Bengals defense closing out wins

Buffalo is facing second down from Cincinnati’s 33-yard line with 11:38 remaining in the third quarter. They need seven yards. At this point in the game, the Bengals offense is reeling; for whatever reason, these third quarters have been horrifically depressing this season. Andy Dalton had just thrown his second A.J. Green-assisted interception with the slick football bouncing into the waiting arms of Buffalo defenders. On the ensuing possession, Green would lose a fumble after a 20-yard gain, summarizing a categorically disastrous third quarter with both possessions ending with a turnover.

This sounds awful, right? How much did Cincinnati lose by, you wonder.

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Comparing Bengals offense between Ken Zampese and Bill Lazor

The boos were epic.

During Cincinnati’s disastrous performance against the Ravens, Bengals fans gradually expressed their frustration. Vocalized ferocity matching concert-sized jeers, fans further displayed their growing impatience with outstretched their arms. It was only the second quarter.

Cincinnati displayed shocking incompetence against the Ravens and Texans, forcing the Bengals made a change at offensive coordinator, with the eviction of Ken Zampese. Play-calling duties were handed to quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor.

So far, so good.

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Bengals 20-16 win over the Bills shows growing confidence

We’re not in the business of outrageous statements, such as proclaiming Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills as “must win”. After all, the Bengals, with the Steelers losing horrifically to a dangerous Jacksonville Jaguars squad that’s thrashing AFC North teams, gained traction in the standings; after beating the Bills 20-16 on Sunday, Cincinnati is one game out of first place with 11 games remaining on the season.

Think about that.

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Bengals: Curious Case of Tyler Boyd

First, some background: NFL teams are allowed a maximum number (53) of players on their active roster during the regular season, but can only dress/play 46 for their active gameday roster. The undressed seven is typically a collection of injuries and backups, often dictated by their opponent’s style. For example, if the opposition includes a strong rushing offense, you’ll want to dress more defensive linemen and linebackers to enhance your rotation. If the opposing defense has serious flaws in coverage, you’ll want to dress more wide receivers, or players that would constitute a greater advantage in the passing game.

When Cincinnati announced their inactive list last Thursday against the Houston Texans, second-year receiver Tyler Boyd was a surprising inclusion.

Why was he out?

Good question.

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Locked On Bengals: Atkins is the Star of the Show

 Houston has first down on Cincinnati’s 44-yard line with 1:19 remaining in the first half. Keep in mind that Thursday was a mix between defensive superiority with a pinch of offensive obscurity, not unlike “pitcher’s duel”. By this point in Cincinnati’s game against Houston, the Texans had already punted on five of their first six possessions and the Bengals matched with four punts, a fumble, and a field goal. It was the kind of night where reasonable third down opportunities were transforming into unrealistic expectations, hoarse booing, and alcoholism.

Bengals: About Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick

Labeling Colin Kaepernick as divisive could be the most understated opening to any commentary in the history of Earth. His name explosively surfaced Sunday night in connection to Cincinnati. According to a report by Pro Football Talk, Andy Dalton is on a short leash and there’s some interest in former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick within the lockerroom.

The team insists that quarterback Andy Dalton is safe. But the feeling within the locker room, we’re told, is that the leash isn’t quite so long, and that if the struggles continue under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, the next one to go could be Dalton.

This means that A.J. McCarron would take over, if Dalton is indeed benched. But there’s a feeling among some of the players that the Bengals should go off the board and consider bringing in Colin Kaepernick.

Immediately, beat writers, insiders, and reporters disputed the PFT report.

Jeremy Rauch, sports anchor for Fox 19 in Cincinnati, cited a team source that “Andy Dalton’s short leash and potential interest in (Colin Kaepernick) report is ‘made up‘”. ESPN Insider Chris Mortensen told Mike and Mike on Monday that “I was assured that Andy Dalton’s job is not on the line right now.” Cincinnati Enquirer beat writer Jim Owczarski tweets that he hasn’t heard anything similar and declared a refusal to even entertain the question moving forward.

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Forbes: Bengals value at $1.8 billion

Forbes recently updated their NFL valuations; a list that ranks the value of NFL teams, as well as revenue, operating income, and debt/value. Cincinnati ranks 30th in the NFL with a value of $1.8 billion. Comparatively speaking, the top five includes Dallas ($4.8 billion), New England ($3.7 billion), NY Giants ($3.3 billion), Washington ($3.1 billion), and San Francisco ($3.05 billion).

Here’s a breakdown of Cincinnati’s historical value/ranking dating back to 2005.

YEAR VALUATION RANKING
2017 $1.8 billion 30th [Link]
2016 $1.675 billion 30th [Link]
2015 $1.45 billion 29th [Link]
2014 $990 million 27th [Link]
2013 $924 million 27th [Link]
2012 $871 million 27th [Link]
2011 $875 million 25th [Link]
2010 $905 million 25th [Link]
2009 $953 million 21st [Link]
2008 $941 million 21st [Link]
2007 $912 million 20th [Link]
2006 $825 million 23rd [Link]
2005 $716 million 23rd [Link]

Bengals: Learning Nothing After Two Games

You can break down the “Marvin Lewis era” into two distinct segments: The Carson Palmer era, the Andy Dalton era. Keep in mind that this distinction isn’t a mutual narrative regarding these quarterbacks; it’s a universally accepted breakdown that compartmentalizes two enunciated eras within an era. Got it? Good.

The Carson Palmer era featured a high-octane offense with a powerful running game and an opportunistic defense that, despite the yardage allowed, generated turnovers. This was also the era that, unfortunately, established the Bengals as caricatures being viewed as criminals (which developed over the course of a single offseason). The Carson Palmer era was arguably the most exciting during the Marvin Lewis administration, especially the 2005 squad, who should have won the Super Bowl.

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No easy fixes for the Bengals

This week has sucked. Bad.

…yet, it didn’t start that way.

There was optimism. Excitement. Chills. Even a little giddiness. Entering the regular season, Cincinnati boasted a legitimate trio of running backs, a talented mix of wide receivers receivers (young and old), a top-flight defense, and the promotion of two high-round draft picks at offensive tackle. Youth was being served, promoted, and Cincinnati was entering another era in their illustrious history.

In addition, this was the second season for offensive coordinator Ken Zampese, who could find his zone as a play-caller and utilize his players better than last season.

It’s been a complete disaster.

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