Second and eleven from the Bengals’ 46: The Bengals line up in a shotgun formation, one receiver wide right, one back with Andy Dalton, and three receivers to the left, including Marvin Jones to the outside. On the snap, Jones runs a similar pattern Green ran earlier in the drive for 11 yards, running a quick route up the field and stopping hard. Dalton hits Jones again, and he takes it into Detroit territory for a 16 yard gain.
First and ten from the Lions’ 38: The Bengals try to push the tempo a bit, going no huddle. Dalton is under center, with the “Law Firm” lined up behind him. Two receivers are to the left, and one to the right. Dalton takes the snap and gives to Green-Ellis, he takes the handoff up the middle for six yards.
Second and four from the Lions’ 32: For this play, the Bengals come out in a rare two back set, lined up in the I formation behind Dalton. One receiver is wide to the right. Tyler Eifert is in the TE position on the left, Gresham on the right. Dalton takes the snap, and Eifert runs a route almost like a “wheel route”. He starts off taking it to the inside, and curves to the outside, heading straight for the pylon. Dalton lofts a beautiful throw right to the pylon, Eifert uses his body to “box out” the defender, and comes down with his first career touchdown.
So what have we learned?
For one, we have a running game that can be stopped. Green is not dominant, and this line can be beaten, especially by our front seven.
The scary part of this Bengals’ offense is the passing game. They have a lot of weapons, and they are all good. They will throw out of any formation, so you cannot be too careful.
The biggest thing I saw is that nobody laid a finger on any of these wide receivers or the tight end. They were all allowed to roam free and do as they please. Of course they were going to be open and make catches.
You cannot give these guys a free release, ever. Not Green, not Jones, not Eifert. Nobody. Just as they did to Gronkowski last week, make these receivers feel your presence every time they get off the line. It will be on Cro, Milliner, Walls, Allen, etc., to hit these guys early and often.
They have to knock these guys off their routes to have a chance. It should be fun to watch.