Recently I posted on the Jungle about our draft needs both offensively and defensively. I got a lot of positive comment which I appreciate, but after looking at the last three games, you should crumple that garbage up and toss it into the trash because the last three games totally messed everything up for us. Let me show you what I mean
QB Pressure: This year the Bengals were overall one of the worst pass rushing teams over the course of the year getting only 27 total sacks, and averaging 1.69 sacks per game. In contrast, the top NFL team in sacks, the Steelers, averaged 3 a game. Now check out the numbers below.
First 13 games: Total Sacks=18, Avg Per game: 1.38
Last 3 Games: Total Sacks=9, Avg Per Game: 3
Yikes! What a difference a Dunlap makes! Can't forget the stellar play of MJ, and Atkins either... So if this team has proved it can get to the QB at the same rate as the Steelers, why draft an end? This coupled with the return of Odom, Tank, et. all, makes one wonder whether or not we will pursue a lineman early.
WR Play: With the assumption that TO is gone and Chad is likely gone, I posited AJ Green might be the first selection. Coupled with the overall play of Jerome Simpson and Caldwell, this seemed fair. Darn you last three games!
First 45 Games: Total yards = 2, Yards Per Game= .044, TD=0
Last 3 Games: Total Yards= 277, Yards Per Game= 92.33, TD=3
First 13 Games: Total Yards=75 yards, Yards Per Game=5.77, Previous Career Long = 24
Last 3 Games: Total Yards= 270 yards, Yards Per Game=90, Long = 53, 44, 39
Wow! What a turnaround! I guess we don't have to draft AJ Green... If Simpson is playing like a #1, Caldwell can stretch the field as well, and Chad likely returning for 1 more year as per rumors, It looks like we don't have to take a WR right away if we don't want to,
Do we have a QB? The first 13 games of this season were a disaster for Palmer, with numerous members of this site, including me, calling for a change. However, it looks like the biggest change came in the last 3 games for Palmer.
First 13 Games: 60% completions, 245ypg, 21 touchdowns, 18 picks
Last 3 Games: 69% completions, 261 ypg, 5 touchdowns, 2 picks (both of which were deflected into Ed Reeds hands mind you).
Wow, I'd take that for a whole season please. Plus with Andrew Luck electing to stay in college, there are no sure fire NFL prospects in this draft! If Palmer plays like he did the last 5 games, do we really need the QB of the future?
O Line: This has been a major area of concern from fans as well and was something I brought up in my last article. The line the first 13 games of the year employed 3 undrafted lineman... blah blah blah. Here's the numbers.
First 13 games: 28 total sacks, 2.15 spg
Last 3 Games: 0 Sacks, 0 spg
Just look what happens when you take an undrafted lineman and put in Collins at right tackle. Keep in mind, during this stretch we played the leagues second ranked sacking team in the Chargers. So with Collins playing well, Andre Smith coming back next year, how big of an issue is it really that we draft for OLine?
Ok, Obviously this post is a highly exaggerated and narrow view of our season and a lot of things still stand. We could still use some help on both lines, we could pick up a safety round 1, and we could draft a QB for the future. But who knows, we could also draft a RB, LB, or Kicker for all I know! Anyways, I've kinda been having some fun with this, so take it where you will. Who Dey!