So instead let’s have a look at how things are going in the glorious AFC North.
Tag Archives: Andy Dalton
One of Hombre de Acero’s 5 Smoldering Questions yesterday boiled down to “Are you worried about this game?” My short answer was, more or less, yes. Here’s the long one…
Cincinnati has not been particularly good this season. As Mike Tomlin might say, they are what their record says they are. But why? This is a team who quite handily survived the late-season loss of Andy Dalton in 2015. They started a kid who was essentially a rookie instead—A.J. McCarron was their 2014 fourth-round pick, but he saw no game action whatsoever in 2014. Their only loss after the Week 14 game in which Andy Dalton’s thumb received an unfortunate introduction to Stephon Tuitt’s thigh was an overtime loss to the Broncos, in Denver.
By Homer J.
Homer sent a play-by-play, which will appear in italics. I have edited it freely and included commentary when appropriate. He also sent a report card, which will be printed in full. Thanks, Homer!
It’s a bit difficult to do these previews at this point in the season because there isn’t a lot of information upon which to base them. This is even despite the long (and increasingly bitter) history between the Steelers and the Bengals. But let’s jump in and see what there is to find out so far.
I began this series with general musings about how the coaching staff makes decisions in close races. I used the Robert Golden/Sean Davis (and really, to be fair, Shamarko Thomas) competition for starting strong safety as a vehicle. But today I’m going to go into more specifics on some of the contests, since many of them involve guys one has heard little or nothing about.
The difficulty with a series such as this is it may already be out of date by the time it’s published, as two offensive players have been cut and another one signed in the past few days.
I’m still not over Saturday’s game. I don’t think anyone is. The repercussions from this game are going to be felt far into the future, I believe. But the irony for a post such as this is, the majority of the talking points from the game are philosophical and/or procedural.
Should anyone but the head coach be allowed on the field during an injury time-out? Is there a difference between Ryan Shazier’s hit and Vontaze Burfict’s, and should they both have been flagged? For the answers to these and many other such questions, click here.
These and other storylines will doubtless be debated long into the off-season, but for now let’s turn to the comfort of statistics. There may be considerable confusion in the NFL right now as to what constitutes a catch, for instance, or when a play should be blown dead, but there are some things which are black and white. Maybe looking at them will tell us something more about the game than just the drama of it does.
Particularly as Saturday’s opponent is our old frenemy the Cincinnati Bengals, this post will serve both of the AFC North stats article and the opponent preview. After all, there isn’t a lot we don’t know about Cincinnati at this point.
- Bengals +142
- Steelers +104
- Ravens -44
- Browns -154