What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over
In the last couple of weeks I have heard one of the more, in theory, outlandish statements regarding the Bengals in a long time. I have heard it not once, but several times in the last week. Not only that, but I have heard it throughout the offseason. Mike Florio, head writer for Profootballtalk.nbcsports.com, said in a recent article that the Cincinnati Bengals are his favorites to win the AFC. No, I don’t mean the AFC North Division. I mean the AFC Championship.
It is not like every analyst and so-called “expert”, and I use that term loosely with Florio, is predicting the same feat, but the fact that NBC sports and a few others in the national media are making this claim publicly concerns me to the fact that expectations in the NFL spread like wildfire. I am in no way saying that the Bengals are not going to win the AFC this season, but I do think people especially people who do not watch the team every Sunday, need to slow down.
First off, do I blame Florio and others for thinking this? Not necessarily. People who do not watch the game and only read numbers can sometimes, more often that not, get a false perception of how the team is actually doing. This is one of the few times you can compare the NFL to the MLB. How many times do we see the stats of a player who consistently hits homeruns, and we just assume that he is a great hitter. A prime example of this is the Chicago White Sox Adam Dunn. This may be a little bit of a blast from the past considering he use to play for the Cincinnati Reds, but if you remember Dunn did not hit with any kind of average or consistency Also majority of his homeruns come with no one on base, or when the team is winning big, or getting throttled.
How about that everyone seems to think that Jermaine Gresham is a great tight end, where as I believe that Gresham is one of the worst in the NFL. Did anyone notice that Gresham dropped a ridiculous amount of passes last season? Not just for a TE either, he almost lead the AFC in dropped passes. As a TE you have higher percentage of “easy completion” passes thrown your way. Also, a dropped pass does not count when you get hit and the ball jars loose.
How about that we have a non-existent running game as well? I know everyone feels like Giovani Bernard is the answer to that, but the kid has not played a game, and he succeeded in the ACC in college. Don’t get me wrong, I would love for him to be the answer, but let us not forget that we have a history of change of pace backs getting hurt (Christ Perry, Kenny Irons). So lets not count our chickens for they hatch.
Another high expectation is Mohamed Sanu. I know that through 16 receptions he had 4 touchdowns, but let’s think about that for a second. Just like Gresham, everyone and their brother thinks that Sanu is the answer at number 2. But we are ready to put this guy on a pedestal. He has had 16 CAREER RECEPTIONS. Yet again, I would love for him to turn in a T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but it is too early to tell.