Ha! I knew if I kept doubting the Bengals for long enough they would come through for me. Losing to the Raiders? Really? People have been trying to paint the Bengals as an elite AFC team for a few weeks now, but you can’t be an elite AFC team and let the Raiders score 10 points in the last minute of the game to beat you. What I think we are actually learning about the Bengals is that they are playing in a division that just isn’t as good as we thought it was. We thought that the AFC North was among the best there was, but Baltimore continues to struggle, and Pittsburgh just lost to the Chiefs (of all things). And then there is Cleveland – they couldn’t even protect a massive lead against the pathetic Lions. The Bengals have, in my view, benefited from playing in this troubled conference and look better than they are as a result. Outside of the division their only wins are against the Bears and the Packers – two flawed teams as well. Needless to say, I’m not drinking the Cincinnati kool-aid. This is not a serious contender.
The other interesting factor of that Cincinnati-Oakland game was that this is the first time in a long while that the Raiders have shown that kind of heart. Can it be viewed as any kind of a coincidence that that happened in the first game that JaMarcus Russell was benched? I have my doubts.
If I were Brady Quinn I would shoot everyone around me, and I would start with Eric Mangini. Quinn played by far his best game as a pro against Detroit – 21 of 33 for 304 yards and four touchdowns with no turnovers. Because he plays for such a remarkably bad team, though, that wasn’t enough to give him the win. First, the defense decided to take the rest of the day off after getting out to a 24-3 lead. They let Matthew Stafford throw for five touchdowns and 422 yards. Brutal. Quinn almost still was able to secure the win despite the total lack of defense from his side, though, and he would have if his head coach wasn’t such a moron. On the last play of the game Stafford threw a hail mary pass that was incomplete in the endzone , but the Browns were called for pass interference. The game can’t end on a penalty, so Detroit got one last chance. On the play, Stafford went down with a shoulder injury and had to be helped off the field. When you are injured and helped off you have to miss a play before you return to the game. That meant that Detroit would have to try this high pressure play with a cold quarterback – far from ideal. Instead of taking advantage of that, Mangini called a timeout. After a timeout an injured player can returned, so Stafford was able to rejoin his team, and he threw the winning touchdown. This is the latest proof that Mangini is hopeless when it comes to strategy, or coaching in general for that matter.