Bengals 38, Dolphins 25 Bengals 19, Brownies 14
The Bengals won two consecutive games for the first time all year and kept Cleveland out of the playoffs. Cleveland is the team whose mascots are either a magical gnome or an orange spot. They’re the same Cleveland Orange Spots who kept the Bengals out of the playoffs in ‘03. The Magical Gnomes still had a decent year kick-started by our defensive ineptitude in Week 2. It doesn’t matter Cleveland you’re still the funny guy. We’re just the sad guy, you’re the funny guy.
I enjoyed these last two games because my three least-likeable players were out; Both safeties and Rudi J. The two youngsters at safety, White and Ndukwe, showed immediate dividends collecting turnovers and really hitting people. Kenny Watson continued to get yards on a fairly consistent basis but also showed us that he’s a fumbler. I don’t feel he’s reliable to carry the load because of it. Ndukwe has two touchdowns in my book after that spectacular return he had against Cleveland which was marked out at the four-yard-line. He has good size, he hits people and seems to have a decent field presence. Marvin White is progressing but doesn’t look as comfortable. I expect coaches to focus on both safeties in training camp next year. They should be playing at a higher level next year and from what we’ve seen so far, that sounds promising.
On to the firings. Bresnahan met the chopping block as did linebackers coach Ricky Hunley. While it certainly can’t hurt to fire any of these guys, I don’t see it making much difference overall. We knew Chuck was close. He hasn’t had anythinAg even dressed like a decent defense. Bengal fans everywhere have groaned his name all too often in the past three years. He had a tough job and couldn’t hack it.
Hunley had a scrap heap unit to work with and couldn’t overcome national scrutiny. The fact every announcer this season pointed out how banged up the linebackers were didn’t help his cause.
So now do the Bengals have a chance to instill a winning defensive philosophy? With a focus on personnel change and the right hire, we may see a defense that can rank in the lower-twenties someday.
Tim Lewis looks good on paper. A former Steelers guy, knows the 3-4, played defensive back, is a younger black coach (younger black coaches are hot in the NFL right now. I think the idea is that they relate better to their players). A 3-4 defense could be worth looking into if we add some key pieces to make it work.
Rex Ryan isn’t bad. Ravens defenses are always nasty. He knows the division well. Could also handle a 3-4 change. Could lure Terrell Suggs here.
I don’t think anybody is gonna build a winning defense overnight in Cincinnati. It takes draft picks and player development coupled with scheme patterns and adjustments. The defensive coordinator job will be a crucial hire for the future of this team.
It’s Marvin’s last hurrah. If we don’t see improvement in the next two years he will be out of excuses. His stubborn nature will have done him in. But, if he gets it right and the machine starts working again, he’ll once more be crowned as Prince Marv.
Much more off-season stuff to come.
Mojokong - Can’t stop the spinning.