Latest posts by Redshirt (see all)
- Your 2018 Bengals Preview: Re-Defining Insanity – One Year At a Time – August 7, 2018
- Bengals Bye Week – God’s Merciful Reprieve – October 17, 2017
- 2017 Cincinnati Bengals Preview – Fool’s Golden Anniversary Edition – August 14, 2017
Well, it’s the bye week for the Cincinnati Bengals and I’ve been asked to write something up for my team. I could do an homage to a classic radio broadcast that beloved retired radio broadcaster Gary Burbank used to do, but unfortunately, TV, video games and all the lead in the drinking water has destroyed most of my creativity. Seriously, I planned to write three scenes and I only was able to write one.
(Cincinnati Sports Radio always keeps the fans laughing so they don’t do anything drastic like drink Drano or watch baseball.)
And since I went to high school when computers were relatively new, I’m only literate enough to type something, but not enough to Photoshop or create a webpage.
So, anywho, I’ll just do what I did in the Season Preview and write about the team.
Offense: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of gains, it was the age of losses, it was the epoch of success, it was the epoch of futility, it was the season of touchdowns, it was the season of punts, it was the afternoon of hope, it was the prime time game of despair, we had the playoffs before us, we had the offseason before us, we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the offense started awful but then went great sp it’s hard to tell if this offense is good or bad.
QB: Well, Bad Andy definitely showed he’s alive and well to all of your amusement, but thankfully Good Andy reasserted himself with some pretty good QB play, while playing injured in the last game. So it looks like Dalton is going to be our guy for this year. [Takes shot of Drano] Don’t get me wrong. When he’s on, he’s really good. But when he’s off, oy vey, does he suck.
RB: Thankfully I was only joking in my Preview with suggested the Bengals go to a Maryland I with a tiger as the tailback behind Hill/Mixon/Bernard because if I was, the tiger would be full and the Bengals running game would only be slightly worse that it is now. Most of this has to do with the Offensive Line, but this has been a disappointment. Mixon has shown some flashes and Bernard did have a nice long TD catch-n-run, but for the most part, they are only running to keep the defense honest.
WR/TE: AJ Green is still AJ Green, in spite of the last game where he either felt he needed a challenge or he started BUF DEF-ST and wanted to be sure he got some fantasy points. The rest of the WR corps has been decimated by injuries, but the backups have been doing okay. TE Tyler Eifert has gone back to the IR again and has most likely played his last game for the Bengals. He’s a great player but no one’s going to pay for a TE who’s hurt half the time.
OL: I expected them to be bad, but not this bad. The Bengals spent a 1st and 2nd Rounder in ’16 on tackles and it looks like both are a bust. This probably contributed to the slow start because part of the game plan usually assumes the QB would have at least 1.4 seconds before he’s in mortal danger.
Defense: One thing that has been missed is the Bengals defense is a very good group that is flirting with great. I’m not ready to give drunkin’ fandumb comparisons to the ’00 Ravens and the ’85 Bears, but this defense is the reason the Bengals are 2-3 and not 1-4. Plus if the Bengals offense didn’t completely suck the first two games, they could conceivable be 4-1 right now.
DL: This has been a surprise. The young DEs have been impressive. This has allowed aging Michael Johnson to play as DT besides Geno Atkins, which would give guards and centers nightmares to plan for. If the Bengals recent success continues, it will be in no small part because of this position.
LB: This strength of the Bengals has pretty much lived up to its billing. Star LB Vontaze Burfict has returned to his style of playing great football up to and one or two seconds below the whistle. Also, rookie LB Carl Lawson is playing beyond expectations. If this continues, the Bengals may have struck gold.
DB: If this defense has any weaknesses, it’s in the secondary. Nothing too glaring, but injuries, inexperience and lack of performance has this group susceptible to long passes and penalties. This may improve over time from healing and playing, but as long as the front seven keeps getting pressure on opposing QBs, the DBs should be okay.
K/P: Bengals 2017 4th Round Jake Elliot has kicked some clutch kicks including a walk-off 61-yard game winner in spite of a scouting report of not having a big leg. Unfortunately, he did it while wearing the Hunter Green of the Philadelphia Eagles. Oops. As for the players still wearing orange and black, K Randy Bullock has only missed one field goal, but it ended up contributing to a loss against Green Bay. On the other hand, P Kevin Huber has continued to be an unsung hero for the Bengals for constantly flipping field position and keeping the other team inside their own 20.
Coaching: After the first two games, HC Marvin Lewis, probably seeing Mike Brown checking the Pennysaver for a slightly used Guillotine, axed popular but inept OC Ken Zampese and replaced with QB coach Bill Lazor. Lazor responded by simplifying the offensive game plan so the players rely more on quick action and instinct and not by overthinking. After removing the players’ brains from the equation, the players responded by a large improvement in yards gained and an infinity percent increase in touchdowns.
Prediction (revisited): I had the Bengals at 2-3 so I was right: it’s what they did, but not how they did it. As to where they go from here, its hard to say. The Bengals did beat Cleveland, but that only proves they’re not Cleveland. The Bengals did beat Buffalo, but that could mean that Buffalo wasn’t as good as their record indicated. The Bengals lost to Green Bay, but they did play well against them, so that’s both good and bad. The next game against Division Rival/archenemy/big-brother-bully/Lucy-holding-the-football Pittsburgh Steelers should be an eye opener. If they win, they’re be 3-3 near or on top of the division, and probably only have to go 6-4 to win AFC North. If they lose, they’ll be 2-4 have two teams ahead of them and a long season after that.
Sadly, I think the Steelers will beat them because either they will beat the Chiefs and feel confident going home to face the Bengals or they’ll be pissed from losing to the Chiefs and head home with the backs against the wall ready to take it out on their favorite punching bag the Bengals.
I’m going to hold on to my preview prediction of 7-9, but it wouldn’t be much of a stretch if they get to 8-8. But don’t be surprised if they pull of a chain of wins and end up 10-6. They have the talent and to their credit, they didn’t give up after going 0-2 with no TDs and 0-3 after losing a close game. This isn’t like other Bengals teams; this team has both talent and pride. That’s a dangerous combination.
Bengals Derp Fix: To help everyone out who needs a weekly fix of Bungal Derp, here is a YouTube video of the 1994 Cincinnati Bengals. Caution this is Industrial Grade Levels of Derp. Adequate eye and inebriation protection is recommended.