If you are a Cincinnati Bengal’s fan, you are probably not having the best of Sunday’s. Any loss for the home town team hurts. But a lost to the abysmal Brownies, who were 0 and 3 coming into the 1st edition of this year’s “Battle of Ohio” Throwdown? Things just went from bad, to real bad.
The Bengals today once again demonstrated why they appear to not quite be ready to join the League’s upper tier. Now, I am by no means saying this team will not make the playoffs. I would be crazy to say that with the talent this squad possesses. But at 2 and 2, things have not looked good for a team surrounded by much hype.
Lets take a quick look at what transpired today in Cleveland.
The Bengals took on a less than flattering Brown’s team led by long time backup, Seneca Wallace. In this game, the Who Deys had over 115 more total yards than our opponent. Cincinnati was also more efficient than their opponent both rushing and passing. Cincy’s big time receiver, TO, had over 220 yards receiving on 10 catches. Yet the Bengals took an L, and had their faces smashed in by former Arkansas Razorback, 3rd string RB, Peyton Hillis. This guy, who defines what it means to be a bruiser, really hurt the Who Deys late in the game, really solidifying the Browns first win of the season. The difference in this one though, a blocked field goal. And it was not Cincinnati’s “quarter season MVP,” Mike Nugent’s fault. A Brown’s defender came in untouched to block Nugent’s field goal attempt.
So are the Bengals in big trouble standing at 2 and 2? Currently, we are ranked 15th in the League in overall offense and passing offense. We are only 18th in the League in rushing. Last year, we were 24th in the League in overall offense, 26th in the passing game, and 9th overall rushing. So though I would like to see Cedric and the gang get it going more on the ground, there is no reason to panic offensively. Defensively, we currently rank 9th overall in the League, with the 11th ranked defense against the pass, and 13th against the run. Last year, the AFC North Champion Bengals ranked 4th in the NFL in overall defense. With a passing defense that was ranked 6th, and a ground stopping attack that ranked 7th. So the defense has fallen a little, but not much.
So sure the Bengals took a very bad loss today. But there is no reason to give up on this team yet. Their numbers are not really any worse than last year’s playoff team. People just have to accept that Marvin’s team plays down to the level of their competition every week and win in somewhat of an ugly fashion. Either way a win is a win. But I will state that this year’s schedule is much tougher than last years.
So what are your thoughts? Maybe Carson is the problem? Or maybe it is the play calling from Bob Bratkowski? Can this team bounce back and compete for the AFC North Title or are we on the way to a Who Dey Disaster?
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.