Ok…so the title of the article is wrong…there is more than a little off. It’s called A LOT. We’re 3-2 and somehow still 2nd in the division (but that’s only because Pittsburgh already had their bye) behind the Ravens who are pulling away fast. We’ve got more bad news in the form of injuries and some of the playmakers who ARE healthy on our team are struggling. What are our poor Bengals to do? I know…beat the $@*! out of the Browns. Let’s start with last weekend first.
“Oh where, oh where has my offense gone? Oh where, or where can it be?” Apparently we left it in Jacksonville because it didn’t show up back at Paul Brown last Sunday. Andy didn’t look like Andy. Most of this was his fault but I will place a little blame on Gruden. Dalton’s accuracy was all over the place. I don’t care how used to throwing to A.J. Green you get, you can’t put a ball that high on little ‘Baby Hawk’. He did it one too many times which resulted in the eventual end of the game. Our Red Rifle went from the 5th QB in the league (for passing) to the 12th with his performance this weekend. Ouch Andy. Now I’m not ready to jump ship. I still think #14 is our man for the long haul. He’s got the talent, leadership and hard-work to become the franchise QB that we need but he’s got to get over these speed bumps and they need to go quickly.
Green-Ellis was a HUGE disappointment again this week. He was the 3RD leading rusher on the Bengals behind Scott (40) AND DALTON (21) with only 14 yards on 9 carries. I don’t know if it’s the line or Ben but this has GOT to get fixed. Now more than ever since our backup Scott is done for the year with an ACL tear. Oops. Like I said above though, part of this blame has to be put on Gruden. He abandoned the run VERY early in the game. I love seeing Andy throw that ball around but you’re not going to see production from your back if you don’t give him the ball and if you make your QB throw the ball 43 times (also when he’s having a bad day) there are going to be concequences…such as 2 INTs.
The one piece of cool news that includes our offense is about A.J. Green. This weekend he became the first man in NFL history with 100 receptions, 1,500 yards, and 11 touchdowns by his 20th game. Well done sir!
Hey Defense! You ready? Well done. Note that I didn’t say ‘Fantastic!’ but you do get a ‘Well done.’ The D held the Dolphins to a total of 279 total yards on offense and only a tiny 68 yards of that was rushing. Our LINE has arrived. The secondary is getting healthier and better. Hall is falling back into his rhythm, Clements is making a good transition to safety, Reggie Nelson is finally taking his talents to the next level by becoming a leader of the defense and Terrance Newman didn’t get any unnecessary penalties this week (he even got a INT…good for you). However, the middle of the field sucks. That’s the nicest way I can put it. Almost every catch was underneath the corners, in the middle of the field and was made because linebackers were CLUELESS on where to be. Hey Rey! I know you gave my kid a chicken sandwich last year around this time but you can’t keep riding that train forever. Somethings gotta change man…and I’m not so sure that the change will include a Samoan in it…unless it’s Peko. I like him :). The bottom line is that our defense doesn’t look so crappy anymore. 17th in passing and 19th in rushing. It’s still not the top 10 D we had last year but I’ll take it over the crap we had the first 3 weeks.
Now here’s the tricky part everyone. We’ve got to have good offense AND good defense…wait for it…AT THE SAME TIME! You can’t be the Bengals and expect to have a successful season, make the post-season and WIN a post-season game if you don’t have both components. So how do you get back on track? You put on your big boy pants, practice like there’s no tomorrow, watch some film and then go smear those poop-stained Browns all around their dirty lake. You come home with some pride and a good feeling in your heart. Then you do it all over again but this time the Steelers come into YOUR house and you stand your ground and say, ‘Bring it!’ …and they will, so you better be ready.
…but we’ve got some time for that. Until then, let’s kick a little Brown A$$!!!