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The Reaction 5: Bengals lose to Texans, fire Ken Zampese

Another anemic showing by the offense cost the offensive coordinator his job. We go through our emotional rollercoaster.

Every week, we’ll post five reactions to each Cincinnati Bengals game this year. Our reactions could be about the promising/saddening signs on the field, the bigger picture that may have come into focus with the most recent game, what we hope to see changed and developed further, or just how we feel in general.

In this week’s segment we will tell you how we reacted to the Bengals’ second home loss to start the season, an ugly 13-9 game against the Houston Texans in a Thursday night primetime game. We will also talk about our feelings concerning the firing of offensive coordinator Ken Zampese and the promotion of Bill Lazor.

You can watch our reactions in the video below:

First Reaction: Apathy

John Sheeran says nothing really shocked him about Thursday’s game. It was merely our worst fears realized once again. Andy Dalton struggled in primetime against a defensive line that was going to clearly outclass his offensive line. Zampese didn’t come up with a good game plan or manage his personnel properly. And Marvin Lewis only played a prized rookie five snaps, leaving him off the field for the final play of the game when the team needed to go 80 yards in two seconds. At this point, no one is shocked by our ineptitude.

Second Reaction: We better appreciate our great players for now

Geno Atkins was tremendous against Houston, as dominant as a defensive tackle can play. A.J. Green did his part as well with a fantastic 50-yard reception in triple coverage. Both players are 29 and playing on a team that is going to be undergoing a rebuild. So it’s best we enjoy them while they’re still in Cincinnati, because, they have every right to want to play for a contender at this point.

Third Reaction: Firing Zampese isn’t enough

Yeah, it was a big step. Not because Lazor will necessarily save the offense, but it was great that management/ownership (it’s kinda’ hard to know where that line is drawn in the Cincinnati Bengals organization) showed some courage and did what needed to be done. But that won’t fix this franchise. More needs to be done. Someone needs to be held accountable for not properly addressing the offensive line this offseason. Marvin Lewis has to go. And Dalton needs to step it up and hit open targets when he is given time by the offensive line.

Fourth Reaction: This Lazor guy might be alright

Lazor has said all the right things so far. He said he wants to get the QB and the running back in rhythm. That’s a relief to fans who want to see more Joe Mixon. And Lazor favors pre-snap motions and adjustments, but keeping things simple after the snap. That could help Dalton settle down after he takes the snap.

Fifth Reaction: There’s still plenty of time

The odds are stacked against the Bengals, but there’s reason to believe they can turn this around. This offense is obviously way more talented than one that should be scoring 4.5 points a game at home. But hitting rock bottom might be the kind of wakeup call that will lead to actual adjustments. Zampese was the first step. Now maybe Lewis will feel that his job is on the line and abandon his conservative ways, make some in-game adjustments. Maybe Dalton will stop overthinking on his throws since there isn’t much left to lose. And the defense is young and intense, and will only become more dominant when Vontaze Burfict returns. There’s a way to see this all panning out in the next couple of games.