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west tx bengal fan

Monday Morning QB: Ravens 27, Bengals 3

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Sticking with the column, I don't see the need to repeat over and over the many failings of this team.  This week I'll go to the top and bottom characteristics of this organization as it stands at present.  But first, a couple of notes on the game:

*  The Bengals played a real team on Sunday and showed what the have:  not much.  No real strong points, no heart, no strategy.

*  I'm not too sure anymore if there is light at the end of this tunnel.  

*  What Marv Lewis accomplished in Cincinnati is a miracle.  I'm not advocating his gameday skills but am advocating his organizational skills given the broken Front Office that has run this team for 3 decades.

The strengths of the current team:

*  Good RB in Mixon

*  Hope in future of Joe Burrow

*  A nice trio of younger WRs

*  A pair of young LBs who are giving great effort

*  A nice set of DBs who have been consistent every week this season

*  A great STs coach and consistent unit that has limited giving up Big Plays

Weaknesses:

*  Ownership/Coaching staff:  from Taylor on down, there just isn't a good sense of rhythm or balance.  The planning for the season was terrible.  The OL is what Peter King today called the single worst unit in the league (other than the whole NY Jets team).  The DL was pushed by injury and lack of experience to play the healthy way too many snaps, and now the biggest investment (Reader) joins the ranks of the fallen.  Taylor has got to go.  At a 21 game career record of 3-17-1, he's below Dave Shula type numbers.  Further, he has no presence and, it appears, has lost a number of vets in the locker room including Green & Dunlap.  Mike Brown has again made a bad hiring decision.  Further, he has allowed this young coach to select a group of positional coaches that mostly aren't getting it done.  He has allowed his de facto GM to offer up really bad draft decisions for 5 or so years.  And now he is allowing a deju vu situation in which bad OL personnel decisions threaten to ruin the development of a franchise QB.

*  Offense:  The cap investment in A.J. Green looks like it will be a total bust.  Not sure what happened to Green's groin, but some are saying that he was mouthing "just trade me" on the bench yesterday while he could be seen sitting the rest of the 2nd half and ignoring the game.  Ross is also a total loss.  Not sure what's going on there with him missing two practices last week due to "sickness" after being inactivated the prior two games.  I think it's another player defection.  The team also inactivates its #3 RB (Williams) every week instead of getting him some game experience in case Mixon goes down (which behind this OL he will inevitably do).  We hear nothing from this team's Offensive Coordinator.  Play calling is leaving the team consistently in 2nd and 3rd and longer situations.  The OL might be worse than last year's squad.  Redmond's performance fell back to earth yesterday with penalties, pressures, and lack of push up in front.  Burrow is going to get killed... at 22 sacks in 5 games, he's on course to get sacked 70 times if he lasts the season.

*  Defense:  The team played a decent game once Baltimore got up 17-0 early.  They still gave up three long runs and 6.5+ yards per carry.  The allowed Raven TE Mark Andrews, who is a damn good player, to dominate the game when it mattered in the early going before tightening up on him.  But they did a very nice job on a wet, slippery field containing Lamar Jackson with a really a nice effort by the DBs.  So this sounds like almost a strength until you look at the DT situation where Daniels and Reader are on IR joining Wren and Opted-Out Tupou, where highly paid Geno Atkins was barely recognizable in his first game back, where the team is now starting journeyman Chris Covington, and where the team is playing players who aren't even good enough to be on most other teams' Practice Squads.  Further, the DE end production is stagnant with Dunlap disgruntled, Lawson unable to finish on his pressures, and Hubbard apparently injured as well.  The DL was billed as the strength of the team (which shows what the marketers don't know), and now it almost looks like this area is in need of a major overhaul.  If you can't evoke a draw in the trenches, you are not going to win very many games.

Five games into the season, I am beginning to lose interest.  I am worn down by the inability to really do game day in a manner that lets off some stress and makes the Bengals bearable (with a few beers and some laughs from friends).  I am worn down from the year-to-year cycle of the Bengals talking about how they will compete while dismissing the rest of the league's analysts ranking them in the bottom 3-4 teams.. and then having the analysts' opinions emerge to be correct.  I am worn down by watching the young players come in with hope and then having that energy being beaten out of them over the course of a season or two.  Just look at the faces:  Burrow, Mixon, Green, Ross (if you could even see him), Jonah Williams, Dunlap.  

