When it comes to the Bengals’ winless start in the 2019 regular season, there are differing opinions on the issues plaguing the squad. Whether it’s in the defensive struggles, the up-and-down play of their quarterback, or questionable play-calling, different perspectives as to the effects of each can be applied.
Zac Taylor’s offense has struggled to find any semblance of consistency, with many dry spells occurring. Injuries have obviously taken its toll and have altered the course of what they want to do on offense, but how much of the struggles are attributed to the injuries and how much point to coaching inexperience?
Perhaps one of the most egregious and debatable areas of inefficiency comes in the team’s red zone woes. After the loss to the Ravens, Cincinnati sits at 5-of-15 (33 percent), in terms of 2019 touchdown percentage in the red zone.
Aside from questionable decisions and situations in which to run the football in the area (second-and-goal from five yards out, anyone?), there are also personnel decisions to be questioned. With the team so banged up at wide receiver and desperately needing points, why aren’t the tight ends being utilized more frequently in this area of the field?
In consecutive weeks and after first down, Taylor has subbed out Tyler Eifert, arguably the best red zone weapon on the team, only to not see him return on the failed series. C.J. Uzomah and Drew Sample have been noticeably absent in these situations as well.
What do these three guys have in common, aside from the position they play? They all were recipients of high capital from the team. Uzomah and Eifert received new deals in free agency, while Sample was a second-round pick.
If this staff was willing to make those decisions, why aren’t these guys being used? They’ve been asked to help with blocking, usually to disastrous results in one-on-one situations, but aren’t being utilized in ways that suit their strengths.
This lack of usage would be understandable if A.J. Green and John Ross had consistently been in the lineup, but that hasn’t been the case. It’s just one of the many set of decisions made by both the front office and the coaching staff over the past nine months that are now needing concrete answers.
Also on this week’s postgame reactions episode:
- There are more signs of Taylor’s inexperience hurting the Bengals and unfortunately, it seems to be regressing from Week 1.
- Are the accrued injuries affecting the poor play-calling, or is it simply the inexperience of the staff?
- What do we make of some of the few positives in Auden Tate and Brandon Wilson?
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