I'm really confused this morning as the national media types are trying to give analysis of last night's laugher in New York. James Walker, in particular, seems to be putting a lot of stock into last night's result. So does John Clayton, who wrote in his AFC Playoff Preview that both teams can use the same game plan next week, reducing the potential impact that a short week of preparation could have. I don't know why any self-respecting football fan would think the Bengals would use the same gameplan, but they pay Clayton the big bucks. ESPN's senior football guy also thinks that the Chargers and Colts will be untouchable, despite both teams' historic struggles in the post-season.
Here are some other interesting stories from around the web.
- James Walker wonders if the AFC North playoff teams can make some noise in the playoffs. Since they won't butt heads until the AFC Championship Game at the earliest, the division's representatives have the potential to wreck havoc in the playoffs.
- CNati's Jerry Beach writes that the Bengals essentially surrendered to the Jets. With the guys we had inactive, I'm inclined to agree. But as Chad Ochocinco pointed out, "There's no trickery they can add to their game plan. We know their offensive and defensive scheme. It just comes down to executing the plays."
- Joe Reedy clarifies the playoff picture for us. This article reminded me that if the Ravens upset the Patriots, they'll be the team going to Indy in round 2, not the Bengals.
- Chick Ludwig continues to be hillarious in his old age. He believes that the Bengals tried really hard last night and got their butts kicked anyway, and will be one-and-done. Nevermind that 4 starters never played, the Bengals never used an unbalanced line or tried to establish the run, and that the defensive gameplan was vanilla and backup-laden. I understand being upset about a loss, but that doesn't mean you have to give into senility.
- Clark Judge correctly points out that the Bengals didn't have much to play for. He also says some mumbo jumbo about stopping that wide receiver the Jets lined up at QB and the Bengals let run it up the middle for many yards. They played like they didn't care. You may disagree - the third seed would be nice, I guess (but the Patriots are 1-6 on the road, so they'll lose before we could have another home game anyhow), but the tell-tale sign for me was the benching of Cedric Benson. If he's not playing when he could be playing, they're mailing it in.
What was your take on the game last night? Do you think the Bengals gave it their best effort?