*You can have your final pass of the game go toward Cody Core. It can happen if the quarterback is chased out of the pocket, and gets desperate for a receiver. It can happen if the quarterback goes through his progressions and literally no one else is open. It can happen if throughout the game, Core has continually gotten open and made plays. It cannot happen when the quarterback simply drops back, and without looking anywhere else, simply zings the ball Core's way.
*Give credit to Lamar Jackson (who I wrote about back in April) for being ready to help his team win in his first NFL start, but holy hell the Bengals have the worst linebackers I've ever seen. Jackson was great. The guys who should've been tackling him - or, you know, spying on him - allowed his debut to go very, very smoothly.
*How is Joe Mixon not on the field for the game's final play? I've never understood anything less, which is saying something given how long I've rooted for this team.
*I can't imagine how bad Malik Jefferson has to be in practice and/or in the film room if he can't get on the field to play during games. (Although I guess it doesn't help his cause when he commits penalties on special teams.)
*A couple of times, Andy Dalton showed athleticism that he often doesn't get credit for. Why doesn't Bill Lazor try to tap into this a little more often? Roll him out a little? Run an option play or two? Something? Anything?
*Randy Bullock is like many NFL kickers, shaky from beyond 50 yards. The problem is this team is so deficient in other areas that not having a kicker with a bigger leg can present problems Yesterday is an example.
*Maybe Marvin Lewis did a fine job coordinating the defense. Maybe he's better in the role of D.C than Teryl Austin. Either way, the defense has a lot of dudes not holding their own. There's under-performers everywhere.
*John Ross made a beautiful grab for the third Cincinnati score of the afternoon. Don't dismiss his potential. Do remain skeptical that he can remain healthy enough to make more plays like the one that put the Bengals up 21-13.
*The Bengals have allowed the Colts and Ravens to catch them. Indy is trending upward. Baltimore has the excitement of Lamar Jackson. I still don't worry much about the Dolphins or Titans. I do worry about how realistic it's getting to expect the Bengals to get to nine wins. Their issues are bigger than what anyone else in the AFC's mess of mediocrity is doing right now.
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