The 27-3 beatdown by the Ravens was worse than the score indicated.  They staved off a shutout with a cheap FG in the last minute of the game.  The effort didn't seem to be there indicating that the coach has lost something more from what already appeared to be a limited motivational presence.  Giving out 25 or so game balls for a cheap home win over an equally bad Jacksonville team the weak prior did not elevate the team... it was more like your Knothole coach fulfilling his promise for ice cream after the game with a spoonful from a half gallon of UDF for each of 15 kids.  I'd say it... the team needs a total coaching rebuild, a near total re-do on both lines, a purging of the salary cap to rid the aging guys who are essentially done... but it has already been said over and over for three decades under Mike Brown.

So I guess what is left is to stop for this season.  It's time to stop investing so much time, and hope, and energy into following the team for the rest of 2020 for me because I have so many other things to do with that time and because, sadly, this hapless organization is about as low as it has been since Carson Palmer folded up shop.  There will be some good days... probably to follow.  I'll check the scores.. maybe watch a bit.  But I just don't see the point in putting out the analysis and saying (mostly) the same things every week when the people in charge can't or won't even look in the mirror.  But before I hang it up, one last note of what I'd do right now to/for this organizations:

*  Immediately fire Zac Taylor.  He has no overt leadership skill, sucks at play-calling, has no connection to the Defense, and hasn't been able to win games.

*  For the rest of the season I would have Simmons be the head coach and see whether I think he can continue in that role in 2021.  I think we're mostly stuck with the position coaches for the rest of 2020, but we probably need new OL and DL coaches next season as well as a new OC.  I might stick with Anarumo simply because he seems to be improving over time.

*  Immediately, if possible, trade A.J. Green and John Ross.  Both are gone at the end of 2020, and the team is going nowhere.  Plus, they have both apparently become locker room detriments.  

*  Be on the lookout to acquire an upgrade at either RG or RT who will be around for 2021.

*  Adjust play calling so that Burrow does not take so much beating.  This means short dropbacks, roll outs, more running plays.  Losing in 2020 but keeping Burrow healthy and not shell-shocked should be the offensive focus since we know that we're going to lose these two vet WRs and that the OL is terrible.

Lastly, a big thanks to the site's members who read and make comments.  I apologize for shutting down the weekly posts, but everyone has a breaking point.  Big kudos to INdy who has been a good friend over the past several years.  You have my contacts, and we can chat informally moving forward.

 

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2 hours ago, west tx bengal fan said:

Sticking with the column, I don't see the need to repeat over and over the many failings of this team.  This week I'll go to the top and bottom characteristics of this organization as it stands at present.  But first, a couple of notes on the game:

*  The Bengals played a real team on Sunday and showed what the have:  not much.  No real strong points, no heart, no strategy.

*  I'm not too sure anymore if there is light at the end of this tunnel.  

*  What Marv Lewis accomplished in Cincinnati is a miracle.  I'm not advocating his gameday skills but am advocating his organizational skills given the broken Front Office that has run this team for 3 decades.

The strengths of the current team:

*  Good RB in Mixon

*  Hope in future of Joe Burrow

*  A nice trio of younger WRs

*  A pair of young LBs who are giving great effort

*  A nice set of DBs who have been consistent every week this season

*  A great STs coach and consistent unit that has limited giving up Big Plays

Weaknesses:

*  Ownership/Coaching staff:  from Taylor on down, there just isn't a good sense of rhythm or balance.  The planning for the season was terrible.  The OL is what Peter King today called the single worst unit in the league (other than the whole NY Jets team).  The DL was pushed by injury and lack of experience to play the healthy way too many snaps, and now the biggest investment (Reader) joins the ranks of the fallen.  Taylor has got to go.  At a 21 game career record of 3-17-1, he's below Dave Shula type numbers.  Further, he has no presence and, it appears, has lost a number of vets in the locker room including Green & Dunlap.  Mike Brown has again made a bad hiring decision.  Further, he has allowed this young coach to select a group of positional coaches that mostly aren't getting it done.  He has allowed his de facto GM to offer up really bad draft decisions for 5 or so years.  And now he is allowing a deju vu situation in which bad OL personnel decisions threaten to ruin the development of a franchise QB.

