I did one of these in the off-season as many of you know and felt it was appropriate timing to do another. So now that the season has began and we've seen some great things and some not so great thing's. I figure it would be nice to take a look at some thing's I feel are must fixes before we hit the second half of this ridiculous schedule. I would also like to back up or argue against some of these worries with the analysts of some of the people who get paid to analyze what we do for fun.
First up is penalties, I don't see how we can even begin to think we can compete in the playoff's if we don't get this problem fixed and I mean immediately. When I watch other potential playoff team's I don't see them shooting there selves in the foot with elementary penalties. I'm not sure if this is a coaching problem or a personal problem of the player's. Maybe it's both either way this is something I feel the coaches should be held accountable for. They need to communicate better with there player's so that this problem doesn't drag on all season long.
James Walker of ESPN writes:
This may sound like a broken record, but Cincinnati really needs to clean up its penalties. The Bengals were penalized nine times Sunday, and this has been an issue that dates to last season. The coaching staff probably doesn't mind "effort" penalties such as holding or pass interference. But it's the mental errors like not knowing the snap count that drive coaches crazy. The Bengals also blew a couple timeouts because everyone wasn't on the same page.
Second up is pass protection. I feel that this is something the national media hasn't been critical enough on. The unit as a whole get's a lot of praise for it's ability in run blocking which kind of shield's it's weakness in pass protection. Sure they only allowed one sack last week which is good. But I feel that stat is more indicative of Carson's lack of confidence in the protection. This unit has been slowly improving in pass protection and it's an ongoing work in progress. I will give credit where credit is due I just feel this is something to keep your eye on and something that needs to continue to develop.
Joe Reedy writes:
Survive the barrage – The offensive line allowed only one sack but the line continues some fits of inconsistency. It needs to improve but we kind of saw this early last year too.
Third and final concern is one that you're all aware of Carson, Carson, Carson. Obviously I'm not the only one who's a little worried about Carson's ability to be an "elite" Quarterback as shown by other fan posts here and here. People are kind of on both sides of the fence here. A lot of you feel Carson is just fine as evidence of the second half of the Patriots game. Other's argue that his number's in that game were inflated due to a prevent defense the Patriots ran in the second half. My opinion is confused. I don't know, I just don't know. I think Carson is obviously not confident in his line and is hurrying his throw's which is messing with his timing and accuracy. The problem is the line is sometimes giving him enough time that it's not necessary for him to do that. And sometimes they are not. I think the line needs to continue it's progress in pass protection and Carson needs to calm down a little and trust these guys. Here's to hoping Boomer is right.
Boomer Esiason writes:
"I do believe in his heart that he knows he has to play better and I think it will happen sooner than later. Not every QB has hit their stride yet," Esiason said. "He hasn’t played his best by any stretch and he’s got to be a Top 5 quarterback. With what they have on offense he should be completing 65 percent of his passes, averaging 270 yards a game and two touchdown passes."