Playoff Review

This post has been about three weeks in the making.  It kept getting put off due to my frustration over the outcomes of each week.  So I am going to try to encapsulate my thoughts on the whole thing with out getting to angry.  Good luck to myself!

Wildcard Round

  • Bengals vs Texans:  Well this one hurts the most.  I could easily dedicate an entire post to this one, and I might.  However I will just say it is nice that the Bengals defense showed up in Houston, not sure where the offense was.  Texans earned this one and honestly I am not mad at them (for this round).
  • Vikings vs Packers:  Packers quickly squashed the evil Purple.  However the Vikings didn’t exactly make it easy.  Not sure why the Pack let the Vikings roll them the previous week.  I assume to keep the Bears out of the playoffs (or the Cowboys).  Either way I approve
  • Colts vs Ravens:  Fail Andrew Luck.  This could have been the first last time (makes sense now) that Stabby could have been retired.  I didn’t watch this game, as I was still a bit bitter about the Bengals game.
  • Seahawks vs Redskins:  Terrible field conditions along with some terrible calls (which will be a reoccurring theme here).  I predict that Robert Griffin will have a career ending injury if he keeps playing the way he does, which is sad because I like him 100k times more than Cam Newton.  He just is not built like Cam.  I didn’t watch this one either and was pretty indifferent with the outcome

 

Divisional Round

  • Ravens vs Broncos: This is where the real anger started.  Peyton had a great season and he went Jay Cutler on us.  Poor Peyton was tired and cold.  Taking a knee with less than a minute in the fourth quarter to send it to overtime?!  Blown defensive coverage that allowed the score to be tied.  Congrats Bronco’s you are back on my list of teams I want to always lose.  As a good friend would say… Expletive you John Elway!  Guess the Ravens got their revenge for that botched draft trade two years ago.
  • Packers vs 49ers:  Was pretty mad about the Ravens winning so I didn’t watch this.  But I think I can sum it up like this. The  Packers offense as a team vs the 49ers Offense, Defense, and special teams as a team.  The Pack’s defense should be a lot better than it is considering some of the players they have.  Very disappointed with the Pack, this could have been the first exit for Jim Harbaugh.
  • Seahawks vs Falcons:  I didn’t watch this but I will admit that I was happy with the outcome.  That is all I have to say
  • Texans vs Patriots:  This team came down to who did I think could beat Baltimore.  Part of me want the Texans to win, but it became pretty clear right away that it was going to be the Patriots.  I wish I could have seen the outcome the other way, perhaps it would have changed things.

 

Championship Round

  • 49ers vs Falcons:  So the Falcons dictated the first half and took the rest of the game off.  I knew once this game was over, I had to pull for the Patriots all the way.  (I’ll explain the 49er hate in abit).  I also knew know that it was pretty much fixed (which I could have brought up in the Broncos and Colts games against the Ravens) so that Stabby would make it to the Superbowl.  Getting ahead of myself here.
  • Ravens vs Patriots:  Found it funny that Pollard is a Patriot killer (Gronkowski, Brady, Welker, and now Ridley).  Once it became clear the the Ref’s were going to allow the Ravens to win and Bill was not going to pull his camera out, I stopped watching.  I really was hoping for a Patriot comeback to enjoy the looks of disappoint on the Ravens players, but I was deluding myself.

 

So now we have a Harbaugh Superbowl   Pretty sure that this was rigged from the get go, only to be amplified by Stabby’s aspirations to retire when at the end of the season or when the Ravens lose.  Lets go over the reasons I hate each team, the Pro’s and Con’s of each team winning.

49ers

  • Reasons for hate:  Well the two obvious reasons are Superbowl XVI and XXIII.  A friend of mine pointed out that me being upset about this was sorta like being upset at the British for the War of 1812.  I had a nice comeback for him, but when your team goes to the Superbowl twice and loses to the same team there is a bit of bitterness there.  Just ask the Buffalo Bills.  Then there is Jim Harbaugh and his days as a Raven.  Mr. I cannot keep my cool pat you on the back with an attitude.  I can only imagine the fits he will through when his other brother lays the smack down. (read on)
  • Pros:  None really.  Except to spite the Steelers fans who didn’t want the Patriots to win because Tom Brady would tie Terry Bradshaw.  This way the 49ers can tie the SixBurgh status.  Another pro would be that the Ravens lose.
  • Cons: Angry Harbaugh would get a Superbowl win.

