Bengals’ game plan oddly ignores A.J. Green

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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.

38 responses to “Bengals’ game plan oddly ignores A.J. Green

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

  8. 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”

  9. 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!

    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.

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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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