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Bengals’ game plan oddly ignores A.J. Green

Wild Card Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Houston Texans Getty Images

If Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is, as reported, trying to show that he deserves a head-coaching job, he has a funny way of showing it: By ignoring his team’s best offensive playmaker in a playoff game.

Through the first half of the Bengals’ wild card playoff game against the Texans, not a single pass has been thrown to Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has thrown 10 first-half passes: Five to tight end Jermaine Gresham, three to receiver Marvin Jones and two to running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

Obviously, that’s not just about Gruden’s game plan: It’s also about Dalton (who’s having a bad first half) and about Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph (who’s having a good first half). But whatever the reasons, it’s just plain weird that in their biggest game of the season, the Bengals aren’t getting the ball to their best player. When they took over at their own 40-yard line with seconds remaining in the first half, they didn’t even try to throw a deep ball to Green and see if he could go up and make a play. Instead they simply took a knee, content to go into the locker room down 9-7 at halftime.

Through 30 minutes, the Bengals’ only points came from cornerback Leon Hall, who ran back an interception for a touchdown. If the Bengals want to win this game, they need to score some offensive points. And that means getting the ball to Green.

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38 Responses to “Bengals’ game plan oddly ignores A.J. Green”
  1. peytonwantsaflag says: Jan 5, 2013 6:05 PM

    God, as a Bengal fan, ths is FRUSTRATING.

  2. steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says: Jan 5, 2013 6:06 PM

    Dalton isn’t a big game QB.

  3. jwreck says: Jan 5, 2013 6:07 PM

    This game is just bizarre from every angle. I know these are two solid defenses, but how do Arian Foster, AJ Green, and Andre Johnson combine for a 9-7 score at the half?

  4. beanocook says: Jan 5, 2013 6:08 PM

    NFL coaches are morons. Green is your best player, has been so since day 1.

  5. pabillsfan says: Jan 5, 2013 6:09 PM

    Or maybe the Texans D is just covering him well?

  6. tokyosandblaster says: Jan 5, 2013 6:09 PM

    steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says:
    Jan 5, 2013 6:06 PM
    Dalton isn’t a big game QB.

    —-

    He does remind me of Big Ben.

    Always throwing ill advised passes.

  7. godofware says: Jan 5, 2013 6:09 PM

    I highly doubt that was the game plan. Albeit frustrating to Ben-gal fans

  8. ravenunitas says: Jan 5, 2013 6:10 PM

    It’s up to Dalton to get him the ball. This guy is so indecisive. Make a decision and get rid of the ball quickly. Stop trying to throw to Gresham. That dude cannot catch.
    Come on Dalton walk up.

  9. golfore says: Jan 5, 2013 6:18 PM

    Bungles one and out. Dalton looks like a deer in the headlights. He’s not a franchise QB. Good night.

  10. firegoodell says: Jan 5, 2013 6:19 PM

    This is not the biggest game of the year for the Bengals – their two biggest games were two weeks ago in Pittsburgh and last week against the Ravens….they are done for the season.

  11. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 5, 2013 6:23 PM

    Their game plan isn’t ignoring him, the Texans are bracketing him, goodness does it take that much ability to recognize defensive coverage?

  12. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 5, 2013 6:23 PM

    Steelers fans tight and hoping the Bengals will lose, not realizing Schaub is a choke artist.

  13. vincentbojackson says: Jan 5, 2013 6:32 PM

    Eagles just called and cancelled their interview with Jay Gruden.

  14. gogetembolts says: Jan 5, 2013 6:38 PM

    dalton jus aint good cuz he ginger n dnt have sole sotuh park proved this itz not his fault tho u cnt have hart if u dnt have sole n u cnt b good qb if u dnt have hart

  15. redandgoldhitman52 says: Jan 5, 2013 6:42 PM

    if these two teams were in the afc title game … it would be a nightmare for the nfl

  16. sicklnick121 says: Jan 5, 2013 6:50 PM

    Wow, keep thankin us Raider fans for takin Palmer off your hands…But please dont tell me that big Red2 is any better, and why do they keep starting him he is the 2nd best QB on the team anyway. Bruce is a 1000 times better

  17. liquidalfa says: Jan 5, 2013 6:54 PM

    Malauaga has been a huge liability so far.

  18. hrdcorbengalsfan says: Jan 5, 2013 7:00 PM

    Can someone shut Mayock up? Obvious Texans fan, personalizing everything! Cannot even listen to him.

  19. raider23mike says: Jan 5, 2013 7:10 PM

    They must miss Carson Palmer. LMAO.

    3/10 for 3yds passing earlier in the game (before I changed the channel)

    Different QB. Same results

    Somewhere Carson Palmer is laughing.. “Hahaha they wanted change”

  20. joetoronto says: Jan 5, 2013 7:10 PM

    greghandle says:
    Jan 5, 2013 5:56 PM
    joetoronto says:Jan 5, 2013 5:38 PM

    Schaub isn’t very good but compared to Andy Dalton, he’s amazing.

    With that kind of eye for personnel, I cannot believe you are not on the short list of GM candidates. Please give us more brilliant player insight!
    **************************************************
    Sure.

    Dalton is a softy, a soft arm combined with a soft head, equaling a dud of a QB.

    Rey Maualuga isn’t just a turd, he’s terrible against the run and the pass, more so against the pass though, just brutal.

    Jermaine Gresham shouldn’t have a job either, other than being tall, he has nothing going for him.