 

Ravens

  • Reasons for hate:  Where to begin?  Probably by them being the illegitimate step child of Cleveland.  Stabby’s stupid dance and stat padding his way to the hall of fame.  Any given Raven fan who thinks that the NFL is out to get just them and just them. The fact that it seems to be a step to retirement for Bengal players (TJ Houshmandzadeh, Bobbie Williams, Willie Anderson, Shayne Graham, Jeff Blake, Kelly Washington, Deion Sanders (ok he was a Reds player, still counts) ).  Then there is Joe Flacco who cries like a girl when he is hit.  And then there is big brother John Harbaugh who agrees with the fans that the league is out to get just the Ravens, when the complete opposite seems to be true.  Cleveland hates Baltimore for obvious reasons, and the Bengals and Steelers do not respect the Ravens.
  • Pros: None.  Except to maybe see the look on Jim’s face when John lays the smack down and he is beat by the team he used to play for.  Another stretch would be the fact that the QB drafted right after Dalton would not have a ring, but honestly there are no positives here.
  • Cons: Everything.  A win would only embolden the Ravens and somehow make them feel like they are more legit, when they are not.

 

Regardless of the outcome, it will be Stabby’s last game which by its self is a positive.  It is possible that Ed Reed might retire as well if the Ravens win, but that is unconfirmed.

As I stated before I intend to boycott the Superbowl and watch the puppy bowl instead.  I said at the get go of the playoffs the worst possible combo would be a Harbaugh Superbowl and that is what we ended up with.

 

 

Fifty Shades of Positivity

Well the Bengals lost and I am a host of many feelings right now.  So as I was sitting here sulking (sorta like Cam Newton does) I started to think of the positive or rather fifty ways this loss could have been worse.  Not that these are all positive but they are items that if it were true the loss would have stung worse.  (Warning some repeats…)

  1. It could have been against the Ravens.
  2. It could have been against the Steelers.
  3. It could have been a blow out.
  4. We could have lost by nothing but Field Goals.
  5. We could have lost by a dropped pass in the very way that  the Ravens lost on  Houshmandzadeh’s hands.  This point could be argued since Gresham had at least three drops and Green had two.
  6. It could have been at Paul Brown.We could have had our star player get injured.  He might as well have been because there was no offense… stopping there as negativity is coming out.
  7. It could have been a loss by one point.
  8. We could have had a bunch more penalties.
  9. It could have been against the Jets.
  10. It could have been a game where we blew a huge lead.
  11. It could have been a game where we blew a small lead.
  12. It could have been against the Ravens.
  13. It could have been against the Steelers.
  14. It could have been the AFC Title game and against the Ravens or Steelers.
  15. It could have been against Cleveland.
  16. It could have been against Oakland.
  17. The Texans are that good of a team, winning against them in their house is tough (could have been done though).
  18. It could have not been televised (at least I got to see them one last time).
  19. Ray Lewis could be not retiring.
  20. Mike Ditka predicted the Bengals to win, so he was wrong too.
  21. It could have been against the Ravens.
  22. It could have been against Oakland.
  23. It could have been a shutout, although it kind of was.
  24. We still had a decent season, better than last year.
  25. Half done!
  26. We have a lot of good players still.
  27. It could have been against the Steelers.
  28. I could have paid a lot of money to go and see the loss in person.
  29. Along with 28, I could have lost time on vacation.
  30. It could have been a typical Bengals bungling (close though).
  31. At least we played four quarters.
  32. At least it was not the Ravens.
  33. Rey Maualuga could have not exposed how terrible of a linebacker he is (this only counts if we don’t ditch him).
  34. ummmmmm
  35. It could have been played in London.
  36. I could have taped it, watched it and then have the tape die in the middle of  the third quarter (2005 Wildcard).
  37. The Colts could still win, lets hope so!
  38. In line with 37, it could have been against the Ravens.
  39. The Ravens and Steelers are probably beyond their peak years, which will probably give us a great shot at the division over the next couple of years.
  40. We probably don’t have to worry about the Browns.
  41. Obama could have interrupted the broadcast to tell the public that he is going to ban guns.
  42. We could have won and really got our rear handed to us against the Broncos.
  43. It could have been against the Ravens.
  44. Dalton could have thrown six picks or two pick sixes.
  45. We kept the Texans to one touchdown.
  46. The Texans very could go on to win it all, hope so.
  47. The Ravens suck.
  48. It could have been against the Steelers.
  49. The McRib could have been not available.
  50. I am glad I didn’t waste my Pepsi Throwback on this game.

 

 

Well Guess I was wrong

So on 11/9/2012 I posted “Bengals Season is Toast

The title more or less stated my faith in the reminder of the Bengals season along with their chances of going anywhere.  So let’s do something fun and refute my post from then.

