Can Andy Dalton and the Bengals Reignite a Sputtering Offense? I really wanted to turn my Bengals jersey over in shame after the 1st and goal on the 1-yard line turned into a field goal against the Packers last week. And, I know the last game of the preseason is just to determine who makes the 53 man roster. After a scare with Andy Dalton, the Bengals were wise to pull players potentially nursing injuries. Still, we keep kicking too many field goals for me to feel comfortable about the first game of the season against the Baltimore Ravens…
Don’t Believe The Hype (because this should be the only time I quote Flavor Flav): People remain fairly excited about A.J. Green’s season. Here is the thing: He cannot throw himself the ball and catch it. The Bengals still need to prove they can execute a strong running game in order for Dalton to execute a “play action” that works. Defenses can also easily take Green out of the game plan if the Bengals do not come up with some type of “shock and awe” for their offensive strategy. *sigh* At this point, I just want to see an offense that is not offensive to watch.
Fantasy Football Prediction (because these are the dark days of draft selections): I must admit, I so did not want to include this section this week. I am still crafting my own draft strategies and experimenting with different approaches than I used in prior seasons. In order to feign some type of neutrality, I am reversing my recommendation to draft Jermaine Gresham. He is not looking like a solid FF tight end. Based on how the Bengals’ offensive strategy is shaping up, he may not see a significant increase in targets/receptions this season.
Life After “Friday Night Lights” (also known as the college football season): In my opinion, you are not a real football fan if you are not a college football fan. If there is anything that has the potential for more excitement than the end of the NFL preseason, it has to be the beginning of college football season. Yes, we can debate the merits of the BCS bowl system, rigged voting, lack of playoffs and the insane amount of money athletic departments generate from a big name football program. For this week, though, I am excited to see Saturday gridiron rivalries in my life again… Unlike some, I believe the game of the week will not be Ohio State vs. Penn State. That game is for people who care more about media frenzy than blitz packages. The game that has my attention is Michigan vs. Alabama. This could be the beginning of a new rivalry to savor or the SEC’s announcement that it will continue to dominate as a powerhouse conference.
Shameless Rumor Mongering (because who knows if we can really handle the truth): According to LaDainian Tomlinson, Jets QB Marc Sanchez and Jets WR/former Team Captain Santonio Holmes had completely stopped speaking to each other last season. When interviewed earlier in this year’s preseason, Holmes denied any trouble between Sanchez and him. Tomlinson also just scored his first post-retirement TV analyst gig. Is he speaking truth about his former teammates or generating media attention to support his new career? It’s not clear if anyone is really handling the truth on this one…
The Earth Is Not Flat (and great reasons to discuss sports other than football): Call me a broken record, but we are on our way into September with the Cincinnati Reds still leading their division! I cannot remember the last time I was excited about baseball in the fall. It has been a long time coming, and Reds’ fans need to savor every game to its fullest.
There May Be Life in Other Solar Systems (and other non-sports related news worth mentioning): Hurricane Isaac has slowly churned and grinded its way through the Gulf Coast this past week, leaving thousands of citizens without necessities like running water or electricity. While it may still take a few days to appreciate all the damage, it is not too early to start assisting victims. The Red Cross has already set up facilities, particularly in Louisiana and Mississippi. Please consider volunteering and/or donating to recovery efforts. Many people often ask why keep rebuilding. If you have never visited this area of the country, it is difficult to explain the unique environment, rich culture and undeniable heritage born directly out of adversity that thrives there against all odds.