I won’t lie it’s been a chore to watch the Bengals games this year. This wasn’t always the case though as week 1-6 while carrying a mixed bag of results was still entertaining to watch.
It seems like just yesterday my Bengals were atop the AFC North and I was handling it in the humblest of humble ways on social media.
Week 4 update: Still #1 suck it nerds!!! pic.twitter.com/v4uW1TkH19
— Tyler Shafer (@AgentTylerScarn) October 1, 2018
Did I get too far ahead of myself bragging in Week 4 about being in 1st place? Yes. But as Bengals fan good things are few and far between so you have to take what you can get at anytime.
Unfortunately after yesterdays loss to the Chargers we’re stuck in “far between” again, and my updates on the standings are just depressing at this point.
The Bengals only need Luck to get hurt, Miami to get hit by a hurricane, Titans to get food poisoning from some BBQ, Denver to get too stoned, and the Browns to well be the Browns and we’re right back in the hunt!! #CINvsLAC #Bengals #WhoDey pic.twitter.com/lYD7UZ5MKj
— Nosebleed Takes (@NosebleedTakes) December 9, 2018
It’s been a tough scene to watch as my beloved (but very average) Bengals go from the #1 NFL team in Ohio to #2 this season. After the Bengals 35-20 loss to the Browns 2 weeks ago I knew it was going to be a struggle to make it to the finish line this season. Thanks to a killer hangover last Sunday I was able to sleep/forget the Bengals were on and instead have a King of The Hill marathon on Hulu.
After my unplanned bye week I knew I had to force myself to watch the game this week. What better way to make sure I tune in and watch than to promise a live tweeting of the game to our 1,156 (and counting) followers. I was a volume tweeter on Sunday while live-tweeting going for quantity over quality. Go ahead and pop over to our official Twitter @NosebleedTakes to let me know how I did.
Let’s get down to brass taxes here and break down yesterday’s game. I missed the first quarter due to issues with my DirecTV receiver. Turns out I wouldn’t be the only person having receiver troubles Sunday afternoon as the Bengals shitty secondary gave up 220 passing yards. This is one of those scenario’s where the stats don’t paint the picture on just how bad the secondary was. Rivers was executing plenty of 5-10 yard throws that seemed to go for 15-20 yards more than they should’ve 99% of the time. This relaxed approach on coverage resulted in the Chargers marching down the field constantly and forcing the Bengals defensive line to pick up even more slack and try to hold the Chargers to a field goal in the redzone. The Bengals defensive line was the unsung hero of this game as they were able to hold the Chargers to only 85 rushing yards,.And while the Chargers were missing Melvin Gordon Austin Eckler is no slouch himself so I’d chalk this up as a W for the D-line. I could go on about how the Bengals need to focus getting some fresh legs and better players in their depleted secondary all day, but I know that problem will be addressed in upcoming drafts much like they did with the O-line.
Speaking of the offensive line, up until a few slip up’s in the second half I thought they held their own against a stout Chargers D-line. Of course the times they managed to slip up were in costly moments but still it could’ve been worse. When Bruce Arians is complimenting the protection Driskel was receiving yesterday in the pocket it has to be a good sign right? Another good sign for the Bengals heading forward was Joe Mixon. 26 carries 111 yards 1 TD and 5 receptions for 27 yards is a pretty pretty pretty good stat line. Yes it is magnified when you look at the rest of the offensive stats (Tyler Boyd was the leading WR with 3 catches for a whopping 52 yards) but this line would be still be considered above average on any other team. The duo of Mixon and Bernard in the backfield is going to give teams fits for the foreseeable future. Like I said in one of my live tweets, the Bengals need to do their best to keep Bernard and not let him walk away much like they did with Burkehead. A small fast flex back is someone you NEED on your team for those 3rd and short screens or to provide a shot in the arm to your offense.
Speaking of shots in the arms, Driskel hasn’t played too bad for the Bengals since taking over as starting QB after Andy Dalton’s thumb injury.
That’s right Driskel has been playing with some big balls since taking over and while it hasn’t translated to W’s I appreciate the effort nonetheless. Diving headfirst into the endzone against a scary Chargers defense is a tell tale sign that Driskel is carrying some grapefruits in his jockstrap. How did the NFL reward such a risky play though you might ask? By arguably making the dumbest call of the weekend and ruling him down because diving headfirst is now considered “giving yourself up” according to the NFL. This rule was quietly put into effect last off-season and everyone from Bruce Arians, Greg Gumbel, the 5,000 fans in the StubHub Center, to my living room couch was left dumbfounded by this call. What world does it make sense that diving headfirst is now “giving yourself up”? You dive head first to fight stretching your arm for that extra yard welcoming any contact from defensive players. You slide feet first to give the other team a heads up that “hey I’m good with the 6 yards I got please don’t hit me!” So taking this rule into account I sat there thinking shouldn’t there have been a personal foul for unnecessary roughness since he “gave himself up”? This is of course not taking into account that Driskel broken the plain when his knee made contact with the ground. Just some real fuckery all around that costs the Bengals some points but not the game.
What did cost the Bengals the game? Well nothing they came in banged up with injuries and until Marvin Lewis is finally fired we will see a team that year in and year out will under-perform and leave fans wondering “what if”. Now here comes the tricky part with Marvin seeing the end of his guaranteed first year contract winding down his seat is now as hot as it’s ever been. Some think he’s getting a promotion to the front office and Hue Jackson will take over as Head Coach. While others see him getting fired and Hue still taking over as Head Coach. Either scenario ends with Hue as coach and me inching closer to the edge of the cliff to dive head first into the pit of misery. Realistically I want to keep Hue to co-run the offense with Bill Lazor because as broken as Hue is as a head coach he’s still valuable when strictly running an offense. Marvin needs to go and the Bengals need a defensive oriented coach who will provide some leadership and discipline and bring this team up to their full potential. But until then it’s just punchline after punchline for the Bengals as they complete their transition from contender to pretender.
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P.S. There’s a new trend on Reddit where fans of opposing teams will post into a rival team’s subreddit after a game to congratulate them on a “hard earned W”. If you do this you’re a fucking squid. Example provided below for reference.
As rival fans we should be wanting the other team’s head after a tough loss not about this sportsmanship B.S. So having said that FUCK THE STEELERS, FUCK THE BROWNS, FUCK THE RAVENS FUCK THE ENTIRE AFC!!!