James Rapien

James Rapien

James Rapien came to talk sports and chew gum, and he's all out of gum.Full Bio


Friday Morning Observations – Bengals-Steelers, a UC throwback and more

The Bengals play the Steelers on Sunday. I find it next to impossible to pick Cincinnati. Pittsburgh has won six-straight in this series. Andy Dalton has a 3-11 career record against them. He has completed less than 60 percent of his passing attempts in 10 out of 14 games against the Steelers. Dalton is playing the best ball of his career, but I'm not sure how anyone can trust him to play well against Pittsburgh.

When Marvin Lewis was brought back this offseason, most people were shocked, including myself. Fans are waiting for Lewis and company to prove that things are different. He's gotten off to hot starts before, but beating the Steelers would energize this fanbase. They have a great opportunity to convince people that they are the real deal. It's up to Lewis, Dalton and the rest of the team to take advantage of the opportunity. 

Final score – Steelers: 24 Bengals: 20

Bengals Quick Hits:

  • Bengals wide receiver John Ross practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday and Thursday. That's encouraging, but it still feels like he could be a week away from suiting up. I chatted with Ross on Wednesday and he is itching to get back on the field, especially in a big game like this, but his status is up in the air. It feels like they may hold him out for one more game and let him get to 100 percent. If he can play, it would give Dalton a huge boost. Miami's defense dared the Bengals to throw it downfield at times last week. They had 10 defenders within nine yards of the line of scrimmage on multiple plays. Having Ross in the game stretches the defense out. It opens things up for A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. The Steelers would have to respect Ross' speed and the back end of their secondary has struggled so far this season. 
  • Giovani Bernard, Tyler Kroft and Billy Price are all out for Week 6. Price will get his foot examined again next week.
  • William Jackson III was limited on Wednesday and Thursday with a knee injury, but it sounds like he should be ready to go Sunday. Jackson played well last season in two games against Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.
  • If the Bengals win on Sunday, they will improve to 5-1 and the Steelers will fall to 2-3-1. A win would essentially end the Steelers' chances of winning the AFC North. 

The University of Cincinnati tweeted out an awesome throwback video about the 12-0 Bearcats football team. That was such a fun season. You can watch the video below: 

Other notes:

Saquon Barkley ran for 134 yards, had 99 yards receiving and scored a touchdown on Thursday night. He's quickly becoming one of the most exciting players to watch in the NFL. 

Eli Manning is done. I understand his offensive line has struggled, but he never threw it downfield. He couldn't connect with Odell Beckham Junior or Sterling Shepard. The Giants are cooked and Manning is finished. 

People are going to rip Beckham for yelling on the sideline, but I don't blame him. Heck, there are days when I get mad at little things. Beckham is angry because his quarterback can only throw the ball ten yards downfield.

I played and beat a video game for the first time in years earlier this week. Spider-Man is one of my favorite games ever and it was a blast. It had a great storyline and was the best Spider-Man experience I've had. That includes movies, cartoons, etc. 

I'll be calling the Moeller vs St. Ignatius game on Saturday afternoon. The Crusaders are 6-1 and went 3-0 in league play to become GCL Champions. They'll look to keep it rolling against the 5-2 Wildcats. 

For more on Bengals-Steelers, check out the Locked on Bengals podcast. 

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Email Me: JamesRapien@ESPN1530.com

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