Posted on: January 1, 2012 7:21 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2012 7:25 pm

Ravens get bye, Bengals get wild card

CINCINNATI -- Well, the game wasn't entirely meaningless.

The Ravens won 24-16, and they needed to win given the Steelers victory at Cleveland. Because the Ravens won, they won the division, the first-round bye and the right to host their playoff opener in two weeks.

The Bengals lost, but still they're going to the playoffs because the Jets and Broncos lost. So Cincinnati will play next week at Houston in the first round.

What happened Sunday in this game? Like it matters. But I'll write about it in a few minutes.

Category: NFL
Posted on: December 11, 2011 4:13 pm

Texans rally past Bengals, 20-19

CINCINNATI -- Maybe this is heresy. Maybe this will look stupid in a few years, or even a few weeks. But I'm not sure Andy Dalton was the best rookie quarterback in this game.

And the other rookie quarterback was a fifth-round pick most folks had never heard of before last week.

His name is T.J. Yates, and he's now 2-0 as a starter after driving the Texans 80 yards in the final 2:33 to rally the Texans past the Bengals, 20-19, and keep Houston in position for a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs -- while all but knocking the Bengals out of the postseason picture.

Andy Dalton is a fine quarterback, don't get me wrong. But Yates is equally impressive, with much less pedigree and hype and draft status.

Sunday he threw for 300 yards, nearly twice Dalton's output, and he did it without the massive weapon Dalton has in A.J. Green, who goes and gets jump balls.

More coming ...

Posted on: December 4, 2011 3:53 pm

Steelers 35, Bengals 7

PITTSBURGH -- These aren't the same old Bengals.

I'm not saying that for your benefit, but mine. I'm sitting here, staring at my computer, telling myself not to go off on the Bengals. Telling myself to remember how improved the Bengals have been this season, how promising. Telling myself to fight the urge. Not so I can be nice here in a minute when I return from the locker rooms to write this game column -- but so I can at least avoid being cruel.

But cruel seems like a plausible option, given what just happened here.

The Steelers were good, yes, but the Bengals were horrible. They were so horrible, I wish Chad Ochocinco was back in uniform -- just so he could have experienced this defeat. That's how bad this 35-7 loss to the Steelers was for Cincinnati.

Ochocinco bad.

Quitting bad.

Pathetic bad.

Good thing I've decided not to be cruel, huh? Yeesh. Back soon.

Category: NFL
Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:43 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 10:50 am

Carson gets what he wants. So why am I happy?

I was going to be mad. How mad? Ballistic. The Bengals were trading Carson Palmer today to the Raiders, that was the news, and I was going to be furious with Bengals owner Mike Brown for letting Palmer get what he wants.

But then I heard what the Bengals are set to receive for Palmer.

Two first-round picks? Two? OK, anger subsided. Palmer gets what he wants, yes, but the Bengals got more than they deserved. Palmer isn't worth two No. 1 picks, not anymore, not with his knee surgically repaired and his elbow a question mark and his pilot light flickering where a competitive fire ought to be raging.

Two No. 1's?


Sometimes the bad guys win, and Palmer -- quitter, baby -- is the bad guy in this scenario. Mike Brown is rarely the good guy in any scenario, but he's the good guy now. He played hardball with Palmer, and won. Brown will want to remember this day. He hasn't won like this since he was born, silver-spoon style, into one of the first families of football 74 years ago. And I doubt he remembers that.

But Brown won this go-around. The Raiders get a quarterback and Palmer gets to play some more, but I'm not concerned with those guys. I'm a Cincinnati guy, and Cincinnati owner Mike Brown just used Carson Palmer to crush the Raiders.

Now, if only Brown would quit while he's ahead and hire a general manager to make those picks for him ...

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 25, 2011 4:08 pm

Jerome Simpson plays, Bengals fans don't like it

CINCINNATI -- The Bengals made their decision Sunday on embattled receiver Jerome Simpson -- and Bengals fans made theirs.

The team elected to play Simpson against the 49ers, days after police tracked a shipment of 2.5 pounds of marijuana from California to his home in Northern Kentucky and then found six more pounds of pot after searching the house. No charges have been filed as of Sunday, though surely they will be filed at some point on somebody. Simpson could elude charges, theoretically, since the marijuana was signed for by a woman said to be his girlfriend. Expect Simpson's attorney to play that card.

Bengals fans probably wouldn't be impressed.

They booed Simpson every time they noticed his presence on the field Sunday, even after he made his only catch of the game, a 6-yarder in the second quarter.

Whether it was from distraction or from lack of preparation -- Simpson was excused from two days of practice this past week -- his production was an enormous comedown from recent games. He had topped 100 receiving yards in three of his last four outings, dating to late last season.

