OK, well...I think we've done enough of pointing fingers. Whether it be Dalton, one of the WRs,or the questionable calls by the officials, I keep hearing AJG18's name come up frequently. But do you really think he woulda made a difference between a Bengals win and a loss today? The absence of AJ couldn't erase 3 Dalton picks, DBs getting burned by Torrey Smith, or Ray Rice breaking off a 60 yarder, nor did him not being in the game change the ref's interpretation of "a football move" as JG made a magnificent juggling catch while falling into the corner of the endzone.
Yeah, AJ would've made a difference, but not enough to overcome a plethora of mistakes that dug Cincy a hole too deep to climb out of. It was a valiant effort, in which many factors were to blame....some more than others. Besides the touchdown drive early in the game and the late drives in desperation to come back, the Ravens' D was masterful in stopping our run game and putting significant pressure on the Red Rifle, which forced him into some uncharacteristically bad throws(i.e. picks).
I'll tell you what, though-- this team has been competitive every game this season....no matter who they faced or the circumstance, they've always been gamers. I'm convinced they won't have one blowout loss this year. They are too gutsy of a squad. Despite the back-to-back tough losses, I think losing to these two division stalwarts will only serve as a valuable lesson going forward when they face them again this season.
I was thinking 9-7 was a pretty realistic record for us this season, but even though we lost 2 in a row to the AFC North bullies, I really think they will learn from their mistakes and steal a game from either the Ravens or Steelers and finish 10-6. AJ will be back hopefully next Sunday along with the rest of the team, hungry for another win. Playoffs are still a strong possibility, Cincy Jungle! Heads high!