They were out-coached, they were out-played, and they were out-classed. Sunday’s loss to the Steelers left little doubt that being swept by their bitter rival in Pittsburgh is an obvious omen. There’s a lot of sweeping to be done in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati – Look, in case there was any question, the Bengals’ loss to the Steelers Sunday left little doubt about whether Ben Roethlisberger is smarter than the entire Bengals’ defense combined.
Roethlisberger came from behind in the second half, from a 20-9 halftime deficit, to steer the Steelers to a 24-20 win, sweep the season series, and once again prove the the Bengals mental process is purely “street”.
The Steelers’ staff simply out-coached Marvin Lewis and his staff.
The Steelers’ players simply out-played the Bengals, even with scoring just a single touchdown (they had six field goals). They absolutely shut down Andy Dalton and the offense in the second half.
And the Steelers were smart, while the Bengals at one point of the fourth quarter reverted to their “thug” ways of old. Four penalties on four consecutive plays led to the go-ahead touchdown. They Steelers simply watched them self-destruct without retaliation.
And then, when the Bengals got the ball on the ensuing kickoff with 3:48 seconds to play for a go-ahead score, it was obvious that they were mentally whipped, as well. Marvin, Ken Zampisi, Andy Dalton, et.al., had no answer.
This was disgusting if you’re a Bengals’ fan, a waste of three hours and a perfectly good Sunday if you sat at home and watched, hoping for some retribution or redemption from the past. The Steelers, from the top down of their organization down, simply have the Bengals’ number. And what do you do?
Obviously, Mike Brown is a fixture. He’s not leaving, or changing, for that matter. So there isn’t much hope in that regard. But it is time for sweeping change – what thinking people in more successful organizations would have done before now.
Marvin and his staff have been there too long. Not that they can’t coach; but they can’t coach and win in Cincinnati.
It’s time to look at personnel, and attitudes. I really tire of seeing “Pacman” preen. And I don’t know why Dre’ Kirkpatrick does his ‘hip-hop’ thing after making a play, only to commit back-to-back penalties on the winning Pittsburgh drive that gave Roethlisberger added advantage…as if he needed it. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
Vontaze Burfict can play, but maybe he has to go somewhere else and play. He’s become a distraction in Cincinnati; or else, he’s been enabled by Marvin Lewis to the point where he’s distracting to himself. Another reason, perhaps, for losing Lewis.
Andy Dalton? Well, it’s hard to put it on him, because the offensive line has been abysmal all year. They let their right tackle go at the end of last year and the position has been a revolving door of people since. You can’t help A.J. Green being hurt, but in their infinite wisdom to save money they let two good, veteran receivers walk, too (Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu). Andy’s under contract going forward, but until some other things change you might wonder how much conviction he has to stay. Can you say…Carson Palmer?
I’m writing in frustration – simply an observation. But if you’re a fan, and a drinking man, there ain’t enough whiskey for a Bengals game.
And I admit to having many of the same emotions I feel when I watch the Reds. Sure, there’s good athletes on both rosters, but it’s time for sweeping change in both organizations, starting at the top. It’s pretty obvious to me, and shared by other inside baseball people with their own perspective, that baseball has passed Reds’ management by – like meaningful football has passed the Bengals.
They simply play stupid football, as exhibited Sunday. The Steelers knew they had ’em on their first possession of the second half. It was just a matter of the Steelers cleaning up their own act, as Mike Tomlin later admitted. And worse, history dictates that they’re too proud to change. Count on it…you’ll hear the same tired rhetoric Monday from Marvin and Andy.
Can it be personnel, generally? Well, they get high marks for having drafted well. But what happens after they get to the riverfront is another matter. God knows what’s to come when Mike Brown is gone and the next generation is left in charge.
They can attack the messenger, if they don’t acknowledge the message. That’s popular in this day when athletes have no other answer but blame the media. But if they come after me they have to go find CBS analyst Dan Fouts, as well. Said Fouts during the broadcast, “Hard to imagine what they’re doing. They have more penalty yards in the second half than they have offensive yards.”
What he didn’t say, of course, was how you go about fixing the age-old problem. For sure, they’ve been swept enough by Pittsburgh. It’s time now…for a little sweeping of their own.
George Dickel, anyone?