Originally posted on WhoDeyFans  |  Last updated 9/18/12

Well, despite the ongoing defensive deficiencies (and boy are there), the Bengals did manage to win the game on Sunday, and that feels a heck of a lot better than last week.

Still, there are glaring problems on the defense.  Ironically, the defense was supposed to carry the offense, but Sunday it was the offense staying working hard to stay one step ahead because the defense was Swiss cheese. 

Next up is the Redskins and RGIII, who can make any defense look foolish.  Coach Zimmer’s got his work cut out.

In the meantime, let’s review the five keys to victory from last week, and see how our Queen City Cats did:

1.  Contain Richardson:  Didn’t Happen

The rookie running back out of Alabama had his coming out party, with 109 yards rushing on 19 carries (5.73 average) with a 32-yard scoring run in which he outran the entire defense to the edge. He also picked up 4 catches for 36 yards, including another brilliant touchdown in which he juked or bowled over 4 Bengal defenders on his way to pay dirt.  The Bengals were fairly good at bottling him up on the straight, off-tackle runs, but breakdowns and poor tackling haunted the defense.  Richardson is the real deal and will be a player to reckon with in the battle of Ohio.  More importantly for now, Zimmer needs to find out how to fix this fast.

2.  Contain Cribbs:  Happened!

The Bengals special team coverage units were solid all game.  Cribbs never got a return past the 37 yard line despite multiple returns.  There still isn’t a lot of depth to Mike Nugent’s kick-offs, but the coverage teams were filling the lanes and tackling well.  Cribbs never got an opportunity to give the Browns a score or a short field.  Unfortunately, they didn’t really need it most of the game.

3.  Pressure Weeden:  Didn’t Happen

Despite the rookie QB’s ugly performance in week one, the Bengal secondary was loose in coverage, and the front seven barely got to Weeden, even when blitzing.  The defense registered just two sacks (one each for Michael Johnson and Vincent Rey).  For most of the game Weeden had a pretty clean pocket and was able to find open receivers before the rush got to him.  The Bengals clearly miss Carlos Dunlap and Dontay Moch.  The problem just got even worse thanks to an apparent season-ending injury to DE Jamaal Anderson.  The Bengals will be working out free agent DE’s today.

4.  Call the Law:  Happened! (sort of)

The Bengals did get BJGE plenty of opportunities with the ball, and he acquitted himself well overall.  His 3.5 yard per carry average is very Benson-like, but he didn’t have the same number of negative plays we’ve been accustomed to from Cedric.  Aside from a few carries where the Browns ran a run-blitz, he was able to get 4 yards or more on the ground, and he was again able to pick up a big 3rd-and-short off the right side.  He also did well in blitz pick-up and had 3 catches for 30 yards.  I was hoping for a bigger day from BJGE, but it was solid and workmanlike nonetheless.

5.  Exploit Haden’s Absence:  Happened!

Both Joe Haden and Sheldon Brown were down for the Browns, and Andy Dalton certainly took advantage.  Dalton finished 24 of 31 (77%) for 318 yards and 3 touchdowns, including a 10-yarder to A.J. Green, a 44-yarder to Brandon Tate, and a 50 yarder to Andrew Hawkins.  Armon Binns also had a solid game with 5 catches for 66 yards, and Jermaine Gresham had a big 3rd down completion at the end of the game.  There was also a big P.I. Call Marvin Jones collected that helped set up a scoring drive. Throughout the contest, the overmatched back-up Cleveland DB’s gave plenty of cushion to Cincy receivers, and it paid off for Dalton. 

Scenario Review:  The game played out pretty much as I anticipated.  It was no blow out, and the Browns couldn’t pull off the upset. The Bengals looked like the better team, but thanks to defensive breakdowns and boneheaded plays, Cleveland was right in it until the end–just enough to keep you nervous.   One thing I didn’t anticipate was another putrid performance by the defense.  Right now, it’s straight-up fugly.

My Prediction:  Bengals 23, Browns 13

Actual Score:  Bengals 34, Browns 27

Ultimately, the offense did their job, and the special teams more than did theirs (Adam Jones’s punt return TD was the difference).  The defense is holding this team back.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jerry Jones sets deadline for decision on Tony Romo’s future with Cowboys

Jason Kidd believes Isaiah Thomas is in NBA MVP race

Kyrie Irving takes blame for Cavs’ recent skid: ‘I need to demand more out of myself’

Ichiro Suzuki wants to play until age 50

Six NFL teams have not renewed their daily fantasy deals

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

A Chicago Bulls and Jimmer Fredette reunion makes sense

Ottawa Senators visit sick teen during road trip to Minnesota

Adrian Peterson works out with Jameis Winston, gets Dirk Koetter’s attention

Report: Martavis Bryant reinstatement ‘imminent’

Steven Stamkos close to return for the Tampa Bay Lightning

Report: CBS wants Tony Romo to replace Phil Simms

The 'So, is this the last ride for the Dead Man?' quiz

Athletes in other sports (or famous professions) who played in the NCAA Tournament

2016 MLB playoff teams that won't make it back this season

Box Score 3/29: Free hats (Caps fans only)

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

Box Score 3/28: Wilt's last game

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Athletes in other sports (or famous professions) who played in the NCAA Tournament

The 'So, is this the last ride for the Dead Man?' quiz

2016 MLB playoff teams that won't make it back this season

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker