Tough game Sunday. But no time to soak in our sorrows, we have a game in 4 days against a pretty darn good team. Here are my keys to winning this one.
*By the way: If we manage to pull an upset here and get to 4-4 we would still have a heartbeat this season. If not, it will be amazing to say, but Philbin and Ireland on hot seat.
1) Screens to WR's early. After watching New England get after us, I'd bet the Bengals follow the example. Use the screen game to off-set the rush. Can split Thigpen in slot and use him this way also. I love seeing Wallace get an easy catch to start the game off and an easy throw for a QB that is under some serious pressure (on and off the field).
2) Run the ball. Enough said here. I am amazed that we seem to completely forget about this when crap hits the fan on offense. It's like we panic and forget what got us where we are. Also notice Miami ran several "power" runs Sunday and had great success staying away from the "zone" scheme at times. I thought it was a great adjustment to mix those in with the zone game. It also sets up play action passes for Tannehill.
3) Get Tannehill on the edge. Rolled him out in the goal line against New England and boom touchdown. He is great on the edge. Use the boot game (not sure we even have one) and direct roll outs to allow him to use feet and arm. I also think this is a place Wallace can excel as Tannehill can buy time and let him get deep. We seem to refuse to use double moves this year (even though Hartline made a killing on them last year and Wallace would be very tough to stop with an out and up move and getting Tannehill on edge allows this to develop).
4) Stop AJ Green. Put Grimes or Patterson all over him. Do not allow Carroll or Wilson to get anywhere near him. Take him out of game and Bengals look very ordinary.
5) More Dion Jordan. Loved watching him on Gronk last week. He can cover Bengals TE or blitz all game for us.
6) Pull out all stops on offense/special teams. Reverses, trick plays on offense. On a short week the Bengals cannot be prepared for all of that stuff. Also when is the last time we made a freaking play on special teams. Block a kick, onside kickoff, etc... Do something in the 3rd phase of the game. I hate seeing us lose that battle every week.
7) Most importantly: Forget last week. As fans we don't have to, but as players get over it and move on. We will have 11 days to re-visit that choke job, but not today or until after Thursday. As bad as we are doing now, the AFC is still wide open for the #6 spot and a playoff birth that would be badly needed for our team.