Tag Archives: Cincinnati Bengals

How much longer should the Cincinnati Bengals/Marvin Lewis marriage last after this season?

I’ve lived in Cincinnati, Ohio since 2001 shortly after I graduated high school (Meadowdale HS in Dayton) I did a short trek down I-75 south to go to school at the University of Cincinnati and I haven’t left sense. I start out the story with that piece of information just to give you some background on where I’m coming from. I also want to add that since I live in Cincinnati, I want them to win because the quality of life in the city is a lot better when the Bengals are playing good, if you live in the area pay attention throughout any season to see the social temperature.

Marvin Lewis was hired as the Bengals head coach in 2003 and still is the coach to this day. Lewis is heading into his 15th year as Cincinnati’s head coach and he has turned around a franchise that was a laughing stock in the 90’s, so we have to give him credit for that. Besides Bill Belichick, Lewis is the longest tenured head coach in the NFL, which is a hell of an accomplishment in the climate of NFL on a yearly basis. Normally coaches can’t stick around two or three years let alone over a decade without some consistent success. He has a career record of 118-103-3 (wins, losses and ties) in the regular season, with 4 AFC North titles, but the elephant in the room is the 0-7 record in the playoffs. They haven’t won a playoff game during his tenure and as a franchise since 1991 so it is easy to say you guys are doing great, but when it counts you are going to fold.

The Bengals seemed to have jumped that hurdle in January of 2016 against their hated rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers, but after a couple of penalties by Adam “PacMan” Jones and Vontaze Burfict that went down the drain after the Steelers nailed a game winning field goal.

To tie everything together we all know marriage is like a rollercoaster at Kings Island and you have to roll with the ups and the downs, but being 0-7 in the playoffs is tough to overlook especially with being in Cincinnati for the time that he has, if you flip the coin to Belichick he has won five super bowls during his 16 going on 17th year(s) in New England (cheater or not) and played in seven of the final games.

This current roster has a stockpile of talent, but is Lewis the man to get them over the hump? That is the million dollar question. We all know Lewis has an eye for talent and good assistant coaches (Mike Zimmer, Hue Jackson and Jay Gruden are head coaches), but have you ever seen anybody have this much of a safety net without performing in the playoffs? I personally can’t recall any coach besides Jeff Fisher (lol) getting second chance after second chance and Marvin is better than Jeff, but that is for another day.

Bengals fans know Mike Brown is cheap, even non Bengals fans know that, so if Marvin can get his team a playoff win this year he will be safe, but if his teams makes the playoffs and doesn’t win he probably will head on permanent vacation, but who knows these are my thoughts on the situation. Marvin, isn’t Tony Dungy, but is kind of in the same situation the great Dungy was in with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 90’s/00’s only difference is Dungy won a few playoff games (he finally got his Super Bowl win with the Indianapolis Colts).

Let us know your thoughts about Marvin Lewis Bengals fans, we want to hear you?

Mid-season Super Bowl contenders

With six weeks in the books, the picture has become more clear on whom the real contenders are in the race to Levi Stadium, to play in Super Bowl 50. After several surprising starts and a few that weren’t too shocking, five teams remain unbeaten. The Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals and the defending champions, New England Patriots.

Judging by the record alone, one would have to believe that all of these teams have a legitimate chance at playing in San Fran come February. Digging a little deeper will uncover the faults in the somewhat lucky success a few of these clubs have experienced.

Lets begin with the two most probable teams to crumble as quickly as they’ve risendalton-andy-over16, The Denver Broncos and the Cincinnati Bengals. First, the Bengals. The current leaders of the AFC North are poised to make yet another playoff run with Andy Dalton behind center, this time looking for their first postseason win. Now while they will almost certainly end up winning the division, barring a complete collapse mixed with a sudden resurgence in their three rivals, Cincy has had some close calls throughout their short win streak. Week three was a nail biter against the offensively challenged Ravens, a field goal in overtime won them the game against the Seahawks and their blowout wins have come against bottom dwellers such as the Raiders and the under achieving Chiefs and Bills. Coming off their bye in two weeks they will face a Steelers squad who will more than likely have Big Ben back at a 100%. Followed up by some hard hitting NFC games near the end of the season, the journey is anything, but smooth from here on out for the Bengals.

