Bengals fans can be some of the hardest to please. They have suffered for decades and remained faithful. But, when is it time to stop worrying?
The start of the regular season is near. There’s just one preseason game standing between player cuts and the race for the Lombardi. The Bengals are carrying a 1-2 record, after Sunday night’s come-from-ahead loss to the Jaguars. The Sunday Night Football showcase was supposed to be a primetime tune-up for the Orange and Black. But, some fans are taking it way too seriously.
Week 3 is generally a dress rehearsal for most NFL teams. The starters usually play the first half and come out in the third quarter. The plan? Coaches want to see how the first teams will react under pressure. It’s easy to name rookies starters without real game conditions. Yet, it’s best to see what they can do when the heat is on. Actually, there are also veterans that benefit from the Week 3 scrutiny.
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But, what happens when fans get carried away? What is it that keeps some football lovers from accepting what’s really happening? It’s merely preseason football…it’s not Armageddon.
Being a fan is one thing. But, being a nincompoop (yes I went there) with no understanding of why things happen in the “fake” games is inexcusable. Sometimes a little reminder is necessary.
Cincinnati fans are hungry for success. Have patience. With that being said, here are 5 steps to stop worrying about nothing.
Preseason games don’t predict the future
Wouldn’t this be super cool and groovy? If the Bengals go 4-0 in the preseason, then they’ll be undefeated when it counts. No, it doesn’t always work like that. Take a look at the 2007 New England Patriots (yes, I despise Tom Brady too. But, that year was amazing). The Patriots went 2-2 in the preseason and promptly went 16-0 when things got real.
Have a little faith. If the Bengals finish with a 1-3 record, that doesn’t mean a thing. It shows that Lewis and Co. are serious about getting the right people in place. Making the right cuts can only be achieved by looking at all the players.
You are NOT the coach
No matter how good your Monday morning quarterback skills may be, you are not calling the shots. If you feel that Margus Hunt is better than Will Clarke, cool beans. But, if the game stats show something different, then it may be time to simmer down and pay attention to detail.
Coaching the neighborhood pee-wee team to glory is not the same. Giving a kid an in-game hot dog isn’t the same as ensuring a millionaire gets to play. Trust the process.
It’s football…things happen
Injuries are a part of the game. Going through a season with no major injuries is rare. The past few years, Bengals fans have been blessed with a healthy squad to watch. When the bumps and bruises all come at once, it can be overwhelming.
Take a deep breath, click your heels three times and say, “I know this is football. These things happen.” You’ll feel better and your friends will invite you to tailgate again.
There is NO quarterback controversy
No matter how good A.J. McCarron looks during game action, he is not going to win the starting job. Unless Andy Dalton decides to go rogue and tackle more 300-pound linemen, it’s a wrap. Cincinnati has one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league. Don’t worry…be happy. McCarron is a Bengals weapon…for now.
The Men in Stripes will make the playoffs
Although analysts are picking the Steelers as the AFC North Champion, the Bengals still look strong. The loss of Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones hasn’t deflated the offense. Reggie Nelson isn’t roaming the defensive backfield, but the secondary is sound.
Recent changes (injuries, depth chart) within the Bengals schedule make things interesting. Stop worrying and get ready for a sixth consecutive playoff berth.