I would like to send a thank you note to the Cincinnati Bengals. Thank you for making me look like a complete idiot. Thanks for making me believe that you guys would actually contend for a Super Bowl and that you were the team to beat in the AFC. Thanks for once again giving me and your fans a false sense of hope after an active off-season which made your offense look like an all-star team waiting to explode even though you have a mediocre quarterback (note to the reader: I KNEW CARSON PALMER WAS OVERRATED AND EVEN SAID IT AND STILL PICKED THE BENGALS TO WIN THE SUPER BOWL!!! UUUUGGGHHH!!!)
Thanks for roping me in at the end of last year with that supposed great defense that was top 15 in the NFL and that was without Antwan Odom who got injured in the middle of the year while leading the league in sacks. If you saw Sunday’s game versus Atlanta then you would realized that even if they had Lamar Odom they still would be a horrible defense.
Save for a great play by Adam Jones (the artist formally known as Pac-man) the defense got gutted by a potent Falcons offense that rebounded after a tough road loss in Philadelphia. Roddy White shredded the Cincy secondary for 201 yards and Michael Turner ran all over the front 7 to the tune of 121 yards. The defense couldn’t stop the Falcons attack from the jump as Atlanta built a 24-3 lead at the half then eventually withstood a roaring charge by the Bengals offense to win 39-32. In all honesty, Marvin Lewis’s defensive background has done him no justice in Cincinnati. The man that helmed the Baltimore Ravens dominating defense has not been able to replicate that success in Cincy.
The Bengals have never been ranked in the top ten in total defense during Lewis’s tenure even with high draft picks that they have used for seemingly talented players like Jonathan Joseph, Leon Hall and Ray Maleluga. They can’t get any pressure on the quarterback and have been shredded time and time again.
However, a special shout-out goes to the Cincinnati offense and the aforementioned Carson Palmer. Thanks for making believe that Terrell Owens was the missing piece to your offense (though he has been spectacular). It doesn’t hide the fact that your quarterback is terrible.
Forget the gaudy stats for a minute, Carson Palmer is not an elite quarterback, nor should he be the starter in Cincy after this year. His inconsistent play mixed in with horrible passes have killed the Bengals offensive production all year long. It’s forcing them to be a pass happy team when they really need to feed Cedric Benson like a rabid wolverine. At this point I’m actually waiting for T.O. and Ocho to raise hell and turn on Palmer in an instant.
If the Bengals have any shot of making a playoff run then it has to begin next week at home versus Miami. The Bengals have to get Benson 25 touches and limit Palmer’s throws. They have to stop the run game of Miami which seems like an impossible task with the number 22 ranked run defense in the league. They have to slow down Brandon Marshall who after a non effective day versus the Steelers yesterday is licking his chops to get at the same secondary that let White go off yesterday. They have to do something to resemble the Super Bowl contender that they were supposed to be, and they have to do it quick.
They trail Pittsburgh by 3 games and still have them twice in the next month, not to mention Baltimore again, New Orleans, Indianapolis and the Jets. That’s 6 potential in-season playoff games that may make or break them.
Matter of fact, I’m changing my mind they won’t turn it around, they’re done. The Bengals will finish 8-8 and begin to rebuild again, a sound far too familiar in the Queen City. The Bengals fooled all of us with their hopes and dreams hiding the inconsistencies and lack of production in areas that now hinder them. I knew this… yet I still picked them to win it all. I don’t know what’s worse the way their playing or me picking them to win it all. Never again.
Special shout-out also goes to these teams for making me look bad:
-San Francisco 1-6. I picked them to win the NFC West, they lost to the worst team in the league after leading by ten. I love Mike Singletary but he may be shown the door at season’s end.
-New Orleans 4-3. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Madden Curse has found Drew Brees. Four picks against the Browns?… THE BROWNS?!
-Minnesota 2-4. Favre should’ve never left his tractor and he knows it. If you saw him after the game on Sunday night then you saw a beaten man who didn’t want to take anymore. He’s a walking Roberto Duran. Unfortunately for him there is still 10 weeks to go.