Yep. I'm ripping off ESPN. Hey, they do it to us bloggers all of the time.
A growing concern -- well, it's so big we're not sure it's growing anymore -- is why the team's long snapper isn't, you know, long snapping. With 1:51 left in the first quarter, St. Louis snapped the football behind Kevin Huber's right ear. The football started trickling away towards midfield when one of the Broncos defenders tried to pick it up. Shayne Graham had none of that, dropped the boom on the defender, who couldn't secure the football. Another Bronco defender was about to fall on the football when Kevin Huber pushed him aside and secured the football.
All of that because St. Louis failed to do the one thing that he's getting paid $745,000 to do.
Against the Steelers, the Bengals had just scored a touchdown on Johnathan Joseph's interception return. It wasn't even close. Hell, it might hit the video board at the new Dallas Cowboys stadium. Graham simply pounced on the football and, like the rest of us, curled up in a cradle position. The irony here is that the missed snap could have actually put the Bengals in a position to win. If the PAT is made, then the Bengals could have gone with a more conservative approach late in the game and settled for a game-tying field goal (they wouldn't have gone for the first two-point conversion which failed), rather than the necessary touchdown. Hey. You guys know me. I'll spin anything into a positive. It's my required community service for my sentence of being a Bengals fan throughout the 90s.
Every snap that St. Louis was asked to do after missing the PAT, lowered my white blood cell count. I took off work today. I'm very sick. To say that I won't get nervous on every snap from this point on, is a lie. How does Marvin Lewis feel about it?
"Brad has to perform better in that situation. We’re very confident with Brad, and he has done an excellent job for a long time. Brad doesn’t have missed snaps in practice. For whatever reason, they’ve shown up in the game. We have to go back and stay confident and execute. Go back fundamentally and do a good job with his technique, and what’s he’s doing and be accurate with the snap."
In truth, neither bad snap directly led to the team losing a football game. However, there's no way anyone can have any faith in St. Louis right now, especially when the team is about to convert a game-winning field goal, or a game-tying PAT (see Denver, 2006). If his name isn't brought up again for the rest of the season, then great. If he bobbles another snap, how in the world can the Bengals justify keeping him on this squad? He's paid $745,000, which is nearly $200,000 more than Andre Caldwell, to do one thing. Are you kidding me? C'mon, man (sorry, watching Monday Night football's pregame show).