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Five Questions with Cincy Jungle

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Ahead of the matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, I spoke to Patrick Judis from Cincy Jungle about what to expect from a Bengals team in freefall.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

1: Any time a starting QB goes down, it’s a huge blow for the team. How well was Dalton playing before the injury, and how has Jeff Driskel looked since taking over. Is there any chance (even slim) of a quarterback controversy next year?

Dalton started off the season extremely hot. He had all his weapons around him including Tyler Eifert, A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and John Ross. The Bengals offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, who officially took over this offseason, had even reworked Cincinnati’s offense from the ground up for the first time since Jay Gruden took over in 2011. However, his play dropped off after that, and it hard to blame Dalton entirely for that.

It depends on who you ask if there will be a quarterback controversy. The one thing that is for sure is that it won’t be with Jeff Driskel. It will be a matter of if the Bengals decide to draft a quarterback early.

As someone who thinks Dalton is a capable quarterback in the NFL, it feels like Dalton and the Bengals could benefit from a fresh start. Although, it would be shocking for the team to move on from Dalton if Marvin Lewis is still the coach.

2: The Bengals had such a promising start to the season, but are currently on a four game losing streak. What was working at the beginning of the season that has stopped working lately, and what’s gone wrong for the Bengals since then?

To an outsider, the instant answer would be injuries, which do play a part. However, for the Bengals to have been competitive this season they would have needed to stay pretty much 100 percent healthy. That just isn’t a reasonable expectation.

This team looks like it is poorly coached. Players aren’t being used correctly at times, we keep seeing the same players struggle week after week without a thought of trying to mix things up and the general depth of the team is just poor.

The short of it is Mike Brown and Lewis don’t know how to run an NFL team in 2018.

3: Marvin Lewis. Is the end of this season finally the end of his reign in Cincinnati, and do you want it to be?

After the team re-signed him last season, I’m not going to hold my breathe on him getting fired. A far more likely scenario is that he’d decide to retire or walk away himself.

At this point I think Mike Brown is the only person who is content with Lewis as the head coach. Any other organization would have fired after the Browns loss (or years ago).

4: With AJ Green on IR, some other WRs are going to need to step up. Tyler Boyd has had a fantastic year, but who else should we be looking out for on Sunday? Is it John Ross’ time to shine?

John Ross has shown flashes of being a capable wide receiver. It just doesn’t appear this team knows how to use him. It feels like they treat him mostly like a deep threat decoy, but Ross is capable of running a full route tree.

Honestly, aside from Boyd the Chargers won’t have much to worry about from the receiver position. Auden Tate should be active with Green out, and he is a big bodied receiver, but he is still learning how to play the position in the NFL.

5: I have to ask, just for my own curiosity. How is Vontaze Burfict viewed by Bengals fans? Do you see him as a talented player who just needs to rein it in at times, or do you see it as anything more nefarious?

Before this season, he was seen as a talented guy who liked to toe the line. He has crossed it a few times with the ankle twisting and things of that nature. However, a lot of what the national media blows some of his stuff up just because it is Burfict.

This year he has looked like a shell of himself. We don’t know if it is still him dealing with his hip injury, but he just looks two steps slower than he ever has. I don’t think fans would be that upset to see him go at this point. He isn’t a bad guy to have on your team though.

Bonus Question (if you’re up for it!): Could we get a score prediction?

You can expect very little resistance from this Cincinnati team. They can’t move the ball on offense or stop anyone on defense.

Chargers 41 Bengals 13.