The Bengals are national media darlings again after completing the season sweep of the Baltimore Ravens yesterday, moving to 6-2 for the first time since 1988. I talked a lot about the game yesterday. Here's what the national media said late last night (I don't include Peter King's MMQB because, amongst other reasons, it's not up yet). Here are post-game quotes. Here are many stories of national media heaping praise onto our beloved pumpkin cats.
- SI.com's Don Banks loves him some Bengals, devoting about 25% of his snap judgments to props for Carson, Cedric, and Mike Zimmer. Man, I love me some Zimmer.
James Walker, who appropriately dubbed the Bengals a darkhorse in the AFC this summer, writes (again?) that the Bengals are no (longer a) joke. The best thing about this season is that the remaining schedule is pretty easy, with 4 games coming against teams with 2 or less wins (Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Oakland), and winnable games @Pittsburgh, @Minnesota, @San Diego, and @New York Jets. It's a shame none of the tough 2nd half opponents are coming to PBS, but 11-5 (dare I say 12-4) sure looks doable.
- CBS Sports' Gregg Doyel similarly advises football fans to "take off the blinders." It's time to believe! He's really in touch with the Bengals fan base that has a really hard time buying into Mike's Bengals, but isn't it about time we lock ourselves into our front-row seats on the band wagon?
- NFL.com's Vic Carucci writes that the Bengals, who have several significant wins this season, are silencing more and more critics every week (there's also a cool video recap of the game. Jonathan Joseph's pick was insane). Our defense really has a lot of believers after shutting down the Ravens twice.
Speaking of defense, Geoff Hobson sings some mighty praise for Zimmer's boys.
- "And the Ravens had just 180 yards before running back Ray Rice churned out a classic garbage-time 35 yards on the last play of the game on a checkdown pass that underscored just how much Cincinnati dominated the game with the coverage of cornerbacks Leon Hall and Johnthan Joseph, as well as rookie nickel back Morgan Trent."
- CNati.com's Scott Priestle writes that the victory over Baltimore was another step toward the playoffs. That's right, folks, the playoffs are looking more and more reachable every week. Also from Priestle: praise for Joseph and Hall. These guys have GOT to be headed to the Pro Bowl, right? Along with Domata Peko, Whitworth, Carson and Chad? Am I forgetting anyone?
- Joe Reedy has his excellent-as-usual recap of the gamee at Cincinnati.com, where (also) Chick Ludwig reports that Carson wants Purify to replace Henry, rather than "one-dimensional" Simpson. Powerful words.
- Paul Daugherty calls these Bengals the "New Same Old Bengals." Worth a read!
- Tom Ramsetter writes that Predric Benson shut up Ray Lewis. John Eradi reports that Ray Rice says the Bengals are a stout defense.
By now, it's probably noon, and you've accomplished absolutely nothing at work today. If that's the case, then I consider it a job well done. Happy Monday!