*  Offense:  The cap investment in A.J. Green looks like it will be a total bust.  Not sure what happened to Green's groin, but some are saying that he was mouthing "just trade me" on the bench yesterday while he could be seen sitting the rest of the 2nd half and ignoring the game.  Ross is also a total loss.  Not sure what's going on there with him missing two practices last week due to "sickness" after being inactivated the prior two games.  I think it's another player defection.  The team also inactivates its #3 RB (Williams) every week instead of getting him some game experience in case Mixon goes down (which behind this OL he will inevitably do).  We hear nothing from this team's Offensive Coordinator.  Play calling is leaving the team consistently in 2nd and 3rd and longer situations.  The OL might be worse than last year's squad.  Redmond's performance fell back to earth yesterday with penalties, pressures, and lack of push up in front.  Burrow is going to get killed... at 22 sacks in 5 games, he's on course to get sacked 70 times if he lasts the season.

*  Defense:  The team played a decent game once Baltimore got up 17-0 early.  They still gave up three long runs and 6.5+ yards per carry.  The allowed Raven TE Mark Andrews, who is a damn good player, to dominate the game when it mattered in the early going before tightening up on him.  But they did a very nice job on a wet, slippery field containing Lamar Jackson with a really a nice effort by the DBs.  So this sounds like almost a strength until you look at the DT situation where Daniels and Reader are on IR joining Wren and Opted-Out Tupou, where highly paid Geno Atkins was barely recognizable in his first game back, where the team is now starting journeyman Chris Covington, and where the team is playing players who aren't even good enough to be on most other teams' Practice Squads.  Further, the DE end production is stagnant with Dunlap disgruntled, Lawson unable to finish on his pressures, and Hubbard apparently injured as well.  The DL was billed as the strength of the team (which shows what the marketers don't know), and now it almost looks like this area is in need of a major overhaul.  If you can't evoke a draw in the trenches, you are not going to win very many games.

Five games into the season, I am beginning to lose interest.  I am worn down by the inability to really do game day in a manner that lets off some stress and makes the Bengals bearable (with a few beers and some laughs from friends).  I am worn down from the year-to-year cycle of the Bengals talking about how they will compete while dismissing the rest of the league's analysts ranking them in the bottom 3-4 teams.. and then having the analysts' opinions emerge to be correct.  I am worn down by watching the young players come in with hope and then having that energy being beaten out of them over the course of a season or two.  Just look at the faces:  Burrow, Mixon, Green, Ross (if you could even see him), Jonah Williams, Dunlap.  

The 27-3 beatdown by the Ravens was worse than the score indicated.  They staved off a shutout with a cheap FG in the last minute of the game.  The effort didn't seem to be there indicating that the coach has lost something more from what already appeared to be a limited motivational presence.  Giving out 25 or so game balls for a cheap home win over an equally bad Jacksonville team the weak prior did not elevate the team... it was more like your Knothole coach fulfilling his promise for ice cream after the game with a spoonful from a half gallon of UDF for each of 15 kids.  I'd say it... the team needs a total coaching rebuild, a near total re-do on both lines, a purging of the salary cap to rid the aging guys who are essentially done... but it has already been said over and over for three decades under Mike Brown.

So I guess what is left is to stop for this season.  It's time to stop investing so much time, and hope, and energy into following the team for the rest of 2020 for me because I have so many other things to do with that time and because, sadly, this hapless organization is about as low as it has been since Carson Palmer folded up shop.  There will be some good days... probably to follow.  I'll check the scores.. maybe watch a bit.  But I just don't see the point in putting out the analysis and saying (mostly) the same things every week when the people in charge can't or won't even look in the mirror.  But before I hang it up, one last note of what I'd do right now to/for this organizations:

*  Immediately fire Zac Taylor.  He has no overt leadership skill, sucks at play-calling, has no connection to the Defense, and hasn't been able to win games.

*  For the rest of the season I would have Simmons be the head coach and see whether I think he can continue in that role in 2021.  I think we're mostly stuck with the position coaches for the rest of 2020, but we probably need new OL and DL coaches next season as well as a new OC.  I might stick with Anarumo simply because he seems to be improving over time.

*  Immediately, if possible, trade A.J. Green and John Ross.  Both are gone at the end of 2020, and the team is going nowhere.  Plus, they have both apparently become locker room detriments.  

*  Be on the lookout to acquire an upgrade at either RG or RT who will be around for 2021.

