This week we have Jason Buck from the WhoDeyRevolution. He has some solid answers to my questions concerning the Bengals; however, be aware that he can be a bit short-winded at times.
So what the hell happened last week?
From a one game perspective, New England just dominated on both the offensive and defensive lines. Bill Belichick came out with stuff they hadn’t seen in over a year of tape, and by the time the Bengals said they ‘figured it out’, the score was 28-0. The Bengals had some success with the no-huddle in the second half, but by that time the score was 31-3 and the Patriots were in soft coverages. With all the hype of the off-season, coming off winning the AFC North in 2009, it was a very disappointing way to start 2010. However, I can’t say it was completely surprising.
From a more global perspective, it’s more of the same from a franchise that has the smallest scouting staff in the league, no general manager, and still has not won a playoff game in nearly two decades. We are the northern-most franchise without an indoor practice facility, which scares of free agents and is a major disadvantage late in the season. Owner Mike Brown has refused to invest in this team and in this city that has loyally supported his ‘only business’ for over 40 years.
I reference this article, where Mike Brown says he would rather play an extra preseason game in August than another home game late in the season because “my fans don’t like going to games in the cold”. He enthusastically agreed when he was sarcastically told he could play the last month of the season on the road if he so desired.
Here’s the best comparison I can make. Imagine getting a project at work, without having a brief, a goal or a mission. It would be hard to measure yourself against any success criteria, right? Bengals ownership has still never publicly said “Our goal is to win the Super Bowl, period.” There is no constant pressure on the coaching staff to perform at a high level, and win. Offensive Coordinator Bob Bratkowski has been here since 2001. Think about that for a second. It is very rare to see someone, especially with such a mediocre body of work, to be in the same coordinator position for that length of time. Not one other franchise would be his employer.
On the other hand, love ’em or hate ’em, the Patriots are committed to winning and nothing else. Bill Belichick is always thinking about different formations to confuse opposing teams. Robert Kraft has surrounded him with the scouts, the personell, and the facilities to accomplish these goals. And when your goal is to win the Super Bowl, and you know that is your expectation, you might stay an hour later during game week. Prep a little bit harder, study one more tape. That’s the difference between the other teams and the Bengals. That little bit extra. Ownership doesn’t practice it, nor demand it…and this is the result you get. Blowout losses in New England on Week 1, two playoff appearances since the 1990 season, and zero playoff wins.
Winning is a simple idea. But when you let things get in the way, winning can be very difficult. Until Mike Brown passes away, this franchise will continue to flounder, with the occasional winning season like last year. As strongly as Mike Brown believes his ‘way’ is the right way, I believe even stronger that this team will never, EVER win a Super Bowl under his control. And that is very hard to deal with sometimes.
You guys seem to be the only guys to be able to run wild versus the Ravens. Do you expect more of the same this week?
I do, however the Bengals have also had good success throwing against the Ravens over Palmer’s career. I believe he is 8-3 against the Ravens in 11 career games. Expect even more of back-up RB Bernard Scott, who had six carries for 35 yards against New England. He’s a nice change of pace vs. Cedric Benson, who I do not seeing cracking 100 yards this time against Baltimore (after doing it twice last season).
Does the circus act ever get old? Are you watching the TV show?
Short answer? Yes, the circus act gets very old. However, there are plenty of Bengals fans who find it hilarious and entertaining, so I assume it won’t stop anytime soon.
Back in 2003, Marvin Lewis was in his first year with the Bengals, who were coming off a 2-14 season in 2002. When Chad guaranteed a win over Kansas City, we needed that kind of swagger. We needed someone to stand up and give us some attention nationally. Bengals football hadn’t had anything like that since the days of Sam Wyche and Boomer Esiason in the late 80’s. Of course, the Bengals ended up winning, going into a tie for the division, and was in the playoff hunt until the final week of the season.
But now, seven years later, the act is tired. This team needs to win a playoff game for the first time since January 1991. Desperately. And having Chad Johsnon on 53 different TV shows and now with T.O. in town…it makes focusing on winning even more difficult.
I did start watching the first episode of “The Ultimate Catch”, but didn’t make it all 60 minutes. When I heard Bernard Berrian called ‘B-Twice’ for the tenth time, I called it a night.
How is Mike Zimmer going to attack this new and improved Ravens offense?
It starts up front. If the Bengals can’t get a pass rush, it’s going to be 30+ points for the Ravens offense. With Ray Rice out of the backfield and three legitimate weapons at WR, the Bengals have their hands full. But, Mike Zimmer was furious at his team and himself after last week’s disaster, so expect a few more wrinkles than what you saw in New England.
What no-name Bengal player will we be cursing on Sunday?
Geno Atkins, a rookie DT out of Georgia. The Bengals will have to be much more active on the defensive line this week, and Atkins turned a lot of heads during the preseason (4 sacks in 5 games).
EC- Does Andre Smith still have the best rack on the team?
Since FB Jeremi Johnson was not asked back this year, yes I would say hippopotaSmith has the best double D’s on the team. He was very disappointed with the local Fatburger closing last month, however.