Sports Today: Does Jags postseason success mean Bengals have a fighting chance?


After a three-day weekend there’s one obvious question to ask this morning: Was the NFL divisional round good or bad for the Cincinnati Bengals? 

Well, it probably won’t affect the team. 

They are going to be the same either way. That’s kind of their thing. 

Even when there are changes, I have succumbed to the feeling the Bengals are the Bengals. They’re not the 1990s Bengals, of course. That role has been filled by the Browns. But now they are the average franchise that no one respects because of a few high-profile meltdowns and, well, their inability to do once in 20 years what the Jaguars did twice over the last two weeks: Win a playoff game. 

RELATED: Bortles or Dalton? We crunch the numbers

Intentional or not, the Bengals even waited until 5 o’clock Friday to announce their “offensive staff overhaul.” Those in the business know that’s a time to dump news you don’t want to get a lot of scrutiny. 

There’s not a lot to take from the additions, though, other than Alex Van Pelt, Daronte Jones and Matt Raich all spent time coaching in other countries at some point in their careers. 

Van Pelt and Raich both worked in Germany while Jones did a year in the CFL. 

But I digress… 

I definitely saw a lot of excitement from people I know (and those I don’t) about the Steelers losing at least one week earlier than they were supposed to in the playoffs. 

What about the Jaguars winning? Does that mean anything? 

Should Jacksonville’s win give Bengals fans a different perspective on a 2018 season that doesn’t seem like it’s going to have as much newness as we thought when 2017 ended? 

I think it’s worth looking into how the Bengals compare to everyone in the final four, but I thought I would throw that out there to get us started on this abbreviated week… 

I didn’t see much fo the Jags-Steelers game because I was enjoying a full day of basketball at Flyin’ to the Hoop. 

How good is Springfield this year without Danny Davis? 

Pretty good apparently. 

The Wildcats are undefeated after rallying to beat Cleveland Heights on Sunday night

This team could be deeper than the one that went to the regional finals last year as some youngsters have stepped up for coach Isaiah Carson in the absence of Davis (who graduated and became an important receiver at Wisconsin as a true freshmen) and in the face of some injuries. 

These guys showed some great fortitude (and talent) in coming back Sunday night after coughing up a comfortable lead. 

Earlier in the day, Versailles beat Sidney in a matchup of the area’s top-rated senior prospect (Tiger Justin Ahrens) and the likely No. 1 junior (Andre Gordon of the Yellow Jackets). 

Ahrens won the individual matchup, and Versailles won the game

Could they be teammates some day? 

Ahrens has signed with Ohio State, and the Buckeyes are one of many teams interested in Gordon, who could still end up choosing to play football in college instead. 

They’re already friends either way… 

Wright State stayed on a roll Monday, downing Youngstown State 77-67 at the Nutter Center. 

Mark Hughes was the man this time, scoring 13 points and helping to lock down Penguins star Cameron Morse. 

›› Hughes celebrates birthday with win against hometown Youngstown State

The first-place Raiders are headed to Wisconsin this weekend to face Green Bay and Milwaukee, who both stink. 

Of course, coach Scott Nagy is on high alert for a letdown

“We’re just not used to this as this point, that at 6-0 we’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” