The Cincinnati Bengals are celebrating 50 years of football. But, the 2017 campaign seems to be more like a recurring nightmare.
This was supposed to be a special year. The Cincinnati Bengals are celebrating 50 years of football in the Queen City. But, so far, it’s been anything but a celebration. They lost the home opener to division rival Baltimore and that set the tone for a three-game losing streak to start the season. Since then, Cincy has gone 3-1 and are still in the thick of the AFC North race. But, do they really have a chance?
Let’s be honest. I mean, really honest and open.Outside of the Bengals playing well against the Bills and showing some teeth in Green Bay, this anniversary has been one to forget. The Week 7 loss to Pittsburgh was a wakeup call that Bengals brass will likely fail to understand. With two weeks to prepare for a team that they play twice each year, the coaching staff had no second-half answers. Sadly, it’s become a ritual to see what Marvin Lewis and his band of Merry Men don’t adjust to in the last 30 minutes of any game.
So why do we do it? Why do fans keep coming back for more of the same insanity…year after year? As Bengals faithful, the blueprint is out there. If Mike Brown can get some warm arses in those seats at his dad’s stadium, all is good. He claims to want the best for the denizens of Cincinnati, but his actions speak way louder than his words.
What Usually Happens
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Those of us who cover the Bengals are passionate. We have to be, in order to put up with the constant disappointment that emanates from the organization. I was asked by a reader how I could keep saying the same things over and over. Well, it’s about believing in the odds.
At some point, things have to get better. But, there’s also a point at which common sense overrides the dream and it’s time to face the facts. Maybe the rumors are true. Brown could be in the business for nothing more than the lucrative aspects of owning a team. In other words, it’s all about the Benjamins.
But, there’s a small part of me that wants to believe. Maybe Horton Hears a Who Dey and the season will turn around. So, the fingers hit the keys and crank out positivity for the faithful to digest. After all, the Bengals are the lifeblood of many fans. Personally, my loyalty goes back to 1975. But, lately, it’s been a strain to keep looking at the brighter side. Essentially, the personal feelings get checked at the door and business takes the lead. But, the 2017 campaign is a head-scratcher of monumental proportions.
What Can We Be Happy About?
The defense has been living up to the hype created over the offseason. Aside from the Steelers meltdown (which seems to happen a bit too often), they’ve played what amounts to championship football. The Bengals could easily be 6-1 or 5-2 if the offense scores and the O-line creates some blocking. To be 3-4 and have an open door to the playoffs is amazing, the way this team has been performing.
The season is far from being over and there’s tons of football to be played. But, the key is winning the games that need to be won. At this point, each battle is a must-win.
A dance in the postseason can happen. But, it depends on how bad the players want it and how well Lewis and the coaches get them prepared.
The Bengals season isn’t over yet. But, the dream season is more like a nightmare.