 at the end of the first quarter of the season. The grades:Pass offense: A-minus – With the running game sputtering at 83.3 yards a game, the Bengals are relying heavily on the pass. The team has 10 passing touchdowns but just one on the ground. Chad Johnson is second in the NFL with 495 yards, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh leads with 39 receptions. True, Palmer is forcing some balls, but it’s out of necessity. The Bengals are imbalanced offensively. The NFL average for pass plays is 56 percent. The Bengals are throwing the ball 64 percent of the time through four games (165 drop backs, 94 runs).Run offense: D – The stated preseason goal of improving the run game has not materialized. The Bengals are 26th in league, exactly where they were at the end of 2006. An injury to rookie Kenny Irons hurt, and it’s a fair question to ask if Rudi Johnson is finally wearing down. The offensive line is not blocking as well in the run game as it is for the pass.Pass defense: F – The Bengals have allowed 11 passing touchdowns, second most in the NFL to Cleveland’s 12. Cincinnati is 26th in pass defense at 251 yards a game and 28th in sacks per play with just four. Cornerback Johnathan Joseph appears to be playing hurt with the lingering effects of the foot stress fracture. Fellow corner Deltha O’Neal looks more like the 2006 model than the 2005 Pro Bowler.Run defense: D – With the inordinate number of injuries at linebacker, the Bengals are forced to play with safeties and ends as outside linebackers and a cast newcomers who were signed after training camp, a problem partially created by the front office. Despite the big number of yards and points allowed – 30th in yards at 403 and 31st in points at 31.7 – the Bengals are doing better on third down (tied for 17th at 42 percent).Special teams: D (or I, for incomplete) – The defensive injuries have devastated the coverage units, and special teams coach Darrin Simmons has been forced to work in new players every week. The coverage units – 24th against punt returns and 30th against kickoffs – played their best game in Week 4 against New England. But the week before in Seattle, the kicking game made three major mistakes that cost the game.Coaching: D – The Bengals needed six takeaways to win the opener against Baltimore. But the defense and special teams could not make one positive stop or big play at Cleveland. Marvin Lewis and Chuck Bresnahan’s defense shows no improvement in the past couple of seasons, though they would not use the injuries this year as an excuse, it is a partial explanation. The desired fast start did not happen, and the ultimate responsibility rest with Lewis for both game preparation and personnel decisions. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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