MNF Snoozefest

Bengals are a boring team playing bad football

Jim Rome
October 01, 2019 - 9:15 am
Sep 30, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) talks with head coach Zac Taylor (right) during a time out against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Heinz Field.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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There might have been a time when a Bengals-Steelers Monday night game would’ve been must-see TV. Last night was not that time. I had a bad feeling going into that game, a couple of 0-3 teams, going nowhere, in prime time; on paper that is one of the worst looking Monday Night matchups ever. And on the field, it was so much worse than I could have imagined.  

Stick two crappy winless teams together, ask the entire to watch and this is exactly what you’re going to get. One touchdown in the first half. And some of the worst football ever.

The absolute best moment of the night came at halftime when Coach Bill Cowher and Hines Ward went into the Steelers Hall of Honor. A great moment and so well deserved.

No wonder the Steelers came out with some more juice after halftime and turned a 10-3 snoozefest into a 27-3 snoozefest. That was a Thursday Night game on a Monday.

And I know that some people were suggesting that this is the kind of game that you’d be desperate to watch in April when there’s no football. Wrong Answer! Ehhhhh!! False. Completely and totally incorrect. 

Nobody will be wishing they could watch this game or any game like this ever again. Far be it for me to be as presumptuous as to speak for the entire planet….but no one, anywhere, watched that game and thought, man, I’d love to see a game like this game. I hope they run THAT back. No, I wouldn’t subject even my worst enemy with that game.  

Even worse than bad football, is boring football. And Steeler fan, I’m sure you’ll tell me you don’t care how it looks. Just know, the rest of us do. Boring, unwatchable football.  

Sure … you got a win. Even if it came against the Bengals who are now in the shallow end with the likes of the Dolphins and Redskins: But, sure, the Steelers seemed to get into a bit of rhythm on offense. They seemed to get James Connor going. They seemed to find something working with Jaylen Samuels, who became the first Steeler with a completion, a reception, and a rushing attempt since Mewelde Moore. Shoutout to Mewelde Moore.

And they beat the living hell out of Andy Dalton. 8 sacks on a truly painful night. That seemed to be a masterful performance by the Steelers defense.

You’ll notice that I’ve used the word “seemed” a lot when referring to what the Steelers did last night, because I’m not sure how much any of it really counts when you do it against the Bengals.

I don’t know that you can say the Steelers offense got into a rhythm, because they did it against the Bengals. And I don’t know how fired up you can get about eight sacks in a game when you do it against the Bengals.

Because the Bengals are not good. Cincinnati has turned into the Washington of the AFC. They’re a not as bad version of Washington. They’re 0-4. It’s not clear if they’re tanking. Or trying to win. Or what they’re doing.

Because if they’re tanking, they’re not doing a good job. And if they’re trying to win, they’re doing an even worse job.

But they are embarrassing. Not my word, Cincinnati receiver Tyler Boyd’s word: "We got embarrassed. Straight like that. It sucks."

Truth. I got embarrassed too. I was embarrassed to be watching. In fact, watching that, made me embarrassed to be alive. It sucks.

How much does it suck? Well, let me ask you this? When was the last time you thought about the Cincinnati Bengals? If I asked you to rattle off the names of all the teams in the NFL, how long would it take you to get to the Bengals?

Hell, how many Bengals can you even name?

When was the last time you thought about Andy Dalton? Seriously. If you had to name the starting quarterbacks in the NFL, how long would it take you before you got to Andy Dalton? 

Right. These dudes.  And that team, are extremely forgettable. That’s not to bash them or him, that’s just stating a fact. You can name a bunch of Steelers. But how many Bengals can you name?

Boomer Esiason, Cris Collinsworth and Ickey Woods aren’t walking through that door. And neither is AJ Green for the moment. 

Their leading rusher has 149 yards. In four games. Okay, so maybe they aren’t built around the run. Probably a pass-first offense, right? Really open it up in this era that favors passing. Andy Dalton has less than 1, 200 passing yards this season. 

So maybe they aren’t built around their offense. Let’s check the defense. They get after the passer right? Wrong. Their leader in sacks has two.  

So what are they doing? And why are they doing it?

There are some good pieces in spots, but damn, that is a very boring team playing very bad football right now. Just a bunch of anonymous players in black and white uniforms playing very anonymous football right now. 

Again I’m watching them, and I still have no idea what they’re doing. . Are they competing? Are they tanking? Are they rebuilding? What’s happening? I have no idea.  And even worse, I don’t think their own players know much more than me.   

As Dre Kirkpatrick said: "They don't pay me to lose, you know what I'm saying? That bleep is unacceptable to me. I don't know how everybody else feels about it, but you gotta feel a certain type of way."

You do have to feel a certain type of way and I feel bored as hell. I know everyone thinks that playing in the NFL is the dream; the life. But how are you feeling right now if you’re the 0-4 Bengals right now? 

You’re not making the playoffs. You were eliminated from contention on the last night of September and you still have October, November, and December to go. You still have 12 more games to get the crap beaten out of you physically and emotionally with very little chance of winning or any of it mattering. And a very high chance of embarrassment. If not severe injury.

I don’t know what we can say about the Steelers last night other than it’s a good thing they didn’t lose to Cincinnati. And the best thing we can say about the Bengals… well, there is no good thing to say about Bengals. Other than, thankful it’s over. Because, it was ugly. And awful. And boring. And I never want to see anything like that again.