They say picture is worth a thousand words....
A late start today because watching baseball deep into the night and having breakfast out with my daughter this morning both seemed like more desirable ways to spend my time than blogging about the Bengals.
And frankly, my thoughts are so widespread and nuanced that I'm going to hammer out a few thousand words.
But here are a few thoughts.
*Zac Taylor looks like a guy in over his head. Two moments from yesterday come to mind. One is when he chose not to throw the challenge flag on the Willie Snead IV fumble. Remember, they've made a big deal about better game management this season.
The other is the third and six screen pass to Giovani Bernard that was called early in the fourth quarter, out of a timeout. It didn't just lack creativity, the decision to call that play cost them a timeout that could've been used later in the game.
Add to it a piss-poor red zone offense, the continuing insistence on using three-wide receiver sets, and the inability to unearth any semblance of a ground game, and even despite the injuries and roster issues, this head coach isn't inspiring much confidence.
*Andy Dalton is a meat shield. Yes, it is time for the Bengals to start working on a fresh start at quarterback, so much so that it almost goes without saying. But we focus so much on what the Bengals have and what they need at QB that it deflects from an issue that's nearly as pressing.
This team's defense is a joke.
The lack of speed is glaring. The inability to deal with offenses using some of the league's simplest concepts is staggering. Yesterday, Lamar Jackson gained 16 yards on a third and 14 when, to that point, Baltimore's best play was using Jackson as a runner. Staggering.
There is no consistent pass rush. Tight ends continually go uncovered. Sometimes, I'm not even sure if Geno Atkins is on the team anymore. There are no difference-makers.
But hey, they'll rebuild it next season with mid-round picks and lower-tier free agents. That's the ticket!
Remember, the same people in charge of fixing the defense are the same ones that chose to not fix it last offseason.
*Auden Tate was fantastic yesterday. I'd say more but they Bengals are 0-6 and I don't feel like being nice.
*Is there a league mandate against using two running backs on the field at the same time?
Let's move on, briefly, to other things.
*Like the Bearcats. Nice road win in Houston on an afternoon that was a little more challenging than it should've been, but was still mostly positive nonetheless. They need to clean up some of the big play issues the defense struggled with, and the offense going completely dormant for a long stretch is an issue. Also, the penalties made me want to choke myself.
But a 15-point road win in conference is nothing to grumble about either, and I like the way Desmond Ridder is looking more comfortable with each passing week. The final two weeks are going to be very, very challenging, but I see no reason why the Cats shouldn't be 9-1 going into the Temple game.
Also, if you grabbed UC going over the originally posted over/under of 5.5, then you and I should congratulate each other at some point.
*Ouch! It was not a good NFL weekend on the Blog of Football Guesses. I like my chance for a rebound tonight, with Green Bay's defense at home against Detroit's shaky O-line. Give me Aaron Rodgers and the Packers (-3.5).
*UC hoops...Cats picked to finished third in the AAC. This is where I would've had them. There will more something more substantive later.
*For now...Join us this afternoon.