The Cincinnati Bengals made everyone believe in them; finally. They were “for real” a couple weeks ago. Then the New England Patriots disaster happened. And now they’re the Bungles again. As of now, they’re headed to overtime versus a pretty good Carolina Panthers team, so we’ll see how this all plays out. But the Bengals and their ginger quarterback were a punchline on all networks this Sunday morning.Follow paulmbanks
You know how high we are in the Cincinnati Bengals here at this site. Cincy is looking really impressive thus far and we had an exclusive with a former Bengals running back, Archie Griffin, to talk about it. Griffin is an Ohio State Buckeyes legend, and the only man to ever win two Heisman trophies.
I caught up to him Wednesday night at the Hilton Tower in Chicago. Archie was the featured speaker as the Anti Defamation League presented Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany with a lifetime achievement award.Follow paulmbanks
The Cincinnati Bengals and their much maligned ginger starting quarterback look to start 4-0 for the first time since 2005 when they travel to Foxborough, Mass., to face a reeling Tom Brady and a downward spiraling New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football on NBC. As we chronicled earlier this season, the Bengals have established themselves as a new favorite to win the AFC East. I was even ahead of the curve, albeit wrong, when I picked them to win the AFC last year. Perhaps this the year that the Bengals show us that they are not your older brother’s Bengals.Follow paulmbanks
It seems early to already be down to just one undefeated team in the AFC, but the Bengals are playing like they could maintain that storyline well into November.
They’re led by a defense who is hungry for more. Aside from the Ravens making a game of it late during the fourth quarter, the Bengals have been almost untouchable. That defense is suffocating opposing quarterbacks and running attacks; while the offense continues to play simple, efficient football.Follow paulmbanks
The Cincinnati Bengals were my pick to win the AFC last year, and to their credit, they did make me look good for awhile. Unfortunately, they lost in the first round of the playoffs for the third year in a row. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that they reached the postseason for the third year in a row. And they look very likely to make it four. This franchise is not the punchline that they used to be. Cincinnati has truly turned the corner. To finally make it back to the Super Bowl, and win it (third time the charm?) they’ll need Andy Dalton to not be Andy Dalton. Even though they just gave him an INSANE 6 yea, $115 million deal.
So apparently, they believe in him.Follow paulmbanks
So I guess AJ McCarron made a really poor impression on NFL scouts and front office people. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that AJ McCarron, who quarterbacked Alabama to a pair of national titles, rubbed teams “the wrong way” when he met with them heading into the draft. It’s not the first time that we’ve heard things along these lines about AJ McCarron.
NBC’s Pro Football Talk reported that McCarron’s repeated claims that he’d been told by teams that he would be a first-round pick didn’t sit well with some talent evaluators around the league. McCarron said last month that he expected to go as high as the 16th pick no lower than the 35th pick.Follow paulmbanks
With the bulk of NFL free agency completed, some teams have hope that they can win, and win big, this upcoming season with their new acquisitions. Other franchises, though, took a step back as they didn’t make a key move to help their teams improve this NFL free agency period.
Sure, there will still be some minor moves, but since nearly all of the major names made their move, here are the rising and falling squads in 2014.Follow paulmbanks
Mike Zimmer is the next Minnesota Vikings Head Coach. According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, and corroborated by sources at both ESPN and NFL Network, the Bengals defensive coordinator and the Vikings agreed to terms today. Once the Mike Zimmer deal is complete, coupled with NFC North rival Detroit hiring Jim Caldwell yesterday, only the Cleveland Browns will be searching for a coach among NFL teams.
As you can see, NFL Head Coach openings are a Rust Belt thing this offseason. By the way, you may enjoy this video of Mike Zimmer cursing out his Bengals defenders from “Hard Knocks” (language NSFW)Follow paulmbanks
Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer is the next Minnesota Vikings Head Coach. Nothing is official yet, but the Mike Zimmer situation has progressed to the point where multiple outlets: NFL Network, ESPN, Fox Sports are reporting it as a done deal. It’s rumored that Mike Zimmer wasn’t even going to leave the Vikings practice facility in Winter Park, Minnesota. He would accept the job and stay there. Jay Glazer seemed to have the Mike Zimmer story first.Follow paulmbanks
Boomer Esiason ripped Jay Cutler on media conference call at the beginning of the NFL season saying:
“He’s I guess, maybe in the top 15, I guess I would put him, but Chicago is a mid tier team in the NFC and the NFC is loaded. If things go right for them, they need to stay healthy and somehow beat Green Bay which is not something they’ve been able to do with consistency since Jay got there.”
Esiason went on to say more than that (read it here)
Then Boomer Esiason doubled down on his comments on Sunday during CBS NFL Today week one:Follow paulmbanks
Andy Dalton and the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals (9-4) travel to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa., to take on Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers (5-8) on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Coverage begins with Football Night In America at 6 p.m. CST on NBC. The Cincinnati Bengals were my Super Bowl Champion pick back in August, and maybe they aren’t world beaters, but they’re very good. And they’re doing it without their best defender Geno Atkins.
The Cincinnati Bengals absolutely destroyed the Indianapolis Colts last week, and are one win away from making the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five years.Follow paulmbanks
Boomer Esiason is best known today for his role on CBS Sports, primarily on The NFL Today, as well as a morning co-host on New York radio station WFAN. Norman Julius Esiason is also a Monday Night Football analyst for Westwood One. He’s had a very interesting 2013 “media season.” Lawrence Taylor called him a dickhead live on a radio show. And Boomer Esiason made national headlines when he criticized Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears in the week leading up to NFL kickoff.
“He’s I guess, maybe in the top 15, I guess I would put him, but Chicago is a mid tier team in the NFC and the NFC is loaded,” Boomer Esiason said of Cutler.
Hard to say he’s wrong. Jay hasn’t really done anything this year to discredit that opinion, and labeling the Bears as a mid-tier team is very accurate. Maybe it’s even overrating them, considering they lost to the lowly Minnesota Vikings yesterday.Follow paulmbanks