BengalszoneBilly Posted October 20, 2007 Report Share Posted October 20, 2007 Simple but hopefully effective steps.BY MARK CURNUTTE | MCURNUTTE@ENQUIRER.COMThe Bengals limp into Sunday's home game against the struggling Jets with the season quickly slipping away.It's difficult to term an October game as a must-win, but the Bengals have to end their four-game losing skid Sunday to have any chance of making the playoffs for the second time in three years. The five things the Bengals have to do to save their season:1 Get a victory - any victory: The Bengals should have won on the road last Sunday at Kansas City but didn't. This Sunday is their chance. The Jets are 1-5, disjointed and disappointed. Some players are losing faith in quarterback Chad Pennington. Cincinnati has a clear statistical edge offensively on the 30th-ranked Jets defense.2 Control the run: They don't have to stop it; the Bengals' defense just has to control it. They stopped Larry Johnson in the second half at Kansas City, but only after they let him run for more than 100 yards in the first half. Cincinnati is ranked 29th in run defense at 145.8 yards per game. The Bengals will see plenty of Jets featured back Thomas Jones.3 Convert third downs offensively: Duh. The Bengals are 1-for-18 in the last two games and have dropped to 20-for-60 for the season. It's one of the reasons the Bengals have a four-minute disadvantage in possession time after five games. The Bengals spent an extra session on third downs in practice Wednesday.4 Make a positive play in the kicking game: The Bengals made three bad plays on special teams at Seattle Sept. 23. They've allowed a punt return for a touchdown. They are averaging 4.5 yards on eight punt returns. They haven't recovered a fumble on special teams. They're last in the league in opponents' average drive start after kickoffs (32.3-yard line). Coach Darrin Simmons' coverage units need to get a takeaway and give the offense a short field.5 Run the ball effectively: A lot of attention is paid to the Bengals' woes in stopping the run - and rightfully so. But their run offense is a bust, too, so far. At 82.2 yards a game and 3.7 yards a rush, the Bengals are ranked 28th in the NFL. They've passed too much because they haven't run the ball well and have fallen behind. In five games, the Bengals have had 211 pass plays and just 112 run plays. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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