Let’s get professional: Midway through the season, it’s time to assess and adjust. To be GMC Professional Grade, you must be calculated in your approach. What adjustments are needed to make sure you are fighting for a playoff spot?
Oh, fantastic question Marshall.
Well, first on our Christmas list will be... scoring points. After a 37-point outing against the Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati was completely shutout against the Indianapolis Colts. Thanks to a defensive scheme that challenged Cincinnati's quick screens (along with the fact Indianapolis is fast enough to counter those plays), the Bengals abandoned the run well when the game within reach.
So let's run more, use less screens and hey, let's drop the motions that we're pretending to apply the read-option. Even if Andy Dalton keeps it, he's not going anywhere and Cincinnati has run it enough times that opposing defenses will have someone on him. The Bengals use more screens than all of the country homes in Kentucky combined and you have two former second-round running backs that are itching to take control.
Defensively, it's simple. Vontaze Burfict needs to stay on the field, the defense needs to generate a pass rush and the defensive line, once the anchor of this defense, needs to perform better overall -- Carlos Dunlap has played well and we're getting what we expect out of Wallace Gilberry. There are some players/leaders that really need to step it up.
What are your thoughts?
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