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Normally I write about the five Bengals that impressed me after reviewing the previous week’s game, but after two straight losses to inferior opponents, I didn’t want to praise anybody that did their job. Instead, I’m choosing to point the finger at a five problem areas that can be fixed by season’s end, while calling out five Bengals that depressed us with their play in Cleveland. Had I written my normal Five That Impressed post, it would've included Devon Still, Kevin Zeitler, Cedric Peerman, Andre Smith and Marvin Jones. Yup, it was that kind of game.
He has been solid for the most part this year. Newman's coverage has been good in man, below average in zone, but he's played well when asked to tackle. Last week, Newman started bad by peeking into the backfield while playing a deep third zone and he lost the Browns' undrafted receiver as he catch the ball behind the Bengals CB for a big game. Newman ended up being picked on for the rest of the game. He's holding onto his starting spot because he's the only LCB (Left Cornerback) on the team. Jason Allen can/has played it in Houston and Dre Kirkpatrick played it exclusively at Alabama. Help is on the way, they just aren't healthy yet.
He would make a great number four wide receiver that can backup all three spots. As a starter, Binns isn't getting open. He's not fast, quick and doesn't separate from corners in man coverage. He's only recording catches against zone coverage these past few weeks and that's not helping Andy Dalton at all. Marvin Jones looks like he's breathing down Binns' neck for playing time. That time is coming quickly.
Bengals Quarterback Andy Dalton is showing confidence issues while in the pocket. It's forced him to throw early and leave the pocket before routes develop. Read More
Benjarvus Green Ellis
His flaws are obvious; he isn't fast, quick or explosive. The alarming part about that is it has seemed to of ruined his running back mentality. BJGE is incapable of cutting back against the grain or bouncing the football outside. When I re-watched the game, the offensive line would have everyone blocked, but "The Law Firm" couldn't gain more than a handful of yards. One play in particular, the Bengals had five lineman, a tight end, full back, and both receivers blocking their man; Green-Ellis could've picked any lane to run. He takes it up the gut for 3-yards. I'm convinced that he's nothing more than a situational NFL running back.
He's easily been the weak-link on the offensive line. Faine continues to be the only lineman that gets manhandled while the other four players are blocking their man. It's not every play, but the frequency that he's messing up is ruining the flow of the ground game. The coaches must see it because they played Trevor Robinson... and it was planned all week? That's strange, and he played well in his eight snaps. Kyle Cook, if healthy, will provide an instant upgrade to Faine.
This should've been Gresham's breakout game. He had 7 balls thrown his way and only caught 3 while dropping 2 more. The misevaluation of Gresham's skills baffles me. He's not this athletic freak we thought. He's a power forward playing tight end. He fights the ball when trying to catch it and isn't a natural hands-catcher. We can't say - Gresham doesn't get used enough - because they're throwing him the ball at a high rate. He just needs to be more consistent.