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What they’re saying about the Bengals’ loss to the Titans

After a disheartening loss to the Titans in the final minute, we check in on what the local and national media has to say about it.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals season may have effectively ended on Sunday, and that means everyone has quite a bit to say about this team this week, and as you would expect none of it is good.

It is a natural reaction for us to think our team should feel as frustrated as we do as fans. We expect some kind of earth-shattering change to take place after this team has come out four weeks straight and played terrible football.

This team is so much better than this 1-3 stretch they’ve shown everyone, and we want to see changes.

Still as fans we know those changes aren’t coming. Mike Brown won’t be firing Marvin Lewis in the middle of the Bengals’ season. It is slightly comforting knowing there is almost no way Lewis will return next season.

The only nightmare possibility is that the Bengals hire someone in-house to keep the status quo.

Update on Vontaze Burfict:

Burfict was ejected for making contact with an official on Sunday, and it was fairly controversial among fans. One side couldn’t believe he was ejected, and the other couldn’t believe he would be dumb enough to do such a thing.

Either way Burfict won’t be missing any more playing time. This is the second week in a row the league decided not to suspend a Bengals’ player who was ejected during a game. A.J. Green dodged a suspension last week for choke slamming Jalen Ramsey.

Still Burfict’s exit where he made the motion for money while to the Titans fans while exiting the stadium wasn’t ideal. Even worse Burfict elected not to talk following the game, and several players decided not to comment on Burfict’s ejection.

It could be that Burfict didn’t want to say anything to get himself in even more trouble, but it certainly looks like Burfict just didn’t care. That isn’t a good look for a player the Bengals decided to extend the contract of before the season. He has been a major part of this team’s defense, but he keeps seeming to get into trouble for things that are certainly avoidable. One has to wonder whether a different head coach would even want to keep him around.

Offensive struggles continue:

All of these are major issues as far as the offense goes. First off the enormous discrepancy in snap counts is hard to overcome. First, it means the other team just simply has more opportunities than you do. It also means that the Bengals’ defense just gets exhausted from being on the field so long. The fact the Bengals held the Titans to only one score in the second half shows how well they really played.

The offense has to be able to help the defense out at some point. If you want to know how bad the offense was for the Bengals outside of the Green touchdown, the fact the Bengals never ran a play in the Titans territory in the second half says everything.

Guys aren’t getting separation on offense, but a lot of that can be traced back to the offense the Bengals are running. It is almost sad just how predictable the Bengals offense is. It feels like teams know what the Bengals are going to try and do every game. Dre Kirkpatrick pointed out how well designed the Titans offense is, and I don’t think we could ever dream of the Bengals running an offense as refined as that.

The Bengals scheme seems designed around just having your players being able to beat the defense through their ability, and teams are literally daring the supporting cast around Green to beat the, and they just don’t do it consistent enough game in and game out for the Bengals to win games.

It isn’t all bad:

Pro Football Focus may have saved a few Bengals’ fans from jumping this morning. The offensive line actually played well? Who knew such a thing was possible. The Bengals started Andre Smith at right tackle for the first time this season, after they shut down Jake Fisher because of his medical issue. It seems to have worked out. The Bengals offensive line only allowed four pressures on 36 passing plays, and Smith was ranked as the best offensive tackle this week by Pro Football Talk.

The play of Clayton Fejedelem was also a bright spot for the team. Shawn Williams was unable to play due to injury, so Fejedelem got the start. Despite the Titans deciding to test him early and often, the young safety held his own only allowing one reception. It almost eases the pain of Derron Smith deciding to jump ship for the Browns after the Bengals decided to put him on the practice squad.

Geno Atkins may also have found his partner inside with Andrew Billings flashing potential. The second-year defensive tackle really showed why people were talking about him being a first round pick as he helped shut down any runs inside against the defense. It really makes you wonder why he wasn’t getting any playing time before this. Maybe Pat Sims should stay on the Bench after he returns.

It was also clear the Titans decided to pick on Darqueze Dennard. It is unfortunate he got credited with being responsible with giving up the game-winning touchdown when he should’ve gotten help stopping Murray on the play. Still he is getting paid like a top corner, so he has to make those stops. Without his interception the Bengals wouldn’t have been in the game though anyway.

John Ross plays (kind of):

This is a picture of Ross telling fellow top 10 receiver Corey Davis how many snaps he played this week, probably.

Seriously though, Ross ended up being active, and he played six snaps. Dalton targeted him on a third-down play, but there was a miscommunication between the two. Dalton threw the Ball down field while Ross stopped. He didn’t play another snap after that. It is ridiculous how they are treating a guy they thought highly enough to take with the ninth overall pick. Meanwhile, Davis doesn’t look too bad after the Titans who actually play their draft picks...

What it all comes back to:

For as upset we get with players, we have to remember who is really to blame, the coaches. This coaching staff has been looking for answers all season long, and they keep avoiding the simplest ones. They need to run the ball more with Joe Mixon and get the ball the Green. These are two things on offense they just keep over thinking for whatever reason. Mixon just needs to be able to get some carries to really do what they expect him to do, and Green showed why you throw him the ball even if he is covered sometimes.

This team just looks like a shell of itself, and so much of that has to do with coaching. It may be the most important thing to have along with a good quarterback. How many times have we seen teams with poor seasons have a quick turnaround following a coaching change? Look at the Rams for one second. That could be the Bengals if they changed coaches and got a little aggressive in the offseason. There is hope for this team, but it is with someone new at the helm.

At least there is always next week: