The Cincinnati Bengals have upped their offense by taking Tight End Tyler Eifert, out of Notre Dame, 21st in the 2013 Draft.
QB Andy Dalton now has AJ Green, Jermaine Gresham, and Eifert to choose from when he snaps that ball. That’s not a bad trio to have catching your passes. 

The Cincinnati Bengals have upped their offense by taking Tight End Tyler Eifert, out of Notre Dame, 21st in the 2013 Draft.

QB Andy Dalton now has AJ Green, Jermaine Gresham, and Eifert to choose from when he snaps that ball. That’s not a bad trio to have catching your passes. 

Bengals at Texans: Momentum and other things

by @steven_lebron

The regular season in football is a tricky exercise in momentum. Here stand the Houston Texans. They’re 12-4. They’re division winners. And yet, they feel like the biggest losers coming into the tournament.

On the other side, the Bengals have temporarily (the permanency comes if they can keep outperforming our expectations next season) displaced the order of things in the AFC North. Their Week 16 matchup at Pittsburgh was a pseudo play-in game. If the Bengals won, they were in. Many would have expected the more experienced Steelers to make another late season run, and become the team that no one wanted to play in the post-season.

Instead, the Bengals inched past their division rival by a field goal, and became the team no one really thought would actually end up in the post-season.

And here they are, two consecutive playoff appearances for this franchise, which is no small feat. Miss you, Carson Palmer. Or maybe not.

Andy Dalton is not exciting, but he does enough. The defense is not glamorous, but they do have one of the strongest past rushes in the league. A.J. Green, maybe already the best wideout in football. This is a rematch of last year’s wild card match-up, the Bengals remain a house money team in the playoffs, they are a work in progress for which playoff experience will only help for their core group.

As for the Texans. They’re learning how tough expectations can be in the NFL. A year ago, they finally made the playoffs for the first time since the franchise returned to Houston. They were so banged up that T.J. Yates was their starting quarterback. They were also house money. It was a season worth celebrating.

This season, they seemed to have made the leap. But a late season swoon and unimpressive showings against Green Bay and New England during the regular season have left much to be desired from this team.

I suppose much of what you expect from this game depends on just how much you believe in momentum, and all those other fancy narratives.

I still think the Texans are the better team, and they rebound on Sunday.

24-17 Texans.

What does everybody else think?

Winners and Losers - Week 3 Sunday edition
Wait, was that Justin Tucker field goal good or what? The refs will review and get back to you tomorrow. 
Can we sum up the NFL so far with this: the Cardinals are 3-0, the Saints are 0-3 and the best team after two weeks in the league lost at Minnesota.
Don’t look now, but we might be in for a fun race in the NFC West. The Cardinals next four games: vs. Miami, at St. Louis, vs. Buffalo, at Minnesota. All winnable games. Looks like that Week 8 Monday Night game between San Francisco and Arizona might be an important one. Who knew.
The best play in the Cardinals-Eagles game was Arizona safety James Sander’s 93 yard fumble return for a touchdown to end the half (reminiscent of what James Harrison did to the Cardinals in the Super Bowl a few years ago). If you missed it, you can watch the video here. My favorite part of it: Larry Fitzgerald sprinting down the sideline as the play unfolded.
Also, before we get to the winners the losers, I just want to send a word of condolence to the family of Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith. Smith’s younger brother Tevin Jones passed away in a car accident late Saturday night. I can’t pretend to know what he’s going through, except to say, it can’t be easy. He played tonight, and went for 127 yards, two touchdowns, and one sweet victory.
If this made Smith’s day any better, even for a few hours, then it was all well worth it regardless of what the result was on the field. I hope tomorrow will be a better day for him.
Onto the rest:
Winners
Mayhem in Tennessee - Sunday was a throwback day in Tennessee. Tommie Campbell’s punt return touchdown brought back memories of the Music City Miracle, and the game ended up going to overtime on a crazy sequence of events to end regulation that culminated in a Hail Mary touchdown for the visiting Lions with no time left on the clock. But the Titans would win on a controversial fourth down call by Jim Schwartz — who said after the game that they weren’t suppose to snap the ball on the play. A team coming up a yard short to end the game? It’s an ending Titans fans are familiar with and happy to be on the other side of it this time.
Jamaal Charles - 233 yards rushing, 55 yards receiving and a touchdown for Kansas City. A week ago, many wondered about whether he was fully recovered from last year’s knee injury, turns out all you need to do is go up against the New Orleans defense and all is cured.
Adrian Peterson - His stats on Sunday against the 49ers didn’t stand out, but watching him run into that San Francisco defense and be the last one standing on most of the running plays was great to see. Still a bit amazed at how quickly he’s recovered from his injury, maybe Peterson is a superhero.
Mohamed Sanu to A.J. Green - A thing of beauty.
Ray Lewis: A Football Life - Do yourself a favor and watch this on NFL Network. Made me want to drive to Pittsburgh just to get a W!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mikel Leshoure - 26 carries, 100 yards, 1 touchdown. I’m just including this in here because I have him on my fantasy team. Carry on.
The Falcons - The division is theirs to take, but you get the feeling nothing they do in the regular season will matter. Not with Matt Ryan still without a playoff win on his resume and that turd they dropped against the Giants in the post-season last year. Seriously, they literally dropped a deuce. I’m going to stop now.
Losers
Replacement refs, again - I’m sick of 20 minute replay reviews, and just a sense that the players are under the impression that they can do whatever they want on the field without the consequences of being policed. Also, in the Vikings-49ers game, Jim Harbaugh was awarded an extra challenge on a Toby Gerhart fumble even though he had no timeouts left, which he won. That wasn’t the most ridiculous part of it. Somehow Harbaugh got another timeout added back for his team, and used it to challenge another Gerhart fumble before the two minute warning in the fourth. It was a standard fumble and recovery by Gerhart. But you know why Harbaugh even bothered to challenge? Because there’s actually a chance that the replacement refs could blow the call and reverse it in his favor. The refs are now being exploited by players and coaches for their own advantage as they see fit. I’m just going to keep complaining until the real zebras come back.
The Saints - Stat alert: Saints are the eighth team to start 0-3 after winning 13 or more games the previous season. They’re starting to remind me a lot of the last team in this group: the 2009 Titans, who started 0-6 before making a frantic run for a playoff spot, finishing short at 8-8. Although, three weeks in, they’re three games back of the division leading Falcons. Looks like another season without a home team playing in the Super Bowl.
Peyton and the Broncos - It’s entirely possible that they were beat on their home field by the best team in the AFC. I still can’t believe the Texans are competent, and wait for it: trustworthy to win games they’re supposed to. Still wrapping my head around this. Regardless, the Broncos are in a division where they can afford to work their way through a slump. I think eight or nine wins will be enough in the West. Don’t count the Broncos out just yet, but expectations have been lowered after their last two outings.
Randy Moss - For some reason, I thought Randy Moss would be a different teammate in San Francisco. I don’t know if it’s the simple fact that I assumed age and a year away from the game meant that Moss would mature. But there he was on Sunday, sulking on the sidelines and benched in the fourth quarter. After the game, he was asked about playing time and simply said: “Next question”. I still like this 49ers team a lot, but not sure if it’s worth it to deal with Moss if he’s going to start spreading that negativity in the locker room.
Chris Johnson - He now has 45 yards rushing on the season. How bad is that? There’s six teams with single rushing plays greater than 45 yards so far this season.
Sanchez to Tebow - Not exactly a thing of beauty.
@steven_lebron

