Some point out that the Bengals really didn't have an opportunity to run the ball because the situations didn't allow it. I disagree because the question, "O.K., where would you have run" is a very misleading question.
All plays follow situations based on first down. If you throw an incomplete on first, you're likely going to run on second. If you gain zero yards on the run, now your left with third-and-ten -- obviously, you're going to throw it. However, if you gain five yards on a quick out route and then four yards on a dive, you're left with third-and-one with an entire playbook at your disposal.
My point is: it doesn't make sense to ask someone to change one play where all the plays that preceded it and followed it would be different too.
If you're going to suggest a change on one play, you have to account that the plays that follow will be radically different. If you run on first down and gain 35 yards, obviously the plays that follow will be radically different. It's not like if you gain 35 yards on first down and then have the same exact plays afterwards.
I know I'm beating a dead horse on this one and it's really a pointless discussion. You can't ask someone to change one play and expect the remaining plays on the play-list to remain the same. At the same time, you can't go into a fantasy world of "if" either. Fact is the offense and defense didn't do enough to win.