The Cincinnati Bengals just can’t seem to put it all together in one game this year. If Carson Palmer is on his game — as he was against the Atlanta Falcons — then it seems like the running game can’t get going and vice versa. Or if the offense is clicking as a unit, the defense finds a way to allow a ton of points.
I’m a fan of Marvin Lewis and thought for a while he was a player or two from taking the Bengals to the Super Bowl, but the lack of discipline seemingly displayed by the team and their inability to play together has me thinking it might be time for a change.
When you have a group like the Bengals filled with separate egos and past trouble-makers, your team must either have a disciplinarian leading them at head coach, or a trusted veteran leader to keep things in line. Right now, it doesn’t seem like the Bengals have either.
The Falcons, on the other hand, just keep finding ways to win games. Apart from their disastrous loss last week to the Philadelphia Eagles, there only loss was an overtime defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers — a team that is quite possibly the best in the league.
Their defense, ranked 24th in the league, has let them down all season long, but their eighth-ranked offense has kept them in games and found a way to win at the end. They faced that same predicament against the Bengals as their defense almost blew a 21-point halftime lead, but Roddy White, Matt Ryan, and Michael Turner were too much for a weak Cincinnati defense.
If the Bengals can get every phase of the game on the same page, they could be a dangerous team. But until they start playing like a team they’re going to drop a lot of games like this.
The Falcons, on the other hand, just need to see more consistency from Ryan. They’ve shown that when their defense is struggling the offense can pick them up. If Ryan can get himself into a groove, the Falcons could do what the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints have done in the past and win a Super Bowl with a weak defense.