So we beat Cleveland...my immediate reaction: Yawwwn. Thats what winning will do to a fanbase, when you beat someone your supposed to. But wait, any win in the NFL is huge right? Rich Eisen on the NFL Network said we "evaded disaster" by beating our northern Ohio rivals. So not only Bengal fans, but popular talking heads are now "expecting" Bengal wins over certain teams. Green shined as very few recievers can in the NFL right now, the Rookie will soon be giving Dalton and Cam a run for their R.O.Y. honors. Gresham was huge, Benson rushed for 100+ until late conservative play calling and tough Browns D line erased a few yards. It was as Eisen called it a
"hard fought" win for Cincy. But some are now becoming: expected. And since our expectations are now being realized lets analyze where we may be after 16 games, since Cincy continues to be mentioned in the Wild Card picture:
12/4 @ Pittsburgh 28-27 Steelers......hmmmm, I really wish that first loss 3 weeks ago would have been @Heinz, because we could say: paybacks! Well heres to saying the same, but at Pitt, for Rookie Dalton it may be too much: Steelers Win, but wait what if, just what if Bengals shock the world? and Go 8-4, well then You know what? Playoffs! But for now it will be: 7-5
12/11 Texans: To close to call but well go out on a limb, cause if we lose to Pitt we CANT lose at Home and if we beat Pitt then we will beat Texans, Dalton has biggest day yet, D plays huge: 34 - 17 Cincy: 8-5
12/15 @ Rams: Cincy 28 - 17 why? expectations: 9-5
12/22 Cardinals: Cincy 21 - 10 why? ditto above, with the final two games at home, this should propel Cincy to two strong home games: 10-5
1/1: Ravens: here it is the season finally, possibly Daltons most important game, this result could get Cincy in the playoffs Cincy has it retribution and beats Bmore at home: 21-20, 11-5
The problem is this is to good to be true, the Texans and @ Rams could definitely go differently, thats would be a swing of two games to 9-7, either way that may be good enough but theres 3 teams within 1 game of Cincy who If season ended today after 3/4 of the season. That's right Bengals fans I said: Playoffs!
Ok, enough dreaming, its not even Xmas and there aint no sugar plum fairies dancing in my head or playoff thoughts: Its too early for all that, but its not to early to stop BEING CONSERVATIVE ! Jay Gruden we aint complaining, just wondering, 1st and goal, 3 Benson runs to play it safe, what if Nugent ganks it? Why not a simple play action pass on third down instead of the I formation? With the confidence of Dalton at an all time rookie high ;) wouldn't it have been nice to see an attempt at 6? Is the rook ready? I would say so, look at champs (Brady/Peyton) they go for the jugular, and if the pass wasn't there, Andys smart enough (sais his wunderlick of 29, QB average is 24: http://www.holyturf.com/2011/03/wonderlic-test-scores-from-the-2011-nfl-combine/) to throw it out of the back of the end zone. My point is, Cincy for years has been conservative, there will come a time when a surprise, using the strength of our QB may payoff: Just sayin ;)
Finally the Bengals pointing gesture at the name on back of jersey, Greene coined it and now Gresham was emulating it. Here's Green using both thumbs to bring attention to who made the play in case you didn't know it ;) :
Heres AJ Green again , forcing the Browns to read his number, no pointing required:
And as long as he's doing that, well look the other way when he's reminding us who just made an incredible play.
Being old school I prefer the team concept over bringing attention to the name on the back of the jersey (we had a receiver that did that for 10 years, even changing his family name to an inaccurate Spanish translation for his number. Eighty Five is: Ochenta y Cinco but thats Ok Chad, I'm from Cincy and growing up in Clifton while in college at UC after late nights drinking away Bengals losses and sometime victories, we thought Del Taco was authentic Mexican also ;) I digress: Gresham also after this incredible catch and TD:
Immediately afterwards Gresham did the same gesture making sure we knew who made the play. To this Bengal fan all that matters is that it was a Bengals with stripes on his uniform that made the play, not the name of the player. We know we have great receivers in Greens and Gresham, and there something to be said for winning with humility.
"Give me a man one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory. ~ Douglas MacArthur
I know that would be impossible to expect from all of today's players, so I really don't, but when you see a player hand the ball to the ref, and hustle to embrace his players, O what a difference. We love ya Green and Gresh. Winning as a team is the ultimate prize and that, I hope, is the players goal!!
Press on Who Deys!!!