At 39, Peyton Manning has all, but conquered his dreams and ambitions in the NFL. One thing he hasn’t done is silence the critics when it comes to his postseason ability, or lack thereof. Starting off the year as he finished it in 2014, Peyton has looked nothing like his future hall of fame self. Throwing numerous pick sixes, incompletion after incompletion and basically providing Manning-Haters with enough material to make a comedy routine about, the former MVP has taken a back seat to his defense on their bumpy ride to the top of the AFC West. With a run game only existent in the past few weeks and a QB who is playing like a first year rookie, the defense has been forced and challenged to bring their “A” game to the table each and every week and they have, convincingly. If the offense doesn’t pick up the slack soon, it will only be a matter of time before the Denver team encounters their first loss.

Two other teams that are unbeaten, but have a great chance of continuing this streak for much more weeks, are the Carolina Panthers and The Green Bay Packers.

Green Bay has, and always will be, a perennial favorite to win the Lombardi as long as they have Aaron Rodgers leading the way. While most will assume that the CheeseHeads have the best chance of going 16-0, the odds are less likely than most will know. Allowing Philip Rivers to throw 60+ times for a staggering 500 yards and zero picks, shows that they need to buckle down on their pass coverage. Although the run game has recently regained momentum with the emergence of Starks, the lack of Lacy and his dominance has been a major breaking point. The Pack have The Broncos on tap following their bye week, it’s a guarantee one of those teams will be staring at a daunting 1 in the loss column. Look for both teams to strategize a win, most importantly by correcting their major mistakes in the run game.

The Car113013-NFL-Panthers-Cam-Newton-Celebrates-Touchdown-CQ-PI-CH_vadapt_620_high_0olina Panthers have made history for their franchise on way to their impressive 6-0 start. Cam Newton has firmly placed his name in the mid way votes for MVP, leaving little doubt that he is poised to be an elite superstar for years to come. Losing Luke Kuechly early in the season seemed like it would be a devastating blow to an already injury plagued team, this was not the case. They have cemented themselves as a top contender in not only the NFC South, but the entire conference. Also having a date with the powerhouse Packers team, they too have quite a difficult road ahead. As Cam continues to produce with little targets and the defense gets their heart and soul back when Luke returns, watch for the Panthers to make more than a statement in the following weeks.

Last and certainly not least, is the dreaded Patriots. Clouded in controversy since the conference final last January and let’s face it , for most of the decade, New England has taken that criticism, hate and negativity and transformed into major success. With the latest “defletegate” and non suspension of Brady, the heat hasn’t been more fierce for the New England team. As always, both Belichick and Brady have used this to their advantage and absolutely have laid waste to the competition this year. Matching an outstanding 2007 season so far, which seen the Patriots and Tom the terrible smash the history books cruising to a 16-0 regular season record, the Pats have all, but silenced every doubt cast upon them. With no clear favorites to upset Brady’s Bunch, New England fans can almost book a date by the golden gate with a 16-0 record at their side.

So who will be the last to fall? Will the Bengals continue their thrashing of the AFC North? Will the Panthers surprise everyone and stop the mighty Packers en route to an undefeated season? Will Peyton find the fountain of youth to help the obsolete offence in Denver? Will the Packers prove they are the NFC favorite for years to come? Or will the Pats be the first to repeat a Super Bowl win and ultimately become the dynasty to beat as they will be the only team to have two undefeated seasons? It won’t be long until we see the first loss out of this bunch of unbeatens, the real test is about to ensue in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned !!

Week 1 in the NFL was about the Tight Ends

As I’ve grown up I’ve seen the tight end position evolve to a position that was mainly used as an extra linemen (exceptions were made for some but you get the point) to now they are matchup problems for almost every defense.

Three tight ends stole the show during the first week in the NFL:

gronkowskiRob Gronkowski, New England Patriots- Gronkowski went crazy on the Steelers secondary for the tune of 5 receptions, 98 yards and 3 touchdowns. We know “Gronk” is the best tight end in the league just in case you forgot he reminded everyone on Thursday night.

