Yesterday, after throwing my remote at the TV several hundred times during the Skins/Jets game, my buddy Mike, a huge Bills fan, called me about our bet.
You see, he owes me a hundred bucks. Why? Because I bet him that the Bills would beat the Bengals by more than a touchdown. Now, please don't think Mike a bad fan. I've never had a problem with fans picking against their team when they believe the opposition has a legitimate to definite chance of winning. Two years ago, he would have been right on the money. But this year?
No way. The Cincinnati Bengals, in my opinion, have to be the lamest team in the NFL right now. Yep, lamer than the Rams and the Dolphins, who combine for a total of 0 wins between them. The Bengals are a bigger joke, to me, because for the past few years they were supposed to be so great. Not just good, but great. In the AFC, great means a lot more than it does in the NFC. The Bengals had a magic year, and then, in Dennis Green's words, we "went ahead and crowned'em." Yup, Denny, we sure did.
Why did we do that? Is Palmer that good? I used to hate it when people said that Vince Young, "just wins." I always thought that was BS until I took a good, long, look, at Palmer and them Bengals. And you know what? They "just don't win." In fact, I'd say that the Carson Palmer Bengals are the new Jake Plummer Denver Broncos: glorified losers. They put up numbers, they put up points, but they never do enough to win. At some point, this cannot be all the fault of the defense. At some point, you have to say, Carson, you gotta beat teams like the Bills. Teams who have benched their starting QB for a rookie, with an injury depleted defense and a rookie running back, you have to beat them. And the Bengals had no chance.
2-6, people. That is the record of the team that people say features one of the top five QBs in the league, the best WR in the league, and some robot named TJ Houshmanzadeh. Here's my take on this team: a lame group of whiny a**holes.
Chad Johnson? He's doing his best to go from "fun, outlandish likeable character" to "T.O. clone 2.0" and Palmer is going from "Carson Palmer" to, well, to "Matt Leinart." Johnson needs to shut the heck up and play. I know he's on track for a great season, but at some point numbers don't back up all that talk. For all his hubris, T.O. is a winner. Johnson is like Rod Smith during the Plummer years; huge numbers, no w's. In the case of those Broncos, at least they made it to the playoffs almost every year (and got knocked out usually in the first round, but at least they go there.)
Are they the Bungals again? Oh, yes, they are. This team is more of a disappointment than the last episode of Seinfeld. And all they do is place the blame elsewhere. At least Belichick, as big of a d0uchebag as he is, will blast his team for any little mistake they make to make sure their egos don't inflate in the least...and they don't lose at all!
The Bills, unlike the Bengals, seem to have a future. Trent Edwards looks solid, Marshawn Lynch looks solid/okay sometimes, and Lee Evans can be good, though if I were the Bills I'd look for a nice complementary possesion guy to help him out. In all fairness, the Bills, at 4-4, have probably peaked this season. They have to play the Pats again, who're gonna kill them, they're probably going to lose to the Skins, though to be quite serious, who the hell knows what the Skins are going to do next? The Skins, I'd say, are the Bills of the NFC. A fairly bad team, but they're overachieving right now. The Bills do have two guaranteed wins against the 'Phins, but then again, who knows with those teams? They'll lose to the Jags, the Browns, the G-Men, and probably the Eagles. So why, then, is this game against the Bengals such a harbinger for both teams?
Well, it proves that the Bills can shut down a potent offense. Notice I didn't say "good." Potent means there is the possibility of explosiveness...good would be, say, the Cowboys, the Pats, and the Colts. They're almost always good. The Bengals, on the other hand, never do enough to win. And the Bills game is a great example of that; the Bengals D did not lose that game. Their O did.
At some point, we have to start saying that the Bengals just aren't that good at all. I've been waiting to hear it about the Redskins for three weeks now. The Skins aren't very good. The Bills aren't very good. Both teams have better records than the Bengals, though. So why don't people say that about the Bengals? Because they have some good players? So what?
The Bills have next year to look forward to. A good draft could mean legitimate contention in that division next year. The Bengals? Honestly, who can say what the Bengals have to look forward, except for uncertainty?
I couldn't tell you. But I do know that great offenses put up more than 21 against the Bills. And I do know that next year, the Bills will probably be better, and the Bengals will probably be the same whiny group of glorified losers.
Amen to that.
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