And we're back for the third straight year with this now-annual feature of Cincy Jungle. I hope everybody who enjoyed this game last year will play again, and for those who haven't joined in yet please join in the fun! As before, everybody starts back at zero points this year, so everybody has an equal chance of winning at this point. If you want to see my wrap-up for last year's game, you can find it here.
Last year rather sucked for those of us who follow the Bengals even when they suck. Hey I grew up a Saints fan, I know all about following a team that sucks and still caring about them anyway. And even though the Bengals are my second team, I still hope they will improve. I don't know how much so, but I think Marvin is right, even if the record isn't better I do believe the team will be better. And hopefully both will be true.
The rules will be exactly the same to last year's. Hit the jump for a complete list of the rules in case you've forgotten or want to review them.
The basic idea is that you pick one player -- other than a QB, P, or PK -- that you think will score points for the Bengals in week 1 against the Cleveland Browns. So the easy "cop out" of Andy Dalton or Mike Nugent is not allowed. And even though he's not tested yet we still don't want Andy going down, because the backup QBs are worse. Even if they weren't, they still are not allowed either. Now if another player (say, Cedric Benson) tosses a TD pass (to, say, Jermaine Gresham) as a trick play of sorts that will count as an offensive score both for the passer and receiver. Any form of scoring points by any other position counts, whether tossing a TD pass, catching one, running it in, returning an INT/FUM for a score, or a safety where they are given at least partial credit for it on the official NFL game log. If a WR -- or even a DT -- kicks and actually makes a PAT (like the way Suh tried last year but failed, or Chad actually succeeded on) that also counts.
Points will be cumulative from week to week. Unfortunately all you get for being in the lead after the season ends is bragging rights, but it's still fun to play anyway.
Your primary means of getting points is via the originality of your pick, i.e. by picking a player that other participants did not pick. For example, let's say there are 8 participants and 6 of them pick Benson and two pick Gresham. We'll further assume that both players scored. The two who picked Gresham would each get 6 points and the six who picked Benson would only get two points. The same one-point-per-originality rate applies to any offensive score.
You also get rewarded for picking a defensive player because it's less likely they will actually score. Last year I think the new point balance worked pretty well, still rewarding you for picking a defensive player without making them overpowered. So as with last year, for this year if the defensive player actually scores via a defensive play (if he's put in as an extra TE/FB/whatever like the Patriots used to do with Mike Vrabel and he runs in a TD / catches a TD pass he's considered an offensive score) he's worth 2x the normal rate. If he recovers a turnover (either by catching the INT or recovering the fumble) and the Bengals either have possession at the of the play or another player on our team scores during the run-back, he's worth the normal offensive rate. And if he causes a fumble (or blocks a kick/punt) but does not actually recover it (but another Bengal does) he's still worth the half the basic one point rate. If this results in a score of (for example) 7.5 you will get seven points (rounded down) not eight. If a blocked punt results in a safety for us without anybody else touching the ball it's worth 2x points. In any other situation the blocked punt is worth 0.5 points as long as we end up with a score or possession at the end of the play.
Here is a quick recap of the rules. (This portion of the rules will be repeated in future posts each week as well.)
1) Pick one player (Make it easy on me, make him the title of your post. Both first and last name please, and try to avoid nicknames or blatant misspellings.) who is NOT officially listed as a QB, P, or PK on the roster.
2) An offensive score is worth one point per participant who did not pick your player.
3) A defensive player is worth 2/1/0.5 point(s) per participant who did not pick your player based on if he 2) actually scored, 1) gained possession of the ball for the team but didn't actually score, or 0.5) allowed the Bengals to gain possession by causing a fumble (or blocking a kick) that another Bengals player recovered. Sacks or tackles behind the line of and by themselves are not worth anything unless they are a strip-sack (0.5 points if we recover) or they are also a safety (2 points). All half-points will be rounded down.
4) You score the maximum possible points for your player but only one time. So a defensive player who forces an opponent's fumble that Cincinnati recovers and recovers another opponent's fumble at a different point in the game is worth 1x points (not 1.5x cumulative).
5) Keep commentary to the bare minimum please.
6) Predictions on how they will score are not required, and if you provide one they don't net you any bonus if you are right nor do they detract if you are wrong (so long as they do actually score by game rules).
7) Try to be original yet still pick somebody you think has a realistic chance to score or cause a turnover.
8) Only ONE (1) player entry per contestant, per week is allowed.
9) Deadline for player entries each week is THIRTY (30) minutes prior to kickoff.
OK, time to place your bets. What player do you want to hang your hat on this week? Do you expect the defensive scheme adjustments for the Browns to backfire on them and let us run and pass roughshod all over them? Or are you expecting our defense to have to step up and get turnovers to give us a shot at winning the game? Pick your player and have fun!