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs- Kelce is a young gun who on Sunday torched the Texans secondary for 6 catches, 106 yards and 2 touchdowns. With the addition of Jeremy Maclin, Kelce becomes even more of a matchup problem for opposing defenses.

tylereifertTyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals- Finally healthy in his 3rd season Eifert was able to show the world why the Bengals drafted him in the first round in 2013. Eifert caught 9 passes for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns.

A few others played well also at the tight end position, but these are the three who stood out week 1 in my humble opinion. I have Kelce in one of my fantasy football leagues and started him so he helped ya boy” out a lot and he’s a former Bearcats. I have Eifert in one of my leagues also, but I started Kyle Rudolph over him last week, Rudolph is solid, but that was a big time fail by the president (I’m the president, if you don’t get the joke).

Can the Bengals get over the hump this season?

To be honest the Cincinnati Bengals have one of the most talented teams in the NFL top to bottom at every position (except one) and they have been to the playoffs the last four seasons. They have been the model of consistency or mediocrity depending on how you look at it because they haven’t won when it counted most.

On the flip side is every year they have had Andy Dalton the Bengals have made the playoffs, but also every year they haven’t won a game in the playoffs either. Coach Marvin Lewis has yet to win a playoff game during his 13 year tenure with the club and yet he still is employed (I promise he has dirt on the owner nobody can tell me differently). Lewis is a solid coach, but this year for him and his quarterback could be do or die for both of them especially for the head coach if they make the playoffs this town won’t be happy with a one game exit Paul Brown Stadium might implode with the anger that would surface.

Andy Dalton isn’t an elite quarterback, but he isn’t terrible either, if good Andy shows up in the playoffs the Bengals can beat anybody, but if bad Andy appears the Bengals can lose to anybody also. The good thing for the Bengals right now is that all of his weapons are currently healthy, I know that could change in the future, but with Marvin Jones, Tyler Eifert and A.J. Green back in the fold it should make “The Red Rifles” job that much easier. Plus the two headed monster in the backfield that is Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard they can control the ground game also.

The Bengals have a very deep defense in all phrases. Vontaze Burfict is out for the first six weeks, but that should help the linebacking core in the long run. Will Dre Kirkpatrick be able to continue on his late season run to be a staple in the back end of the defense? With Geno Atkins back at 100% and reacquiring Michael Johnson the defensive line should apply a lot more pressure this year.

Can the Bengals turn the corner? They have the talent to do so, but if they don’t make any noise in the playoffs this team or at least this coaching staff could get blown up. I think they can be a 9 or 10 game winner this year because they have a hard schedule. Will they be able to make the playoffs for the fifth time in as many years? Only time will tell, because Cincy has some antsy fans.

Terrelle Pryor’s agent lets it be known his client will move to receiver

After being released by the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals this offseason quarterback Terrelle Pryor let it be known that he will make the position change to receiver. Well his agent Drew Rosenhaus per Pro Football Talk let us know he was switching positons.

I always thought it was inevitable after he was released by the Oakland Raiders a few years back. Pryor is 6’4” ,233 lbs and runs a 4.3 well I don’t know if he still runs a 4.3, but with the interest in him the last few years I’m pretty sure it’s in that range.

This isn’t the first time Pryor has played receiver (see below) as he played some his freshman year at Ohio State. It was only in certain packages and I’m not saying he’s going to be successful in the pros, but he has all of the physical tools to be able to pull it off. Only time will tell, good luck TP. If you don’t succeed you can always give the CFL a try either at receiver or quarterback.

The Bengals give Pryor an opportunity

I don’t know about y’all, but I saw the picture of Miguel, I mean Chuck Taylor, Terrelle Pryor first before I realized the Cincinnati Bengals had signed him to the roster. To say the least the picture made me and friends laugh, but I’m happy Pryor is getting a shot to make a roster.

