Newest Bengals beat writer for the Enquirer, Joe Reedy, referenced a piece by Dallas News' Rick Gosselin who charted all the team's injuries, mostly starters that were placed on Injured Reserve. So what did Gosselin find out?
Bengals starters missed 84 games this season; 12 games more than the 72 missed by the Seattle Seahawk starters. The Bengals also had six starters go on IR (that number is clearly under-stated), which is tied for most with the Seahawks, Lions and Jaguars, while only five Bengals started all 16 games.
What the chart doesn't reference, is the games and players that are not starters that affects the team's performance. It's also clearly evident that the Bengals depth is poor compared to the other teams that perform at a high level without missing a beat, disregarding the "injury excuse". Injuries are apart of sports, and the ability to play around those injuries by having good backup players, accentuates the difference between a good team, and a bad team.
But we also slightly disagree with that assessment. Injuries are apart of football. But when you lose critical components for the team's success, not just a few, but several, then it's going to hurt teams, big time. The more critical components you lose, mixed with the unjustified reasoning behind cutting critical players (say a right tackle that will play, and start, in next week's AFC Championship game) something's wrong.
So the beat goes on; bad luck, overwhelming injury, and bad personnel choices, added together, making the Bengals who they are.