  21. 1stbaseman44 says: Jan 5, 2013 7:12 PM

    as a bengal fan. i’ve never seen a team that in all 4 phases of the game that will drive fans CRAZY

  22. dalucks says: Jan 5, 2013 7:19 PM

    The Texans defense has done a good job on AJ Green today.
    As a Texans fan, anyone who questions Andy Dalton in big games should realize he is in his second season so he has room to grow. Unfortunately for the Texans, Matt Schaub is a 9 year veteran who makes the same mistakes as Dalton plus Schaub has gotten two 60 million dollar contract with today being his first playoff appearance.
    Houston’s success has more to do with the defense than Matt Schaub.
    The lesson to be learned is if all your quarterback can do is dink and donk then he should not be making 15 million dollars per season.
    Schaub cannot run the 2 minute drill, he cannot throw deep consistantly, needs playaction to underthrow receivers, reads plays late and makes bad decision yet Rick Smith continues to pay him franchise quarterback money. Bad contracts like Schaub’s is why the Texans do not have any salary cap space.

  23. ravensdominate says: Jan 5, 2013 7:19 PM

    It’s so funny to watch these two screw ups play each other.

  24. FinFan68 says: Jan 5, 2013 7:22 PM

    5 min left and Dalton still looks like garbage but they still have a chance to win.

  25. kevbarnett says: Jan 5, 2013 7:32 PM

    Texans game plan correctly pays attention to A.J. Green

  26. turfrage says: Jan 5, 2013 7:35 PM

    You can’t throw if he’s not open. They’re covering him thick. I’m sure he’s in the plan.

  27. edwinmoses says: Jan 5, 2013 7:39 PM

    lol. wow. I’m guessing you haven’t been watching the game very closely. He’s short of a 100 yards and shud have a td if he didin’t drop one in the endzone

  28. ch8878 says: Jan 5, 2013 7:39 PM

    Andy Dalton sucks Bungals won’t be back next year.

  29. darth71 says: Jan 5, 2013 7:40 PM

    Andy Dalton is the new Tony Romo.

  30. otis52gsh says: Jan 5, 2013 7:41 PM

    Not sure how Marvin Lewis keeps his job after this loss. Reminds me too much of Marty Schottenheimers inability to win a big game. Should be shown the door

  31. themackstrong says: Jan 5, 2013 7:58 PM

    Texans Joseph blanketed him the whole game. There were many moments were he is one on one and Dalton had good protection but he just throws it out of bounds. The elite QB’s make that throw when they have a good receiver and Green is a top tier receiver. You can’t be scared to fight the ball in a tight window in the NFL let alone the playoffs. Texans ran the ball and played good defense. They will need to bring that to a higher level next week.

  32. ryanclark25 says: Jan 5, 2013 8:00 PM

    As a steeler fan, I realise we are an 8-8 team at the moment and not in the playoffs and possibly on the cusp of having to rebuild a defense and the bengals are a playoff team….and I was actually presuming we were safe in week 16 given the Bengals penchant for choking. But genuinely well done to them they beat us at heinz with the playoffs on the line fair and square.

    But with the exception of Tebowgate last year, when we get to the playoffs whether as a wildcard (2005) or a 1-2 seed (2008), we know what to do once we are there, the giants and packers are other teams that step up when january comes…I’d be very worried as Marvin lewis about the Bengals as a team overall.

    They’ve choked again at the big stage, the defense to be fair seems sorted to a servicable playoff level despite the regular season dominant d line not getting to schuab…they kept the game alive, but thats twice in a row the qb has totally failed, the run game isnt good enough to carry the offense, and it was the same with palmer in 09 with home advantage vs the Jets. I do like the bengals despite the north rivalry but i struggle to see where they go from here to hit the next level, Dalton has shown no signs of clutch development in a playoff game, and they dont dominate a regular season enough to get a homefield bye.

  33. jssgriffi says: Jan 5, 2013 8:14 PM

    Hope This made up eagles mind about jay gruden

  34. romospersonalsnuggie says: Jan 5, 2013 8:55 PM

    Haha bungles ben-gals you guys are about as clever as a vanilla wafer

  35. sportsnut101 says: Jan 5, 2013 10:11 PM

    It’s not only Gruden it’s coach Lewis too. Doesn’t he know who’s his best player is

    I understand u wanna manage the game n not just throw every play
    But gees ignore him all first half. I know texans played him tough to but sumtimes u gotta force it in there once in a while dalton is like Trent dilfer gees Guess no dimes tnite on sportscenter lol

  36. modellforprez says: Jan 6, 2013 12:43 AM

    Mrs Wright. steelers fans all tight. are you home trick. bengal fans should be tight. its not our team that’s NEVER won a road playoff game. or not 1 single playoff victory since 1990. and you have the audacity to mouth off to pigskin Royalty you little loser’s are gonna learn to respect the king.

  37. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Jan 6, 2013 8:23 AM

    Marvin Lewis is 79-80-1 and 0-3 in playoffs in TEN years. How does he have a job? And get contract extensions? It’s literally unbelievable.

  38. footballchic777 says: Jan 6, 2013 1:21 PM

    Dalton passed not to throw picks, our D forgot how to play, Gruden forgot how to pass to Green and continue to use BJGE who was actually moving the ball, and the Texans totally exploited what the Bengals fans have been saying most of the year…….Get Rey out of the game. We played to lose, not win……totally disappointed Bengals fan….AGAIN!!!

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