Talk about a true, yet misleading headline.
Enjoy it while it lasts my fellow Bengal sufferers. Cincinnati's finest professional football team finds itself in a three-way tie for first-place in the AFC North with the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. Hey, a three-way with the Ravens and Steelers! Just like you always dreamed about. It's even better than putting chili and cheese on spaghetti.
Following their not-all-that-impressive 34-27 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, the Bengals are 1-1. Forget the fact that the Ravens made the Bengals look like a college team in Week 1 with a 44-13 blowout on national TV; them boys are all even in the standings.
Simply put, this is not a good Bengals football team. They'll be lucky to win the 8 games I predicted they would. And some of my fellow Bengal fan friends accused me of being negative. Well, do you remember the last time the Bengals pieced together back-to-back playoff seasons? Of course you don't. And it won't happen this year, either.
This is a roster that wasn't all that strong to begin with -- don't forget in true Mike Brown fashion they are at least $20 million under the salary cap for 2012 -- and it has been ravaged by injuries. I also see a poorly-coached football team for the most part, which isn't anything new. Marvin Lewis is by far the best head coach Brown has ever hired, and Lewis still isn't good. He's OK.
And what is going on with Mike Zimmer? His defense has gotten gashed each week. It's frustrating enough when it's the goofy, yet veteran Joe Flacco. But when it's the goofy (and rookie) Brandon Weeden? Completely unacceptable. By the way, speaking of ****** defense from the Bengals, as Trent Richardson was running wild I was thinking, "Well, chalk up yet another player that will say he had his coming-out-party against the Bengals." Giving up 27 points and 439 yards of total offense to the Browns at home is a joke. And it's another reminder that we're watching a bad football team.
But one that is in first place. And really, the Bengals could make things interesting for a while as their schedule the first half of the season is relatively easy. We'll see how they fare in a very-winnable game at Washington this Sunday.