I started out with stating that I am not a fair weather Bengals fan, and I want to reiterate that point.  I love the Bengals, and it is a love/hate relationship (as mentioned previously).  I then went over my thoughts of their draft picks from 2003 through 2012.  I then went into a short tirade about scouting.  While I cannot change the draft picks or the scouting department, I will say that we have found a gem in Vontaze Burfict.  I still wish we had more than three scouts but I have to give credit where credit is due.  Speaking of which…

Mike Brown.  There is no shortage of Bengals fans that despise Mike Brown, and I am  probably one of them.  I say probably because his trade of Palmer to the Raiders was probably the most hands down most one sided trade ever initiated in the NFL.  Mike Brown, Mike Browned the Raiders.  Sure Kirkpatrick (our 1st 2012 1st round pick thanks to the trade) probably won’t be a Darrel Revis, Deion Sanders, or Charles Woodson.  He might turn out to be a Johnathan Joesph, Leon Hall, or Brandon Flowers though.  Mike obviously has been know to take risks (Odell Thruman, Chris Henry, Vontaze Burfict, Adam Jones, Andre Smith…).  The sad/good thing is that it looks like Mike Brown knows what he is doing.
I did touch on Bungling, and I will say that the Bengals have a way of beating themselves with penalties and silly mistakes and never recovering.  Since the original post on 11/9/2012, the Bengals are 7-1.  Let me type that again so it sinks in.  7-1.  They went from being 3-5 to 7-1 finishing 10-6.  What causes this?
Coaching, which oddly enough is another area I touched on.  I don’t know what Marvin and his staff have been doing but I only hope that they keep it up.  Marvin has taken the Bengals to the playoffs four times (including this year) over his ten years in Cincy.  Not bad when you look at it like that.  Plus a big monster is now gone, back to back playoff seasons (2011 and 2012).  That had not happened since 1982 (I was two years old at that point in time).  The next big monster to overcome is winning a playoff game (has not happened since 1990).  Getting the playoffs is next but Marvin really needs to get a playoff win (or four in one year 🙂 ) under his belt, otherwise he will become another Andy Reid.
Which now that Andy Reid is officially fired, I believe that makes Marvin the second longest tenured head coach in the NFL after Bill Belichick.

 

Here is what matters in snapshot form.

At 11/9/2012

  • Overall Offense Rank by 17th
  • 23rd Rushing
  • 11th Passing
  • Overall Defense 21st
  • 22nd rushing
  • 16th passing

 

At 1/1/2013

  • Overall Offensive Rank 22nd
  • 18th Rushing
  • 17th Passing
  • Overall Defense 6th
  • 12th rushing
  • 7th passing

 

Defense wins championships, however our offense needs to really start clicking.  A lot of that revolves around our lack of running game.  That being said I am looking forward to the rematch and truly believe we can beat the Texans.

WHODEY!

 

Bengals Season is toast

So I am going to do something that I have not done in a while.  Write about my love hate relationship that I have with the Cincinnati Bengals.  The only problem is there are so many thoughts rolling around in my head I don’t know where to start, and sometimes venting turns in to weird praise.  Most importantly, I must stress that I am not a fair weather Bengals fan and I am most certainly not riding the Palmer Dalton Bandwagon.

Drafting

They have made some pretty smart draft picks, or rather solid draft picks in the last ten years.  However they have made some equally bad choices.  Starting with 2003:

