The New England Patriots’ trip to the Super Bowl, took Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork, and Rob Gronkowski off the Pro Bowl roster. It also put Andy Dalton, Geno Atkins, and Jermaine Gresham in the game, joining their teammate A.J. Green. According to my extremely-detailed mathematical logorithms, that makes four Bengals in the Pro Bowl. Four! FOUR!
The Bengals haven’t had that many since 2005 and have never had four that young make the trip. To me, the larger point is that the Bengals must make it to the playoffs next year and win a game or Marvin Lewis should be sent packing. It’s nothing against Lewis, who I believe is a solid person and a decent coach, but next year is about going further than that.
The Bengals have four Pro Bowl caliber players (five if you consider Andrew Whitworth) at important positions. Yes, I understand that some of those guys only made it to Hawaii because of good fortune, but the point is, they were good enough to get close. Thus, the team is plenty talented and will get even better with eight picks in the draft, including two in the first round. They also have plenty of cap space available in free agency after clearing Carson Palmer off the books. And for added measure, they should be getting some solid players back from injury as well, Jordan Shipley, Keith Rivers, Leon Hall, and Roddrick Muckelroy.
With all that considered, it should be pretty simple. It’s time to put up or shut up.
Let’s hope it’s the former.