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Marvin Lewis shouldn’t dismiss idea of a clock management specialist Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis was recently asked if he had considered hiring a clock management specialist like the Los Angeles Rams have.
Lewis responded by stating that their head coach Sean McVay also calls their offense so Cheap Billy Price Jersey , “maybe that is something he feels he needs help with.” That is an odd stone throw by a man with a glass office at Paul Brown Stadium. Lewis, like many NFL head coaches, has had his issues with clock management. Here is a bit of anecdotal evidence to support why the Bengals should have someone responsible for clock management,September 27th, 2015The Bengals led the Baltimore Ravens 28-24. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has just failed to connect with tight end Maxx Williams on 4th and 17, giving the ball back to the Bengals with 1:35 remaining in the 4th quarter. Lewis evidently thinks that the game is over as he sends quarterback Andy Dalton and the Bengal’s offense out to kneel on the ball. It is impossible to know what is going through Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh’s head, but what he does is brilliant. The Ravens have one time out remaining, but they don’t use it immediately. They let the Bengals take another knee on 2nd down before using their timeout. This obviously catches Lewis off guard, and he uses a timeout of his own to figure out what to do. There are now 53 seconds remaining. If the Bengals took a third knee they would likely only get the clock down to around 10 seconds before 4th down. They give the ball to Giovani Bernard who gains 7 yards and burns a few extra seconds off of the clock. Lewis lets the play clock tick down as far as possible then calls a timeout with 6 seconds remaining. The Bengals again run the ball with Bernard on 4th down and time runs out. Although the odds of the Ravens pulling off the win at this point were incredibly low, the Bengals gave them a slight chance.This situation could have been avoided. Knowing that the Ravens had a timeout, the Bengals should not have taken a knee on first down. It is simple math. The play clock is 40 seconds, so a team can use about 43 seconds per play if the quickly kneel after the snap (this can obviously be extended a little if the quarterback waits to be pressured before kneeling). Since the Ravens had a timeout the Bengals could only hope to take about a minute and a half off the block by kneeling. Taking a knee on the first two downs prevented them from gaining yards and taking additional time off the clock.The Bengals should have gone into this situation with the mindset of getting the first down. They took a knee when they couldn’t guarantee running out the clock. This was a dumb move, but they got lucky. The Cincinnati Bengals come into Week 8 at a major crossroads. After two straight crushing losses, the team needs a win before the bye to have their playoff hopes back on the radar.There’s a huge difference between 4-4 and 5-3 at the midway point. And, to drive this point home, the leaders of the Bengals’ locker room called a rare “players-only meeting,” hoping to provide a catalyst to another postseason run under Marvin Lewis’ watch. We’ll see if it works, as those types of occurrences can usually be pointed to as a seasonal turning point when hindsight is applied. Dirk Koetter’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers come into town in a similar situation. They’ve been through a lot this year, but are still alive in the playoff hunt at 3-3.There’s a line in the sand for some folks at the quarterback position down south this year. Ryan Fitzpatrick started out hot Cheap Tyler Eifert Jersey , but relented to Jameis Winston—the talented, but somewhat-troubled franchise quarterback.Winston quieted those who wanted more “Fitzmagic” upon the former No. 1 overall pick’s return from suspension with a win against the Browns last week, but there are lingering questions. Regardless, it’s a gigantic game for Winston and Bengals quarterback, Andy Dalton. Too dramatic?Unfortunately for both teams, they come into the matchup pretty wounded. Cincinnati had 10 players out of practice on the Wednesday injury report, probably prompting some fans to to utter “who’s that?” regarding a number of players when watching the game Sunday. John Ross, Giovani Bernard, Billy Price, Nick Vigil, Vontaze Burfict and Tyler Kroft all appear to be guys who the team will get back after next week’s bye, which definitely hurts the Bengals’ chances against the Buccaneers. However, it’s a great week for Dalton and Co. to get things back on track—even with their own personnel losses. Kwon Alexander, Vernon Hargreaves, Mitch Unrein and Chris Conte are all on Tampa Bay’s Injured Reserve. These respective situations take a little bit of luster out of the game, but also provide golden opportunities for two teams who are desperate for a win this weekend. One interesting storyline coming into Sunday is actually part of the Marvin Lewis coaching tree. Mike Smith, the former Atlanta Falcons head coach, was fired from his defensive coordinator duties this week, paving the way for Mark Duffner to take over. You remember Duffner Cheap A.J. Green Jersey , right? After all, he was the architect of many dominant Bengals’ defenses in that oh-so-memorable stretch of Bengals football from 1997-2002. He was both a linebackers coach and defensive coordinator during the span and was shown the door with Lewis’ arrival. Did I forget the “sarcasm font”?Oddly enough, Lewis and the Bengals have had some very frustrating games against Tampa Bay in recent history. In 2006, which was one of those seasons that made Who Dey faithful want to tear their hair out, Cincinnati lost in the oddest of fashions. Most people remember the three-game skid to end the year, but few recall the Week 6 debacle against the Bucs that season. After grabbing a late 13-7 lead, Justin Smith was inexplicably called for roughing the passer, leading to a critical 14-13 loss.Four years later, the team was reeling because of locker room malcontents and other issues and lost in Week 5, in what became the early stages of a 10-game losing streak. The 24-21 loss kickstarted the need for an overhaul that following offseason. Then, in 2014 after battling numerous injuries, Cincinnati squeaked by a terrible Tampa Bay team that won just two games that year. In a similar twist of fate from eight years earlier, the Bengals were victorious, 14-13, but the doubts that were left after that matchup were ultimately realized in yet another Wild Card loss to the Colts. So, what’s in store this Sunday at 1 pm ET?Common sense would tell you that another nail-biter is in store—especially with the scattered past history between the clubs. Given the similarities between the teams this year, that could definitely be the case once again. Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin will give the beleaguered Cincinnati defense fits on Sunday to be sure. Second round pick Ronald Jones II has been a bit of a disappointment so far, but he is slated to get more touches going forward and many struggling players have seemingly found their groove against the Bengals in the past (Trent Richardson Cheap Dre Kirkpatrick Jersey , cough, cough) for some inexplicable reason. Don’t worry though, Bengals fans. Marvin Lewis recently noted that he realizes tackles are a problem. And Dre Kirkpatrick has apparently taken it to heart as well. So, we’re all good.Did I forget that pesky “sarcasm font” again?Still, this seems like a game that will have a lot of weird bounces and may even have a ambiance of sloppiness after some three and a half hours of football have ensued. Cincinnati can’t seem to stop potent offenses like the one Tampa Bay employs, but the men in stripes have also been known to get really streaky within contests.Believe it or not, despite the past two weeks’ results and the massive slate of injuries, I see Cincinnati handling business in a relatively easy manner this week. After all, Marv, this is one of those games you’re supposed to win, right?Would you like some more high-level, professional analysis? Okay, then. I think the Bengals are pissed. They’ve had their name drug through the mud for two weeks, are returning home and want to take it out on someone. Buccaneers 23, Bengals 31AC — Cap’n Jack Sparrow got nothin’ on me.