  • 2003: Carson Palmer (decent), Eric Stienbach (should have kept), Kelly Washington (ok), Dennis Weathersby (meh), Jeremi Johnson (stayed on till 2009ish got tubby), Khalid Abdullah (who?), Langston Moore (didn’t make pratice squad), Scott Koostra (ok second string)
  • 2004: Chris Perry (injury prone) Keiwan Ratliff (decent), Madieu Williams (decent), Caleb Miller (ok), Landon Johnson (ok-decent), Matthais Askew (overrated), Robert Geathers (still around still decent), Stacy Andrews (cry baby), Maurice Mann (practice squad), Greg Brooks (not Ahmed), Casey Bramlet (who?)
  • 2005: David Pollack (career injury but looking to be decent), Odel Thurman (trouble some but solid until cut), Chris Henry (troublesome and decent but deceased), Eric Ghiaciuc (decent), Adam Kieft (meh), Tab Perry (some break out games), Jonathan Fanene (decent)
  • 2006: Johnathan Joseph (solid, should have kept), Andrew Whitworth (solid and getting better), Frostee Rucker (ok), Domata Peko (solid getting better), AJ Nicholson (meh), Reggie McNeal (meh), Ethan Kilmer (ok), Bennie Brazell (who?)
  • 2007: Leon Hall (solid), Kenny Irons (way over rated), Marvin White (ok), Jeff Rowe (meh), Matt Toeaina (who?), Dan Santucci (ok), Chinedum Ndukwe (ok)
  • 2008: Keith Rivers (overrated, but looked good), Jerome Simpson (some break out games but inconsistent), Pat Sims (decent), Andre Caldwell (see Simpson), Anthony Collins (ok), Jason Shirley (meh), Corey Lynch (meh), Matt Sherry (who?), Angelo Craig (who?), Mario Urrutia (practice squad nothing more)
  • 2009: Andre Smith (Tubby but getting better), Rey Maualuga (Ok-Decent), Michael Johnson (moved from DE to LB then back Decent), Chase Coffman (overrated), Jonathan Luigs (who), Kevin Huber (solid), Morgan Trent (ok), Bernard Scott (solid), Fui Vakapuna (ok), Clinton McDonald (who?), Freddie Brown (practice squad)
  • 2010: Jermaine Gresham (solid), Carlos Dunlap (solid), Jordan Shipley (injury prone, but could have been good), Brandon Ghee (ok), Geno Atkins (solid), Roddrick Muckelroy (ok), Otis Hudson (meh), Dezmon Briscoe (who?), Reggie Stephens (hey a cyclone!
  • 2011: A.J. Green (solid), Andy Dalton (jury is still out but decent), Dontay Moch (ok), Clint Boling (meh), Robert Sands (meh), Ryan Whalen (ok), Korey Lindsey (who?), Jay Finley (who?)
  • 2012: Dre Kirkpatrick (hasn’t played yet but should be solid), Kevin Zeitler (looks good), Devon Still (hard to tell), Mohamed Sanu (can pass too!), Brandon Thompson (meh), Orson Charles (ok), Shaun Prater (hey a Hawkeye), Marvin Jones (the next Housh?), George Iloka (meh), Daniel Herron (boom, not so much).  Vontaze Burfict (looking solid)
There are many good things there and equally many head scratchers.  Overall, I would say that some of these guys have proven their worth and will continue to do so.  My fear is that it will be for some other team.  What causes these bad draft choices?
Scouting
It is no secret that the Bengals have the smallest scouting department in the league.  Which answers the question of what causes the bad draft choices.  It is hard to view all your prospects when other teams in the NFL have anywhere from a dozen to three dozen members in their scouting department.  The Bengals have three.  THREE!
Bungling

While it does seem like there are many times that the Bengals look like they have figured it all out, or look really good because they have the right pieces, they continue to remind everyone that they still are the Bengals and know how to “bungle” something great.  Sometimes it is not even their fault, the problem is that when they have a mistake or a turnover it sucks the wind and fight out of them and they essentially are not the same team.

They could be winning against any team and with one miscue or interception and its over.  They submit and let the other team dictate.  Want examples?  (note these are ones that I distinctly recall)

  • 2006 Chargers: Bengals had the lead 28-7 at the Half.  Chargers scored two touchdowns in less than two minutes and continued to force the Bengals into a scoring shootout, until Carson fumbles on the first play of the 4th quarter.  Chargers then take the lead and keep it.
  • 2006 Broncos:  Bengals played tight with the Broncos but a Special teams snafu cost them the game.
  • 2009 Raiders: Bengals up by seven at the top of the fourth quarter, during the first drive two fumbles happen.  The first is recovered, the second is lost.  Raiders keep Bengals scoreless in the 4th and score 10 to win.  Bengals try to regroup, but fumble and lose it again.  Carson ends the game by throwing a pick.
  • 2009 Jets: Bengals play the Jets back to back in a weird playoff scenario.  Bengals completely lay down and get shutout in final game of the season.  In the Wild Card, Bengals score first but then Palmer throws a pick which the Jets turn into points.  Bengals do not score again until the fourth quarter already down by 17 at that point.
  • 2010 Steelers (MNF).  Opening kickoff, Bengals fumble with in the fifteen yard line.  Steelers score and dictate the game.  Bengals try to make a return but to far behind for it to stick
  • 2011 Texans (Wild Card).  Bengals look to get a win in the post season, start of strong. Looking to take the lead before the half and get the ball back.  J.J. Watt makes an unbelievable play and picks off Dalton and walks into the end zone.  An orange team returned after the half but it was not the same Bengals as the first.
  • 2012 Steelers (week 7)  Bengals looked improved against a banged up Steelers team due to injuries.   Bengals took the lead in the first and started to build a spread.  Dalton throws a tipped pass by Woodley, Bengals give up and let the Steelers dictate the game.

