Ten observations from Cincinnati Bengals loss to Cleveland Browns

There are two very distinct lenses through which to regard the Cincinnati Bengals at the quasi-halfway point in the season. Trust one, and you just might save what’s left of your sanity: 

1.     In early September, you looked at this roster and where it was in its development and saw 7-8 wins. You understood that while the talent jump was impressive, it was new talent, or talent that just arrived from some other NFL outpost. Burrow’s career was at nine games. Combine that with a still-green coaching staff. There would be just as many highs as lows. The idea was to improve significantly in prep for 2022. Have the Bengals done that? You can’t say they haven’t.

2.     The other way to look at it was the more traditional, NFL fan way: Get bent every time they lose/high-5 the ceiling every time they don’t. These are the folks who, after the Men won in Baltimore, were checking flight schedules to LA and clearing their schedules in the first week of February. How you feelin’ now, friends?

Moderation matters when it comes to drinking Kool-Aid and wanting Zac Taylor fired. Even after the past two Sundays, the rational take is, calm down and see what the next eight games bring. And know I’m here for you, Mobsters. It’s just what I do.           

Without further ado. . .


1.     Call the experts on this, but the eyeball test suggests the offense is getting predictable and opponents are taking advantage. Way back when Bob Bratkowski was the OC, I’d amuse myself by calling the plays beforehand. If I’d been picking games in Vegas, I’d have made some money. Burrow has 7 picks in the last 5 games. Coincidence? Which leads to. . .

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