BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 20: Lardarius Webb #21 of the Baltimore Ravens is called for pass interference on this play against Jerome Simpson #89 of the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Bengals 31-24. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Good morning Bengals Nation. I hope your Wednesday is off to a smooth start. If for some reason it isn't, then go play a game of paintball or something to help improve your day. If that doesn't work for some reason, then you're out of luck. Plain and simple.
Let's be honest, did any of us imagine that the Bengals would win five games this season, yet alone be in the hunt for the playoffs? If any of you say yes, then I won't believe you. With everything that was going on with this franchise there is no way any of could have expected this so soon. A majority of us probably felt as if they were one or two seasons away from becoming a contending team.
When the 2010 season ended the Bengals went through a drastic turnaround. Bob Bratkowski was fired and Jay Gruden was hired in his place. Gruden's West Coast offense has brought instant success for the Bengals. Can anyone recall the last time Bratkowski had success with the Bengals offense?
Then Carson Palmer demanded a trade and that he would retire if his demands weren't met. Well, it only took about eight months, but Palmer finally got his wish when the Bengals traded him to the Oakland Raiders for two high draft picks. I don't care what anyone says, the Bengals won that deal. As for his replacement? Well the Bengals selected Andy Dalton in the draft and he has looked like a stud so far this season with 15 touchdown passes after 10 games. Carson who?
The Bengals also traded
iconic, more like distraction, wide receiver Chad Ochocinco to the Patriots. Alright he wasn't all that bad, but when his numbers weren't as productive as he was at running his mouth, it evolved into a problem for the team and fans. In order to replace him the Bengals selected A.J. Green in the first round of the 2011 draft. And we all know what he's done this season, 41 catches for 635 yards and six touchdowns.. He's been one of the biggest catalysts for the team. Without Green and Dalton the Bengals wouldn't be in this position.
But wait, we can't forget about the defense. The Bengals defense has been one of the best in the league so far this season. And part of that is because they have more experience under their belts while Mike Zimmer, defensive guru has also factored into the Bengals' defensive success.
Now with only six weeks remaining the Bengals will really be put to the test. They've lost some key players this season in Jordan Shipley and Leon Hall. And if the Bengals want to make it to the playoffs then it's going to have to be a group effort. Not one individual can carry this team alone.
Alright here is a look at what you may have missed or overlooked from Tuesday.
- The fight for the AFC North crown has been a tug-o-war match all season and it will probably come down to the final weeks to determine which team will come out on top.
- Cincy Jungle's Unsung Hero of the Week goes to...........Alright I'll lower my demands of a jet ski or tank. How about some steak?
- Bengals cornerback Walter McFadden has been released from the practice squad.
- Time for the weekly Caption Contest. Put in your idea before it's too late.
- The Bengals can credit some of their success to Cedric Peerman and the rest of the special teams unit.
- The Bengals offensive and defensive snap count against the Baltimore Ravens.
- The Bengals game against the Browns has been officially declared a blackout for local television viewers. Is that really all that surprising?
- The Bengals have fallen back out of the top-ten in the latest NFL Power Rankings.
- Take a look at the top-five Bengals defensive plays against the Baltimore Ravens. Number five is probably my favorite one.
- The play of the game from last Sunday's Bengals game was the Jermaine Gresham not-touchdown reversal. That call cost the Bengals the game. Why can't the league make up their mind as to what is and what isn't a catch? That clearly WAS a catch, at least to every viewer it was.
- This season Bengals defensive lineman Geno Atkins has really stepped up his game. And coaches believe that his efforts have helped get the gears turning for other Bengals defenders.