 

I mean sure there are other reasons why you lose, but in each of these games I recall watching or listening to, a miscue was made and the team never recovered.  That is where a good reliable coach is needed to recover…

Coaching

Ok I really like Marvin Lewis, but its been almost ten years he has had only six winning seasons and half of those were .500 seasons (which should not count and they don’t for the scope of this post).  The remaining three resulted in playoff appearances in the wild card round and early exits.  Part of me says its time to move on and let him go but part of me also says he really is a good fit.  At this point, if Marvin was to leave at the end of this year we would also lose Gruden and Zimmer which may or may not be a good thing.  I would argue that Zimmer is solid and Gruden is hit an miss but I would guess both would leave.  Either way, with the ownership…

Mike Brown

And we have finally come to Mikey.  As I was starting to say in the previous paragraph, if Marvin were to leave I think it would just expose Mike Brown’s greed even more.  Mike won’t hire a GM because he believes that he is a great GM.  Mike bickers with Carson Palmer because he has a contract, but trades Chad Johnson.  (BTW Kudos to Carson for forcing Brown to trade him, actually the end result of this trade was pretty good so I guess I can’t blame Brown for that).  Mike likes to keep people in their places, which would explain why Marvin is still around.  Mike Brown is no Paul Brown.  I wish Paul would have taught Mike better.

In the End

I still love the Bengals, and I am pretty numb to them losing.  It pains me to see them lose the ones they should win, and I hate the false hope I get when they win ones that they should have probably lost.  At any rate, I won’t punt them just because they don’t have a winning history.  I will just hope that next year brings better .

WHODEY!

 

Insult to injury?

And now all of a sudden, the Bengals decide to play to win. This basically makes my previous wish of saying “I was at the only game they won in 2008” moot, but what probably irritates me more is they probably lost their solid number two pick in the draft. Not that it is a huge issue right now because the draft does not look too exciting as of right now. Honestly, if they win out at this point I think it will be worse than losing out simply because the question will be asked as to why they got it together in the last four weeks, which never ends well in Cincy…

Just a few more weeks and I will be able to have that frozen item that I gave up for a year, I am now looking forward to it!

The Downhill Stretch

I am getting somewhat excited! At the time of this writing I have exactly three weeks to go to fulfill my dare/commitment to not have ice cream for one year. Oddly enough, I don’t really want any. Strange how that works.

In other news:
The Bengals are 1-11-1. I don’t want to see this anytime soon but thought it was funny none the less. I am still pleased that we are on track to say “We were at the only game they won in 2008!”

Dryer died on us, so a new motor, belt, and some other parts will essentially be our Christmas present. Oh well at least it lasted this long, and survived two sewage floods…

Facebook, I finally caved and gave into the masses that wanted me to use some social networking site. Granted there are some nice things about it, like the fact that it uses RSS feeds to pull this blog and my picasa photos into my wall or profile or whatever it is over there. And yet I still cannot figure out how to Feed picasa into my page!

Starting to work on the Christmas letter to all, be watching for it!

CJ is becoming TO

So it seems like forever since I have posted anything. Oddly enough there were two post that have gone MIA, one of which was Chloe’s announcement of arrival. I’ll fix that later.

What I really wanted to bring attention to a little blog called “Send your Jersey back to Chad” (www.sendyourjerseybacktochad.com). I really think that this is a great idea for the fans to speak their minds about the whole situation. I would have to say I have mixed feelings on it but I am with Marvin on this one, walk your talk Chad or shut up and play.

No is the answer

Some random rants

-I finally said no to a class which I believe works for some people but not for me. If others want to go to it and go through the temporary emotions and then make ridiculous statements like “its about you and your family and will make you a better person to your family, oh crap look at the time I need to go get my daughter from basketball,” then so be it. I am not looking at myself to improve myself, I am looking above!

-Speaking on no, about a year ago we were being pressured by some college girl at Wells Fargo to change our fixed apr mortgage into an Adjustable Arm. HA glad I said no to that!

-I have the ATV crazies again, I need to tell myself NO!

-Chloe is almost a month old, and I can honestly say I absolutely love her! She is everything to me and I would give up almost anything for her.

-19-0? I think the Giants will find a way to win this one… so when asked what comes after 18, I can say 18-1. Go ELI!