With a decent amount of cap space to work with — and an additional $13.9 million following the release of Dalton — go get players in free agency and the draft that can help turn this ship around. Hint: It would be a good idea to start with the offensive line.
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For now, the Bengals are just 0-2 and had a couple of bad offensive performances against a pair of defenses that were top 10 units a year ago. There’s time to turn things around and make up ground in the AFC North.
But Cincinnati already fired Zampese — an unusually proactive move for a franchise that had never before in its 50-year history fired a coordinator during the season. If the team is taking its offensive ineptitude serious enough to make that move after only two games, why wouldn’t it continue to make changes if things don’t get better?
A matchup against the Packers next week could quickly mean 0-3. The last team to bounce back from a start that poor and make the playoffs was the 1998 Buffalo Bills.
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Whether it’s now or in a few weeks, the Bengals look toast. And if that’s the case, there’s not much reason for keeping Lewis and Dalton along for the ride to the bottom.
Here in Jacksonville, we haven’t experienced a powerful runner since Maurice Jones-Drew. When teams in the league have a feared run game, their passing offense seems to fall more in place, and I believe that is the reason we were so productive against the Texans — Blake Bortles completed the game with zero sacks and interceptions, which is something that hasn’t happened since Week 2 of the 2015 season. With an effective play-action, the defense does not have the freedom to cheat and this prevents the defensive backs and linebackers from jumping routes or blitzing every play forcing the run.
With an efficient run game, we do not have to pass on a short second down. We can gain those yards early and give the offense more snaps which gives a better chance in a touchdown.