*  Adjust play calling so that Burrow does not take so much beating.  This means short dropbacks, roll outs, more running plays.  Losing in 2020 but keeping Burrow healthy and not shell-shocked should be the offensive focus since we know that we're going to lose these two vet WRs and that the OL is terrible.

Lastly, a big thanks to the site's members who read and make comments.  I apologize for shutting down the weekly posts, but everyone has a breaking point.  Big kudos to INdy who has been a good friend over the past several years.  You have my contacts, and we can chat informally moving forward.

 

It's sad when we all become Bengalized, but everyone has their breaking point.  I was considering going to a game or two, but after yesterday, why risk it as we enter colder weather and round 2 of COVID, plus the flu.  

 

I would just sit Burrow and let Finley get some experience.  Get Treyveon some game time too.  I've said it in the past, and I'll say it again.  Tank now for Sewell, and if you somehow end up with the Lawrence pick, trade it for as many draft picks as you can get.  Get another RT too, then move Jonah to guard where he belongs with a chance to excel.

I would think that it should be easier to find a new head coach at this point, with Burrow here.  A pipedream would be Zimmer, but who knows what they will get once they move on from Zac.

Since this is it for now (and I can start a few of these down the road), I'll say they need to extend Jackson, Alexander and Wilson soon.  

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Sorry you got Bengalized. I don't really disagree with anything you wrote. Lamar Jackson was hurting going into the game so that may have helped our defense look more competent than usual. The Bengals as an organization are committed to losing. They wouldn't describe that way of course but Mike Brown, Duke Tobin, and Zac Taylor aren't smarter than their opponents. They obviously don't believe in changing course when something isn't working. Instead it's more of the same. The floggings will continue until morale improves. 

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21 hours ago, west tx bengal fan said:

Five games into the season, I am beginning to lose interest.  I am worn down by the inability to really do game day in a manner that lets off some stress and makes the Bengals bearable (with a few beers and some laughs from friends).  I am worn down from the year-to-year cycle of the Bengals talking about how they will compete while dismissing the rest of the league's analysts ranking them in the bottom 3-4 teams.. and then having the analysts' opinions emerge to be correct.  I am worn down by watching the young players come in with hope and then having that energy being beaten out of them over the course of a season or two.  Just look at the faces:  Burrow, Mixon, Green, Ross (if you could even see him), Jonah Williams, Dunlap.  

The 27-3 beatdown by the Ravens was worse than the score indicated.  They staved off a shutout with a cheap FG in the last minute of the game.  The effort didn't seem to be there indicating that the coach has lost something more from what already appeared to be a limited motivational presence.  Giving out 25 or so game balls for a cheap home win over an equally bad Jacksonville team the weak prior did not elevate the team... it was more like your Knothole coach fulfilling his promise for ice cream after the game with a spoonful from a half gallon of UDF for each of 15 kids.  I'd say it... the team needs a total coaching rebuild, a near total re-do on both lines, a purging of the salary cap to rid the aging guys who are essentially done... but it has already been said over and over for three decades under Mike Brown.

 

As people can probably tell, i've no interest either.

Burrow is exciting, but there's this dread that it doesn't matter how good he is bc his line is killing him.  David Carr 2.0.  

In retrospect, the worst decision of the offseason, and probably of Taylors career, was keeping his boy Jim Turner as the OL coach.  That's going to get him fired.  And maybe lose the Bengals their QBOTF.

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They've got to start scheming to protect the qb better. They've got a line limited in talent and experience. The line did better at the end of last season,  but that improvement seems imagined. I'm not sure Turner can make those adjustments. 

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2 hours ago, Beck Bristow said:

They've got to start scheming to protect the qb better. They've got a line limited in talent and experience. The line did better at the end of last season,  but that improvement seems imagined. I'm not sure Turner can make those adjustments. 

It feels like most teams lines get better toward the end of the season, for whatever reason.  I never really bought into the idea that some of those guys really improved.  My main hope on this season was that Jonah lived up the billing, Hopkins remained solid, and Michael Jordan drastically improved over the offseason.

Instead Jordan has been below average, Jonah has been ok, and Hopkins has been average as best.  The right side of the line is just a dumpster fire.  And still Turner probably loves Bobby Hart.

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I usually rewatch the condensed game on DAZN, but I just can’t bring myself to do it this week. That was awful.

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I was reading how Baltimore's DC was upset that we kicked a field goal at the end of the game.  Should they not try to avoid the shutout? 

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