Winners and Losers - Week 3 Sunday edition

Wait, was that Justin Tucker field goal good or what? The refs will review and get back to you tomorrow.

Can we sum up the NFL so far with this: the Cardinals are 3-0, the Saints are 0-3 and the best team after two weeks in the league lost at Minnesota.

Don’t look now, but we might be in for a fun race in the NFC West. The Cardinals next four games: vs. Miami, at St. Louis, vs. Buffalo, at Minnesota. All winnable games. Looks like that Week 8 Monday Night game between San Francisco and Arizona might be an important one. Who knew.

The best play in the Cardinals-Eagles game was Arizona safety James Sander’s 93 yard fumble return for a touchdown to end the half (reminiscent of what James Harrison did to the Cardinals in the Super Bowl a few years ago). If you missed it, you can watch the video here. My favorite part of it: Larry Fitzgerald sprinting down the sideline as the play unfolded.

Also, before we get to the winners the losers, I just want to send a word of condolence to the family of Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith. Smith’s younger brother Tevin Jones passed away in a car accident late Saturday night. I can’t pretend to know what he’s going through, except to say, it can’t be easy. He played tonight, and went for 127 yards, two touchdowns, and one sweet victory.

If this made Smith’s day any better, even for a few hours, then it was all well worth it regardless of what the result was on the field. I hope tomorrow will be a better day for him.

Onto the rest:

Winners

Mayhem in Tennessee - Sunday was a throwback day in Tennessee. Tommie Campbell’s punt return touchdown brought back memories of the Music City Miracle, and the game ended up going to overtime on a crazy sequence of events to end regulation that culminated in a Hail Mary touchdown for the visiting Lions with no time left on the clock. But the Titans would win on a controversial fourth down call by Jim Schwartz — who said after the game that they weren’t suppose to snap the ball on the play. A team coming up a yard short to end the game? It’s an ending Titans fans are familiar with and happy to be on the other side of it this time.

Jamaal Charles - 233 yards rushing, 55 yards receiving and a touchdown for Kansas City. A week ago, many wondered about whether he was fully recovered from last year’s knee injury, turns out all you need to do is go up against the New Orleans defense and all is cured.

Adrian Peterson - His stats on Sunday against the 49ers didn’t stand out, but watching him run into that San Francisco defense and be the last one standing on most of the running plays was great to see. Still a bit amazed at how quickly he’s recovered from his injury, maybe Peterson is a superhero.