On a related note, the Bengals failed to score a touchdown in the 13-8 loss to the 49ers.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 5, 2011 11:49 am

Donte Whitner is a bad guy

Donte Whitner is a liar and a fraud, and the Bengals have had plenty of those over the years. Good riddance to you, Whitner. Didn't want you in Cincinnati anyway.

But the way he went about his business, choosing the 49ers over the Bengals ...

Disgraceful. Just awful. Donte Whitner had come to terms with the Bengals -- agreed on a contract and everything -- and then pulled a Carlos Boozer and took more money from someone else.

On the intellectual side, I get it. X dollars from one team, or X-plus-Y dollars from another? You choose X-plus-Y ...

... unless you've already given your word to the team offering X. And then you stick by your word, because that's what an honorable person does.

Whitner isn't honorable. He's a clown. And then, after Tweeting that he had would play for the Bengals, he had the gall to Tweet that he would play for the 49ers instead and credited God for the change of plans.

As if God would approve of the way Donte Whitner went about this whole thing.

Stupid. Appalling. Self-centered.

Given all that, Whitner would have been the perfect Bengal. But we're getting rid of clowns like that in Cincinnati, so it's for the best that this one didn't come here after all.

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 23, 2011 6:10 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2011 6:53 pm

Call Carson's bluff, Bengals. Let him quit

Carson Palmer was part of the problem, and now he wants out. Terrific. So in addition to his reconstructed knee, obvious arm issues and passive form of leadership, we can add quitter to his list of issues.

Contrary to what many think, Palmer was never an innocent victim of Bengal-dom. He was part of the problem, the one player with enough clout -- right position, right salary, right reputation -- to reign in the malcontents in his own huddle. Me-first receivers like T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson, and then Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, ran roughshod in that locker room because, in part, Palmer let them.

Yes, sure, coach Marvin Lewis let them, too. Lewis is a weak, weak head coach. Maybe he would be a good coach, with the right chemistry, but with Mike Brown turning the Bengals into the Island of Misfit Toys, Lewis was the wrong coach. Cincinnati needed a bad cop. Instead it got that chuckling softy, Marvin Lewis.

But it also got Carson Palmer, exerting none of his influence, diminishing his own power to the point that he was the team's most expensive player, most important player, maybe even its most talented player -- but he was just another guy in that locker room. No more influential than anyone else.

Palmer was so mentally weak that, as his injuries mounted and his numbers started to decline, the Bengals brought in the most harmless backup quarterback in the history of the NFL -- the starter's little brother. With Jordan Palmer as the No. 2, there was never a question who would be No. 1. Carson never had to worry. Never had to compete.

His production kept sliding. His impact in the locker room kept receding. He never said a harsh word about the idiots around him, his silence setting free Ochocinco and Houshmandzadeh and Owens.

Now he wants out? Really? Palmer doesn't deserve a fresh start. He helped steer this team into the iceberg, so he can go down with the ship. Or he can do the most Carson Palmer-like maneuver imaginable and quit.

Category: NFL
Tags: Bengals
Posted on: January 5, 2011 11:19 am
Edited on: January 5, 2011 12:47 pm

Mike Brown confirms village idiocy

Most people knew Mike Brown was incompetent as the man running the Bengals. This is not breaking news. But what happened yesterday in Cincinnati plumbed the depths of Brown's incompetency.

It was this quote, spoken to the Cincinnati Enquirer, where Brown defended his team's personnel department -- overseen by Mr. Mike Brown -- by saying, "I think it works all right." Brown then went on to give a statistical reason: The Bengals, Brown said, rank 10th in the NFL over the last 10 years in terms of games played by draft picks.

In a vacuum, much like the one inside Mike Brown's head, that stat sounds good. On the surface, much like Mike Brown's knowledge of football, that looks good.

In reality?

It's awful.

Over the last 10 years, the Bengals have had four picks in the top 10. Their draft slot has averaged out to the No. 13 pick in each round, which means that by ranking 10th in games played by draft picks, they have just barely overachieved. But there is one enormous mitigating circumstance:

The Bengals don't trade away draft picks. They are cheap and are always willing to give up established players for picks, which is why in the last 10 years the Bengals have averaged 8.5 picks per draft in a seven-round draft. Couple that with their historic refusal to sign starter-quality free agents, and Cincinnati has a roster that will have more draft picks than most other teams.

It's hard not to start draft picks, when that's all you have on roster.

Keep in mind, I needed exactly four minutes on the website Pro-Football-Reference.com -- I needed this page, right here -- to hypothesize, research and prove how stupid Brown's comment was. Four minutes.

Mike Brown is the most dangerous kind of dummy: He's the dummy who has no idea he's a dummy.

Category: NFL
Tags: Bengals
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