Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The latest "Bengals Report: The Podcast" is now available for downloading. You can find it on my web site: It's on the front page!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sorry I've been away. I've had a lot on my plate. But I'm back now and ready for some Monday Night Football. I think....

When the Patriots ride into town next week, it will be a stark reminder of how bad football has been around here since we last saw them. That Pats rolled the Bengals last season. Including that loss, the Bengals have gone 6-10 in their last 16-games. And now, at 1-2, things are looking so hot for a seventh win.

You don't have to be a football Einstein to figure out why things are going so poorly. Just look at the roster. The Bengals number one pick in the 2004 draft has been a rumor, almost since day one. Chris Perry might as well be doing commercial for an HMO. The top three picks from the Bengals 2005 draft are all missing. David Pollack may never play again. Odell Thurman might, but probably not in a Bengals uniform. And Chris Henry is supposed to be back after the first eight games are in the books. But that guy is one good DUI from a full year suspension. Add in the season ending injury Kenny Irons, the second round pick in this year's draft, and you realize why things are the way they are. Those are a lot of 'hits' to take.

Subs are now starters. Waiver wire players have replaced the subs on special teams. And on defense, there are few playmakers. To win, the Bengals defense has to take the ball away. There hasn't been enough of that, so far in 2007.

And here comes New England. If the Patriots have been spying on the Bengals, they know about their problems. But does it matter? This is a team that plays fast and loose with the salary cap, and always seems to find just enough money to sign the best players. Randy Moss is having the biggest comeback since Lazarus. Adalius Thomas was the most lucrative free agent in this past off season. Guess which team got both of them? Right.

Can the Bengals win Monday night? Sure. It'll be a packed house, loud and more than a few will be liquored up. Remember a few years ago when Denver rolled in here on a Sunday night, a heavy favorite? The Bengals stepped up and pulled off the upset.

But realistically, there won't be many picking Cincinnati to win this game, at least not with a straight face. And at 1-3, at the bye week, the Bengals will have to get healthy, and better in a hurry if they want to play any games in January.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

1-0 in the AFC North, the Bengals have an excellent chance to make it 2-0. The Browns stink. After watching their game against the Steelers last Sunday, that is absolute fact. I'm still in awe of a team managing to draw four separate penalties on one play. The Browns not only managed that, they ran their starting quarterback out of town after only one game.

Charlie Frye is gone. Derek Anderson is next. And he's only renting. Eventually, this will be Brady Quinn's mess. And regardless of whatever talent and ability he has, Quinn seems doomed to the same fate of the nine other starting quarterbacks the Browns have had since rejoining the league in 1999.

You wonder if the team's ownership group wants to allow Quinn to play under the present coaching staff, which seems destined to be launched any day now. You think Bill Cowher would know what to do with Brady Quinn?

The Bengals enter Cleveland about a 6.5 point favorite. That looks like easy money: take the Bengals lay the points. But Cleveland probably isn't as bad as it played last week, or as bad as I have them in paragraph one of this post. And the game is in Cleveland. The Browns defense simply ran out of gas from being on the field too much last week. But I don't see that changing this week.

More on the Bengals on my web site: On the front page is the latest Bengals Report "The Podcast". Marc Hardin and I recap the Bengals Monday night win over the Ravens.

With two more home runs Tuesday night, can the Reds not pick up Adam Dunn's option for 2008? How can they honestly tell their fans they're intent on winning a pennant or a World Series when they allow a consistent 40-home run a year, 100-rbi a year threat, to take a walk?

The issue for Bob Castellini isn't picking up Dunn's contract. It's buying some pitching. Dumping Dunn's $13 million salary and buying pitching are not mutual exclusive. If they are, he needs to sell the team and find another line of work. You either want to play the game to win, or you don't. Past ownership didn't play to win. Castellini says he wants to. This winter, it's put up or shut up time.

I talk sports every Sunday morning from 9am-Noon Eastern time on 700 WLW in Cincinnati. It's streamed on line and you can also catch the show on XM Satellite radio, channel 173.

And right after the Bengals-Browns game Sunday, I'll take your calls on 1530 Homer's "Bengals Feedback" from 5:30p-8:00p Eastern.

And right after that, you can catch me on "Sports Rock", the last best word on the Bengals every Sunday night. It's on Cincinnati's NBC affiliate, channel 5, after Sunday night football.

Looks like Sunday is going to be a busy day.