Bengals fans are eternal optimists... every year looks better than the last (how could it not?) and almost every year, like the poor kid at Christmas wishing for a new bicycle, we wind up feeling a little bit disappointed when we end up with a used car tire and a dead possum. (but hey, we make the best of it right?) With that said, I am a die-hard Bengals fan, and perhaps because its the offseason... I can be optimistic once again! I've decided to look backwards when things started to go bad and try to shine a light of optimism on some of our bad luck the last few years.
Important Draftees: Jonathon Joseph, Andrew Witworth, Domata Peko
The Bright Side: 2006 was a painful year as we started out 8-5, and then proceeded to lose our last three games, driving us out of the playoffs. But we learned something about ourselves that will prove critical, Our defense was a train wreck... except train wrecks hit hard. We would never have been legit contenders without a legit "d." We needed to rebuild. Enter Jonathon Joseph and Domata Peko. Witworth should now sound familiar as well.
Important Draftees: Leon Hall
The Bright Side: Correct me if I'm wrong, but this season was the one where every single linebacker we had on the team got hurt and we were picking up guys on the street. (I even heard rumors that we made a move for John Madden to linebacker for us... though it went unsubstantiated). This is also the year that caused OchoCinco to whine, complain, and demand to be traded so that he can further pursue his career as a Diva. The brightside? A soft and pudgy 08 Ocho has apparently led to a determined turnaround in 09.... also led to the drafting of Keith Rivers. Nice.
The Bright Side: This is the year that seemingly everything fell apart. But I want you to notice something about last season. Teams we played last year: Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, New York Giants, Tennessee, Dallas, and Indianapolis. Not only is a list of teams we played, but its also a list of the top 1,2,3,4,5, 7, 8, and 11 defenses in the league. That accounts for 10 of our games played last year. Its no wonder our offense was ranked 32nd in the league with no Carson.
Also, don't make the conclusion that our poor "O" made our D look better than it really was because teams got up huge and then slowed down the game. Take a look at KC (O-24, D-31), Detroit (O-30 D-32), Oakland (O-29, D-27) Cleveland (O-31, D-26) St. Louis (O-27, D-28) and others. All of their offenses were bad last year, yet none of their defenses excelled by any standard. May I also keep in mind we played the giants into OT, tied the eagles, beat the redskins with a beat up Carson Palmer. Granted we looked pitiful at times against the likes of Houston, The Jets, Indy, and so on, but there were some bright spots even through all of that. Cedric emerged as a reliable back, the D carried us to three wins at the end of the season. Now this year, with a healthy Carson Palmer, and emergent back, a host of new defense aces added to last years cure (hopefully... ) I think we're looking again at a bright Bengals future.
Offense: ? Where do you think the O will be at the end of next season
1-10, 11-20, or 21-32
Defense? Where do you tink the D will be at the end of next season
1-10, 11-20, or 21-32
Bright Side: My question for you guys is, whats your bright side?
Who Dey Baby!?