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Bengals: Changing Their Stripes

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Jan 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver

T.Y. Hilton

(13) catches a pass short of the goal line against Cincinnati Bengals cornerback

Terence Newman

(23) in the first quarter in the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

No. 3: Terence Newman

Completely exposed in the Bengals Monday Night match-up against Denver, Newman’s drop-off was ironically reminiscent of the former Bronco cornerback Champ Bailey who disappeared in the post-season just a few years ago.  At 36, Newman just is not physically capable of maintaining pace with the league’s younger, more athletic wide outs.  Worse, the word is out on Newman, and opposing quarterbacks targeted Newman in one-on-one coverage routinely down the stretch.  Indeed, it is not outlandish to say that substituting Dre Kirkpatrick for Newman in the third quarter of that Denver game is what prevented Peyton Manning from exploiting the mismatch and rallying his team.  Newman was Mike Zimmer’s project and redemption from his days in Dallas, and it’s likely he will be cut this offseason to make way for Kirkpatrick.

No. 2:  Marshall Newhouse

What seemed like a savvy move in the offseason – acquiring the raw but serviceable tackle who protected Andy Dalton while at TCU – turned out to be a major disappointment.  During his first two seasons in the NFL, Newhouse functioned as a turnstile while in Green Bay, and given some time, he may have been able to be coached up in Cincinnati.  However, when starting right tackle Andre Smith went down with an injury, Newhouse was forced to take over and reminded us quickly of why the Pack released him in only three seasons at Lambeau.  It says something when Eric Winston can come out of nowhere for the final four weeks of the season and take over the job.

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