It doesn’t really need to be said at this point, but I feel like I might as well say it again: The 2017 Cincinnati Bengals’ offense is awful.
I have never seen a team with such a plethora of skill position talent underwhelm to this large of a degree before. Marvin Lewis must have felt the same way, since Ken Zampese is no longer employed by the organization. I wish Bill Lazor all the luck in the world to turn the ship around with little to no time to prepare.
Taking over midseason for another coach’s scheme and playbook and not having time to install much of your own system is going to be hard, and I think a lot of fans aren’t going to realize that.
This is normally my article every week where I break down the good and the bad of our offense in the previous game. But considering how bad the team looked, and the fact that we’re inevitably going to see some new wrinkles from Lazor next week I don’t see the point. So, I’m giving the spotlight to the one non-defensive player that deserves it: punter Kevin Huber.
In general, Huber has been nothing short of spectacular for the Bengals in two games this season. The left footed specialist had six of his seven kicks in Week 2 land inside the 20 yard line. As of right now he’s also kicking for career-bests in percentage of punts inside the 20, touchback percentage, and net yardage.
Due to his spectacular play he was able to aid the defense in winning the field position battle the entire night, although he also received some great coverage as you can see below.
Here, Huber kicks an absolute boomer, but it was returnable and there was a lot of space being given on the wide side of the field. Luckily Josh Shaw is one of the better kick coverage players in the league, coming in from his left gunner position to shoot in and make an absolutely beautiful tackle.
The team won’t see much success until all three phases of the game are rolling, but it should be at least encouraging to everyone knowing that if the offense can pick it up then the other two units are playing very, very well.
In fact, even when Huber loses this season, he wins. The above kick was his worst of the day. He didn’t get all of it and hit a bit of a knuckle ball to the right sideline. Fortunately for him, the spin that he put on the ball was enough to get a great bounce and it winded up being his longest punt of the day — 61 yards to be exact.
Thankfully, this was the only less than stellar kick of the day for Huber. My favorite use of his skills is in this final GIF where, with the skill of a true pro, he’s able to put a beauty of shot and have it roll safely out of bounds at the 2-yard line.
You can see just how he accomplishes the feat, dropping the ball with a slight angle to it, kicking it right end over left so that once the ball makes contact it will continue to go left and out of bounds.
So, while there may be trouble in the jungle because the Bengals don’t have as much of an attack as they used to, it’s comfortable to know that at least one of these cats is still bringing his A game.