My cousin is a huge Cincinnati Bengals fan and one of my biggest supporters. After he finds out about this blog, only one of those things might be true.
After going 4-11-1 last year, the Bengals have to do more re-tooling than Tim Allen ever had to do on Home Improvement. Their offense struggled without Carson Palmer. Their defense was suspect. And at times, their players were suspects.
Yeah, you can expect some jokes about criminals here. You can also expect not seeing the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl.
1. Cedric Benson. He swears he will make the Bears pay for all the wrong they've done him. But the Bears already paid, and by paid I mean they've given Benson lots of guaranteed money to score 10 touchdowns in 35 while playing for Chicago.
Benson's best moves can be found on a boat, not on the gridiron.
2. Marvin Lewis = Coaching Fraud. Remember he was going to bring a tough-minded defensive effort and discipline to a team that laughed in the face of authority just before being escorted into the back seat of a police cruiser? Yeah, I do too. The Bengals' defense hasn't shown many signs of improvement since Lewis took over the sinking ship.
The problem is, the ship is still sinking. The good news for Lewis is that he isn't the worst coach in town.
Enter stage right: Dusty Baker.
3. Week 7 vs. Chicago. The Bengals have a chance to prove what they're worth as they host Da Bears on October 25. If Lewis can field a full team without convicted felons this deep into the season, he deserves Coach of the Year honors.
4. Twitter. People might blame Chad
5. No one will care. Everyone knows Ohio's most popular professional football team is the Ohio State Buckeyes. (Friend whispers in my ear) Wait, you mean they're not supposed to pay players at The Ohio State. I thought they were a pro team. That's why they get paid handsomely. (More whispers) Oh, what Maurice Clarrett received was illegal.
Yeah, you didn't think I'd leave this blog without a jab at tOSU, did ya?
But if you happen to get stuck with a Cincinnati Bengal on your fantasy team it better be quarterback Carson Palmer. He'll be a bargain because people won't trust him coming back off injury. I will. When healthy, he averaged 28 touchdown passes a year in his last three healthy years. And there's plenty of time for Palmer to get healthy this season with games against Denver (Week 1), Green Bay (Week 2), Cleveland (Week 4, 12), Houston (Week 6), Detroit (Week 13) and Kansas City (Week 16).
Tomorrow's runner-up to the 2010 Super Bowl Champion Bears: Oakland Raiders