The Bengals are now 0-8. That's eight losses, in eight games. They're disgusting and putrid; which means decomposed and foul-smelling. Offensively, we look like a bad high school team. Defensively, we make the bad high school team look good. And special teams makes me gag.
If it's not for the 76% (10/13) conversion rate on third down the defense allowed, it's a 73-yard punt return for touchdown, a sack that leads to a fumble, two interceptions, or a defensive back touching an un-tackled receiver thinking his knee was down that leads to a 39-yard touchdown reception. The Texans scored three touchdowns on drives went ten plays or more, and 84 yards or more. On the other hand, the Bengals second half went like this: punt, fumble, interception, interception.
This is the fourth time (fifth ever) that the Bengals have gone 0-8 since 1991.
- In 1991, the Bengals started 0-8, winning their ninth game in a 23-21 win over the Browns.
- In 1993, the Bengals started 0-10, winning their tenth game in a 16-10 win over the (then) Los Angeles Raiders.
- In 1994, the Bengals started 0-8, winning their ninth game in a 20-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
- In 2008, the Bengals are 0-8, with a likelihood of continuing that streak deep into the season.
This year's Bengals are on pace to becoming the worst in franchise history, closing in as the worst start. One other time in franchise history have the Bengals started 0-8. They won their ninth game in a 28-13 win over the Houston Oilers in 1978.
No one leads this team. They cash in valuable paychecks. Coaches are coaches by title, and of those that should lead this team, stand on the sidelines in quiet remorse by contributing to, perhaps, the worst Bengals team in franchise history; which in truth says more than I could ever attempt to say. More importantly, this team (and that word is used very loosely) isn't talented. On paper, it would seem that they should succeed. On the field, success is making sure you get home without injury, since embarrassment is unavoidable.
Even in the end, while I question the use of known quantities that roll over and die without the slightest effort at professionalism, I reflect myself. Where should I draw the effort to spend my time talking about a team that people only cheer for because they live in Cincinnati, have more than one generation within a family of fans, or rode the bandwagon during the seasons before 2007 when we actually thought highly of this team. It's not that I question fans, but can, as fans, cheer for this? How can anyone cheer for this? How can the organization accept this?
I don't have the energy to blame one element, or one person. Nor am I going to spend time breaking this game down; this is one of those games in which the score reflects the game. And honestly, I'd waste more time than I intend. Anyway, would you read it? This 0-8 team is deserved for their record, all parts included.
I do have a couple of goats to award.
Bengals Secondary (Goats of the Game #1). For much of the game, the Bengals defensive backs set 6-7 yards off of the receivers; sometimes they were so far off the line of scrimmage, that they weren't even within the frame of the television. As a result, Texans quarterback Matt Schaub released his pass within his third step, while receivers ran their routes completely unmolested; the receivers ran exactly where they intended. Then, as the game wore on, Schaub realized that the Bengals pass rush was as useful as having 11 guys in pass coverage, simply picking the secondary apart. Schaub completed 24 of 28 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns.
It's ridiculous that the opposing quarterback completes 86% of his passes because of poor pass coverage and gravely sick pass rushing. Without any worry that the Bengals defensive backs would alter patterns, Andre Johnson caught 11 passes for 143 yards receiving. Of five receptions by Kevin Walter, two went for touchdowns; Johnathan Joseph taps Walter, who wasn't down, and the former Bengals receiver scores on a 39-yard touchdown pass.
A note: I'm not sure if it's coincidence that when Dexter Jackson returns, the Bengals defense gives up 38 points to the Steelers and 35 points to the Texans respectively.
Ryan Fitzpatrick. Yes, I'm going here. We can make every excuse in the world to make Fitzpatrick unaccountable. However, Fitzpatrick hasn't won a game he's ever started in his NFL career. Even with weapons like Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chris Henry, Fitzpatrick is clearly forcing the Bengals into a simplified playbook; if his primary receiver isn't open, he takes off, never looking up-field for any broken coverages, or guys slipping past their defenders. There's such non-concern about our passing offense that the opposing defense stacks the line of scrimmage, careless of any potential strike from the Bengals offense. After all, when the backup quarterback has one completed pass for over 20 yards in 135 attempts, would you worry about covering deep?
And yes, I realize that the offensive line is problematic. But don't you wonder that it's problematic because opposing teams can pass rush seven defenders, confident that Fitzpatrick won't burn them deep?
Maybe Daunte Culpepper would do better, though I'm not endorsing it. On the other hand, there's no way that Culpepper could do worse than leading the offense like Fitzpatrick has -- who turned the ball over three times against the Texans.
The Bengals ran 19 plays in the first quarter for 102 yards total. In the other three quarters, the Bengals ran 37 plays for 151 yards total.
In 135 pass attempts this season, Fitzpatrick has recorded just two touchdowns against five interceptions.
In the fourth quarter, when the Bengals quit, Steve Slaton recorded 32 yards rushing on five attempts (and a touchdown). In the other three quarters, the Bengals defense limited Slaton to 21 yards on 10 attempts.
Pat Sims recorded five tackles -- most around the line of scrimmage. Of the garbage nicknamed Bengals, Sims is really coming on nicely.
Antwan Odom recorded four tackles -- folks, that ties his season-best four against the Titans.
Bengals time of possession in the fourth quarter: 3:36.
Surprisingly, the Bengals converted 8 of 14 third down attempts (57%).
The longest pass by Fitzpatrick in the second half went 10 yards. The longest pass in the game went 14 yards -- which was the longest play by the Bengals offense (twice).
On the other hand, the Texans had six plays that went 20 yards or more -- five were passes.
The Texans offense picked up 17 first downs through the air -- and 23 total first downs.
The Bengals defense allowed 252 yards total on 33 offensive plays (7.6 yards per play) in the second half.
Dhani Jones had one tackle.
I learned today that cashing in with zero professional pride, is the easiest way to make a buck. Then again, isn't that a scam, or a con? The Bengals are a scam. Nah, that still doesn't describe them.
The 0-8 Bengals are on-pace to being the worst team in franchise history.
Yea, that does it.