Mohamed Sanu to A.J. Green - A thing of beauty.

Ray Lewis: A Football Life - Do yourself a favor and watch this on NFL Network. Made me want to drive to Pittsburgh just to get a W!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mikel Leshoure - 26 carries, 100 yards, 1 touchdown. I’m just including this in here because I have him on my fantasy team. Carry on.

The Falcons - The division is theirs to take, but you get the feeling nothing they do in the regular season will matter. Not with Matt Ryan still without a playoff win on his resume and that turd they dropped against the Giants in the post-season last year. Seriously, they literally dropped a deuce. I’m going to stop now.

Losers

Replacement refs, again - I’m sick of 20 minute replay reviews, and just a sense that the players are under the impression that they can do whatever they want on the field without the consequences of being policed. Also, in the Vikings-49ers game, Jim Harbaugh was awarded an extra challenge on a Toby Gerhart fumble even though he had no timeouts left, which he won. That wasn’t the most ridiculous part of it. Somehow Harbaugh got another timeout added back for his team, and used it to challenge another Gerhart fumble before the two minute warning in the fourth. It was a standard fumble and recovery by Gerhart. But you know why Harbaugh even bothered to challenge? Because there’s actually a chance that the replacement refs could blow the call and reverse it in his favor. The refs are now being exploited by players and coaches for their own advantage as they see fit. I’m just going to keep complaining until the real zebras come back.

The Saints - Stat alert: Saints are the eighth team to start 0-3 after winning 13 or more games the previous season. They’re starting to remind me a lot of the last team in this group: the 2009 Titans, who started 0-6 before making a frantic run for a playoff spot, finishing short at 8-8. Although, three weeks in, they’re three games back of the division leading Falcons. Looks like another season without a home team playing in the Super Bowl.

Peyton and the Broncos - It’s entirely possible that they were beat on their home field by the best team in the AFC. I still can’t believe the Texans are competent, and wait for it: trustworthy to win games they’re supposed to. Still wrapping my head around this. Regardless, the Broncos are in a division where they can afford to work their way through a slump. I think eight or nine wins will be enough in the West. Don’t count the Broncos out just yet, but expectations have been lowered after their last two outings.

Randy Moss - For some reason, I thought Randy Moss would be a different teammate in San Francisco. I don’t know if it’s the simple fact that I assumed age and a year away from the game meant that Moss would mature. But there he was on Sunday, sulking on the sidelines and benched in the fourth quarter. After the game, he was asked about playing time and simply said: “Next question”. I still like this 49ers team a lot, but not sure if it’s worth it to deal with Moss if he’s going to start spreading that negativity in the locker room.

Chris Johnson - He now has 45 yards rushing on the season. How bad is that? There’s six teams with single rushing plays greater than 45 yards so far this season.

Sanchez to Tebow - Not exactly a thing of beauty.

@steven_lebron

The Bengals are currently riding a 5 game win streak. Only the Niners and Packers have better streaks. The last time the Bengals won five in a row was 1988, when they went to the Super Bowl.
If the playoffs started today, the Bengals would have the first seed in the AFC. Who Dey!

The Bengals are currently riding a 5 game win streak. Only the Niners and Packers have better streaks. The last time the Bengals won five in a row was 1988, when they went to the Super Bowl.

If the playoffs started today, the Bengals would have the first seed in the AFC. Who Dey!

(Source: Yahoo!)

The Bengals have been one of the pleasant surprises of the season, sitting at 4-2 thanks to an improved defense and the rookie combo of quarterback Andy Dalton and wideout A.J. Green, who already has four touchdowns through six games.
And if you believe in intangibles like team chemistry and camaraderie amongst teammates, watch this Bengals feature from NFL Sound FX. 
These guys are just having fun out there, and might just be the pillars of a contending team for years to come.
Thanks to Albert for tipping the video.
- steven lebron
 

The Bengals have been one of the pleasant surprises of the season, sitting at 4-2 thanks to an improved defense and the rookie combo of quarterback Andy Dalton and wideout A.J. Green, who already has four touchdowns through six games.

And if you believe in intangibles like team chemistry and camaraderie amongst teammates, watch this Bengals feature from NFL Sound FX.

These guys are just having fun out there, and might just be the pillars of a contending team for years to come.

Thanks to Albert for tipping the video.

- steven lebron

 
Cincy takes a wide receiver.  Makes sense right?
Ocho will be gone soon. Next year if not this year. So they will have Andre Caldwell, Jordan Shipley, Jerome Simpson, and Jermaine Gresham. Quite the stable of young receivers. Too bad they need so much help on defense.

Cincy takes a wide receiver.  Makes sense right?

Ocho will be gone soon. Next year if not this year. So they will have Andre Caldwell, Jordan Shipley, Jerome Simpson, and Jermaine Gresham. Quite the stable of young receivers. Too bad they need so much help on defense.