"We just had a few guys trying to do too much..."
Ever hear that quote from Marvin Lewis during a Monday press conference? Try after nearly every game over the past five-plus seasons as Bengals Head Coach.
Truth be told, 31 other teams have issues with a player trying to be a hero and go outside their responsibilities to make a big play. But, no other team has it happen again, and again, and again (without that mistake being corrected) more than the Bengals.
While in Dallas for the game, I saw one play that reminded me of Marvin's weekly quote...and after going back through the DVR, it's clear that it was a case of someone trying to do too much. Let's break this sucker down (touchdown begins at 0:24).
Setting the scene: 4th and 4 for the Cowboys on the Bengals 33 with 6:09 left in the first quarter. 3-0 Cowboys at the time.
On the play, you can see Felix Jones eight yards behind the line of scrimmage. Now, knowing what Jones's strengths are, you can probably guess if he is getting the ball, it's going to be outside (NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT HE WAS AN ENTIRE EIGHT YARDS BEHIND THE LINE).
Jonathan Joseph was the left corner on the play, and instead of playing his responsibility and staying outside to force Jones back inside, he cuts back and tries to make a highlight reel play four yards in the backfield. Marvin White, Robert Geathers (among others) were back inside waiting to stop Jones well short of the first down, ending the Cowboys drive.
I don't fault Joseph's effort on this play, but this team needs to play sound defense and stop trying to win the game on one play. The players need to know that the other will do their job and be in the right spot, especially on possession-changing plays like 4th down in your own territory.
Did this particular play lose the game for the Bengals? No, but you can see why this team is 0-5 and is now seven games under .500 since 2005. Stupid, fundamental (some might say selfish) mental mistakes that linger from play to play, game to game, and season to season.