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Into the Lions’ Den: A Cincinnati Bengals Fan Perspective

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Aug 18, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back Dwayne Washington (36) runs for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field. Bengals win 30-14. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 18, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back Dwayne Washington (36) runs for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field. Bengals win 30-14. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Cincinnati Bengals traveled to the Motor City of Detroit to face the Lions in preseason game number two. Follow along as I went to Ford Field

Okay, I understand this wasn’t exactly a playoff atmosphere, but taking a road trip to Ford Field to watch the Detroit Lions host the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2 of the preseason was an exciting time.  Also, consider I was wearing a bright orange AJ Green jersey and bright orange and black shoes, some might say I was asking for it.

First impressions are Ford Field is very nice.  The stadium underwent renovations this past offseason and it shows.  They have added cobblestone-esque walkway inside the stadium, and each food vendor represents a different part of Detroit.  Of course, there is the usual fanfare, but some unique eats like a deep-fried bratwurst, or Hungry Howie’s Pizza rounded out the food selection.

Let’s talk about the game.  Ford Field, of course, is a dome. Any sound or manufactured crowd noise will resonate loudly throughout the stadium The Bengals experienced this quite often.  The Bengals, however, looked like the better team and didn’t let a little artificial noise affect them.  The Lions seemed to have no problem moving the ball, and in fact made Bengals fans miss Marvin Jones on the first drive.  Lined up against Dre Kirkpatrick, Jones looked unstoppable.

The Lions did manage a field goal after Dre made a nice play in the back of the end zone to break up a would-be touchdown pass, and the Lions went up 3-0.  On the Bengals opening drive, the missing Marvin feeling quickly faded as Andy Dalton scrambled to his right and floated one into the diving arms of 2nd round pick Tyler Boyd.  Boyd positioned himself to make the catch, maintain possession and stay in bounds. Wow.

Also, welcome back Jeremy Hill!  Hill has looked explosive this preseason and running with purpose.  On his touchdown run, Hill waited for Center Russell Bodine and Guard Clint Boling to open the hole and he did the rest rushing into the end zone.  Also, there was no dance or elaborate celebration from Hill.  Does this mean anything?  Who knows, but Hill scored and ran off the field, that was it.  Could this be a resurgence from Jeremy Hill?  Let’s hope so, because he could be a lot of fun to watch.

Does this mean anything?  Who knows, but Hill scored and ran off the field, that was it.  Could this be a resurgence from Jeremy Hill?  Let’s hope so, because he could be a lot of fun to watch.

After the Bengals kicked off, the defense started showing why they were one of the best in the league last year as Pro Bowl and current sack leader Carlos Dunlap tomahawked the ball away from Matthew Stafford causing a fumble.

The Lions sort of sputtered and ended up punting.  This is where the boos came in from the Lions fans.  Keep in mind this franchise fired everyone except the head coach and current owner Martha Ford promised a better product.  This did not stop the fans from letting them know exactly how they felt.

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I sat there and listened to fan complaints.  These things included, why did they fire Sheldon White (former interim GM), they went 6-2 after he took over?  Stafford’s problem is no one challenges him as a backup.  Dan Orlovsky is not going to make Stafford any better.  They can’t do this without Calvin Johnson, their other receivers are not big enough.

Any of this sound familiar?  Remember when Andy Dalton wasn’t good because Josh Johnson didn’t challenge him?  Remember when the Bengals had AJ Green, Jerome Simpson, Andre Caldwell and Andrew Hawkins?  What would have happened if AJ Green missed significant time?

Essentially, the Bengals and Lions aren’t all that different.  The Lions have never won a Super Bowl, and since the NFC North was founded, have never won that either.  Their fans are getting fed up waiting and waiting, and now it looks like they are in rebuild mode.

The bottom line us, the Bengals are a good team, a really good team.  They are deep at almost every position and are talented across the board.  The loss of Marvin Jones was evident early, but let’s give this kid from Pittsburgh, Tyler Boyd, a chance.  He has made play after play and looks like he is going to fit right into this potential playoff contender.

Next: Hill, Boyd Step Up

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