Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Zanesville, OH
Re: LOL! Cincinnati Bengals!
In response to Cedric's noteworthy post and others of similar value, I offer these reasons for the Bengals demise. Albeit, we could be singing a different tune by Week 12. The Bengals schedule is soft and a nice win at home versus the struggling Jets can be just what the doctor ordered. This team seems to respond best to momentum in either direction. Just like in a single football game, momentum rules. One big play or one big call (penalty or in favor of) can change the tide and outcome of the game. The Bengals seems to respond best or worse to the same mentality. This inability to have short term memories has contributed to the Bengals weary season. The only difference this year is the fact the momentum has been on the losing side at the beginning of the year. Say what you want, about the win on Monday Night. They easily could have lost that game. That being said, the Bengals will come up with a win on Sunday and run a stretch of 3 to 4 wins. Leaving them at 4-4 or 5-4. However, by the end of the year they will fall short at 8-8 again. Leaving people wondering what might have been during the games at Cleveland and Seattle. I don't categorize the KC game as being so because I never felt the Bengals had a legitamate chance at winning.
That being said, why can't the Bengals get it together? I think these three factors contribute to the downslide or perhaps inevitable downslide of the Bengals.
-Marvin Lewis is a bad evaluator of talent. Cedric hit this spot on and so did another poster. Eric Steinbach was due for big money he most assuredly should have received. Willie Anderson is and was on his last leg. Willie has been a staple of this franchise long before Palmer, but he is well on his way to fading fast. Steinbach, no doubt, was on the rise. But, instead of signing him to a long term deal they decided to pump the money into the likes of Geathers and Smith. As you can no doubt see in Cleveland, Steinbach is paying off. On the Bengals side, we have yet another faulty defense that cannot get a pass rush, and even if it does it is more than likely a coverage sack. Smith is a big game player. Look no farther than his performance last year at KC and at Denver. However, he is inconsistent and the money could have been spent on Steinbach. If the plan was to build a defense through the draft, the bulk of the money should have been spent to shore up the offense. Marvin declined to reason as such and spent on defense. This reasoning was much aligned with the signings of Kendrick Allen and Ed Hartwell, but then Marvin decides to cut ties with them right before the season starts? Unless, they were a problem in the locker room, I do think a couple veterans, at least for insurance purposes, could have made an impact. But, no Marvin goes with green NFL players instead. Which of course brings us to my second point.
People are pointing the finger at Chris Henry absence as a plausible reason for why the Bengals have struggled on offense. I do think it plays a role in allowing the Cover 2 to cause more problems, but I have seen Carson cut through it time and time again this year; enough to know he can handle the load without Henry. Look no farther, than the 4 or 5 play TD at KC to Housh in the first quarter for an example of that.
The problem to me is the injuries and suspensions on defense, specifically at linebacker. I feel we are receiving the brunt of the loss of David Pollack and Odell Thurman. Thurman was a high motor guy... albeit made some poor decisions in his rookie year, but someone who could fly around the football field and make high impact plays. Marvin acted like Thurman was an afterthought, but in all honesty I feel he was counting on him at least as a reliable backup the rest of the year. Our linebacker core, being so depleted would provide evidence for that notion. Which brings me to David Pollack, who will probably never return to football and even if he does, will probably never surface as the impact player he was supposed to be. Pollack would have provided an option for pass rush, and also had the speed to cover, and was a great wrap tackler. Between Thurman and Pollack, that is where Marvin thought he would make his impact on defense. It has not worked out that way, and what is left is scant at best even with the injuries. Now, I lay most of the blame for the defense on Chuck B because he continually is embarassed literally and figuratively at least three to four times a year by someone. He has a knack for making even the least capable Qb's look good.
3rd and final point- Trade Chad Johnson
Bare with me now, I'm not saying do that now. But, I felt he would have been valuable trade commodity this off season or the middle of last season. The only reason I would have not done so was because of Henry's career jeopardy. I truly feel we could lose some WR's and pick up where we left off. Carson is a Qb in the Manning, Brady mold, just without the rings. He has a rocket arm, capable of carrying the team on his back, and his accuracy can be scary good at times. In other words, I think Chad Johnson needs Carson more than Carson needs Chad. I say trade Chad instead of T.J. for two reasons. T.J. is more reliable and his usually very consistent throughout the year. Also, Chad can be the face of virtually any franchise he is traded too. I look at teams like SF, the Jets, Arizona, and Minnesota has franchises lacking a face to go with the team. Chad brings more than just numbers he brings in revenue. He could be traded for some ding ding ding DEFENSE!! Or at least a couple first rounders and an intregal defensive player. By doing this, Marvin frees up money to be spent other places. I look at Johnson as being the Edgerin James in Indy. Something that might put us over the top.