Pryor was a star at The Ohio State for three years before “tattoogate” made him leave during his senior year. So to say Pryor is in familiar settings is an understatement. Pryor is reuniting with Hue Jackson who coached Pryor when he was drafted by the Raiders. He won’t push incumbent starter Andy Dalton for his position, but if he makes the team he gives the Bengals a playmaker at the quarterback position if Andy was to get injured. Something the Bengals haven’t had in years. The dual threat has the longest run from the quarterback position in NFL history; maybe the Bengals will have some special Pryor packages? Maybe not.

Pryor has played good in spots when he’s gotten a chance to start, before a concussion and a knee injury slowed him down during the 2013 season he had Oakland respectable.

For the Bengals this is a win/win situation, he does good they keep him, he does bad they cut him for minimal cost. Good luck to TP. If all else fails at least we do hair updates.

Bengals making solid moves in free agency

Despite not winning in the playoffs the last four seasons the Cincinnati Bengals have been doing a good job not overspending and bringing in the right personnel to keep them on the right track for success. Sometimes that is resigning or not resigning a player that fits your team fiscally and physically and so far this free agency period the Bengals have been doing a great job at sticking to their format.

First they resigned linebacker Rey Maualuga to a three-year deal that is worth roughly $15 million. Very solid move by the team for a player that provides more positives than negatives and can play multiple linebacking positions. Check the breakdown of his contract.

They resigned kicker Mike Nugent to a two-year deal worth up to $4 million. This is another solid move.

Third they signed veteran linebacker A.J. Hawk to a two-year deal, I haven’t been able to see the deal, but I’m pretty sure it’s a cap friendly deal for the Bengals. Hawk provides leadership and stability to a nice young linebacking core.

Fourth they resigned guard Clint Boling to a five-year $26 million deal. I’m not for sure how much is guaranteed, but this is another smart move by the Bengals. If you can keep a quality lineman for an affordable price you have to write the check.

Fifth they resigned defensive end Michael Johnson to a four-year $20 million deal. Johnson is a year removed from pairing with Carlos Dunlap being  arguably the best defensive end tandem in the league. Getting Johnson back is pretty solid.

The Bengals haven’t made any earth shattering deals, but every move they have made has been solid. Sometimes not winning in the press releases helps you win when it counts. Good job Bengals now win a playoff game please!

The Bengals FINALLY win an important Prime Time game

Coming into the Cincinnati Bengals versus Denver Broncos game last Monday Night, we had many questions and not enough answers about the Bengals. On Monday night we got a few answers.

The last time we saw the Bengals play after 4 pm was against the Cleveland Browns at home on Thursday Night Football November 2nd and we all remember seeing the Brian Hoyer led Browns Mike Tyson knockout the Bengals 24-3. The Bengals avenged the beating by winning 30-0 in Cleveland, but it wasn’t in prime time so I took that with a grain of salt. What we all saw November 2nd was a team whose quarterback couldn’t make a throw in bad conditions and one who seemed to be out of place (again) when the lights were on.  I think Andy Dalton had a QB rating of around 1 against the Browns on Thursday Night Football and if you watched the Bengals under the lights in previous years that game really wasn’t an aberration.

On Monday Night something was different even after Andy Dalton tried to turn into “Prime Time” Dalton right before our eyes with a pick 6 to start the game. What was different? The Bengals were able to stick with the running game to the tune of 37 carries and 207 yards. Rookie Jeremy Hill ran for 147 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, his lone touchdown was on an 85 yard run that answered “Prime Time” Dalton’s pick 6.

Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson did a great job in giving Dalton easy passes in spite of another so-so performance, but it seems they have found the formula to get a win or two in the playoffs. The less Dalton throws the better chance the Bengals have to win. Monday Night was a huge win for Cincinnati; it locked them into the playoffs and proved they can win a big game.

The Bengals defense played great ball, confusing and picking off Peyton Manning four times. If the defense and running game shows up this might not be the last big game the Bengals win.

Now can they beat Pittsburgh on the road to win the AFC North? And secure at least one home playoff game? Oh and the big elephant in the room can they finally win a damn playoff game? Will it be four years and no wins? Only time will tell, but we can’t take anything away from the Bengals performance last Monday!