The Cincinnati Bengals had it all going their way. They were the only AFC North team to make it to the playoffs. The game was at home where they were undefeated. And they had impending cold weather to slow their California foes.
Ah well, here are 5 things we learned.
Mother Nature is nobody's friend.
I'm pretty sure the Bengals did not depend on the weather to help them, no matter how much the NFL Network tried to convince us otherwise. Good thing. What was suposed to be a frigid, cold, snowy day turned into a mold rainstorm.
It was almost like a California day?
Who needs Ryan Mathews?
Mathews played the first half.
Then the second half the Chargers employed Ronnie Brown and Danny Woodhead in a running back rotation. All Brown did was seal the game with a 58 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. The longest run by a Charger running back this season.
The playoff stage is indeed too large for Andy Dalton
Dalton simply crumbled under the pressure. He was responsible fof three turnovers. That doesn't count for simply missing his receivers. Dalton held his own in the first half. The second half he witherd away.
His final stats were 334 passing yards with one passing touchdown, two interceptions and three sackes. He also fumbled one time on his 26 rushing yards.
He didn't lose the game singlehandedly. But as the quarterback and the leader he did not do his team any favors.
Coordinators are made and desrroyed by factors they cannot control
There are five NFL head coaching jobs currently open. And then there is the college ranks, that coordinators are constantly auditioning. They can draw up some spectacular plays and formations but when they don't work?
After this playoff game: Ken Wisenhut looked good; Jay Gruden not so much. Another causualty to Dalton's performance.
Mike Zimmer's defense shined. They were understandably fatigued by the fourth quarter. For that they can thank the Bengals' offense.
Wisenhut has to be the flavor of the day. Thanks Philip Rivers and the Chargers' offense.
The loss makes both Bengals' coordinators available for interviews. After Dalton's performance who can blame owners and GM's for knocking on Zimmer's door while strolling past Gruden's.
My Bold Predictions
Let's just call them yet another casualty to Red Dalton. Hey, that's why they are bold.
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