With Ohio State off this weekend, Ohio had a chance to focus on its pro football teams, and the Browns and Bengals certainly delivered plenty of storylines to get us through. Some thoughts on the men in stripes…
OK, so it wasn’t all bad. And it isn’t all bad. But it sure felt bad. And a day later it really hasn’t started feeling better.
The Bengals did some good things Sunday against the Panthers. They also did some bad things. The latter could have been erased with one kick by Mike Nugent, but the home-state hero didn’t come through.
The result was a 37-all final score that left the Bengals in first place in the AFC North but lots of questions about the rest of the season.
The way the Browns whipped the fading Steelers made the result all the more meaningful, leaving the division lead feeling more precarious, but the tie was not really the top story in Cincinnati.
The second weekend in May was no ordinary one as the NFL draft brought nearly nonstop news beginning Thursday night.
The biggest news in Ohio was, of course, the Browns’ decision to draft Johnny Manziel in the first round on Thursday night. Manziel is a lightning rod who has excited the fanbase, but he probably won’t be handed the starting job by new head coach Mike Pettine. The Texas tornado will arrive in town to find a potential hometown hero in Cleveland’s own Brian Hoyer, who energized the fanbase himself for a few briefs weeks last season before blowing out his knee. What does the former Cleveland St. Ignatius Wildcat have to say? “Bring it on.”Continue reading Weekend in review: Talkin’ draft, draft draft→
In his “10 players to watch at the 2014 NFL Combine” for the National Football Post, Dave Miller compares former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron to Andy Dalton, saying that he has a chance to have a beginning of a career similar to the Bengals quarterback. That’s an interesting way to put it I would say because Dalton’s early career has been very admirable. The big question now is where he and the Bengals go from here.
Better quarterbacks have had great careers that didn’t start off as well as Andy Dalton, although there are other good quarterbacks especially recently who have had as good or better starts than him from a numbers perspective.
Dalton is an interesting case because he doesn’t have the physical tools that create high early expectations for somebody like a Matthew Stafford or a Cam Newton, but now he’s won enough, in part because of him and in part because the situation created by the Bengals suddenly learning now to draft over the past five years or so, that the expectations are very high just the same.
The ’88 freakin Bengals. Man… 25 years ago they were the first team I learned to love and the first to break my heart.
I wouldn’t learn until later the brilliance of the zone blitz, the beauty of a play fake or the genius of Guns n’ Roses, but that was a season that marked me forever as a sports fan.
I’d been going to football games since literally before I can remember, but that’s the year ideas began to congeal. I didn’t know everything that was happening on the field, but I knew Ickey Woods and James Brooks were a killer running back tandem and Boomer Esiason was the MVP of the league. No idea what a zone blitz was, but I remember David Fulcher was a bad man. Continue reading Welcomed to the jungle→
The last man to quarterback the Bengals to a playoff victory acknowledged the current Cincinnati signal caller played a role in the Bengals’ 27-10 loss to the Chargers on Sunday, but Boomer Esiason had larger issues with the lack of response he saw from Marvin Lewis and his staff in the second half.
Meanwhile, the southpaw praised the San Diego staff for turning up the heat on defense and pushing the pace on offense.
Late September 2013 is a strange time to follow Cincinnati pro sports, that’s for sure, so here is something to ponder while we wait to see what October has in store: Who would have thought there would come a day when the Reds and Bengals could both become good enough to be frustrating rather than bad enough to be depressing? Continue reading On expectations, plateaus and late September in Cincinnati→