During a day of honesty from Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden on Wednesday, who idly hinted that the Bengals may pull running back Cedric Benson if he hasn't resolved his recent fumbling issues, Gruden is offering more hints that the play-calling could change when Cincinnati is sporting a lead.
"You got to take a long look at yourself as a play-caller and make sure you are putting the quarterback in a position where he's not taking major risks but he's got a chance to move the ball."
Cincinnati has been entirely too conservative when holding onto a lead, often turning into a group that changes the meaning of offensive to truly being offensive that's doing just enough not to turn the football over (which didn't work against the Cardinals), even though three-play possessions only take roughly a minute and a half off the clock.
The self-reflecting Gruden acknowledges that when Cincinnati has a lead, they've rarely gone for the jugular.
"Something has to change. Basically when we get the lead, we have to keep the pedal to the metal. I have to come up with ways to make first downs. If you have to throw it, you have to throw it."
As Paul Dehner Jr. notes, who quoted Gruden in the above quotes:
In each of the last three games the Bengals held a two-possession lead in the fourth quarter. From the point of the lead stretching to two possessions, they've started 10 drives. In total, those 10 drives produced 65 yards, churning out just three first downs and two turnovers.
Something definitely has to change.