Blogging The Boys: It’s unfortunate Joe Burrow was injured. Tell us about how he had played this season, and what he means to the franchise going forward.
Cincy Jungle: Burrow looked better than I expected he would considering the circumstances of this offseason. He came into the season with a real command over the offense, and you could see him constantly making adjustments at the line.
It is that sort of thing that really shows the Bengals made the right call with drafting him rather than taking the pile of picks. Even now, the way his teammates talk about how he is still staying in touch after his surgery shows how great of a leader he already is.
The scary thing is he is just going to get better the more NFL defenses he gets to see. It wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows this season with him, though. He needs to work on his deep throw timing, but overall, the future is very bright if the Bengals can protect him.
BTB: What’s the current situation at QB look like for the Cowboys game?
CJ: It really is depressing going from talking about Burrow to Brandon Allen. I’m sure he is a great guy, but this offense has grinded to a halt without the first overall pick. If anything, this time without Burrow has shown just how much he has been covering up for this offense.
Allen has been a below average quarterback, and the offense just hasn’t seen much success at all with defenses literally daring him to beat them.
BTB: What’s your take on the A.J. Green situation? Has he lost to Father Time and injuries, or is he being under-utilized?
CJ: So I have a hard time trying speculate what exactly is going on with Green. My theory is that he is still dealing with a nagging hamstring injury he suffered during training camp, and he has been attempting to play through it because he is in a contract year.
What we do know is that he clearly isn’t playing like the old Green. He is a step slower, and the little offensive success he has seen has been on short routes. He has beaten some defenders deep, but hasn’t been able to get on the same page with Burrow or Allen deep this season.
I’m not sure what more the coaching staff could do, but I just think the whole offensive plan isn’t really being worked around the players’ strengths.
BTB: Andy Dalton is coming back to Cincy. What’s his legacy for the Bengals? How does the fanbase feel about him now that his tenure is over?
CJ: I think now that he is gone most of us can recognize that he had a great run with this team. All of those playoff berths seem like a dream after what the fanbase has endured these past few seasons.
I don’t think anyone would say Cincinnati made the wrong call by moving on from him in favor of Burrow, but there certainly seems to be less bite to the criticism over Dalton. In fact, there was a huge cry of support for him when he took over as the starter there, and frustration over the hit he took that knocked him out.
At the end of the day, Dalton is a great human being who did a lot of great things on and off the field in Cincinnati. His best shot at winning a playoff game was probably in 2015 when the culmination of several great draft classes came together, but a thumb injury derailed that opportunity. He just isn’t a guy who is going to elevate an offense, and that wasn’t going to work with the Bengals needing another rebuild.
BTB: What’s your take on how the game will go on Sunday and what’s the final score?
CJ: It will be interesting to see the Bengals offense go up against the Cowboys defense. Probably two of the worst units in the NFL right now. I think running back Giovani Bernard gets going a little bit despite the Bengals having to shuffle their offensive line again. Allen still will have to make a handful of plays that I’m just not confident in him making. The Cowboys will have the better quarterback Sunday, and Dalton will be playing with a little extra fire.
I think the Cowboys come away with a painful-to-watch 22 to 13 victory over the Bengals.
Thanks for the knowledge, Cincy Jungle.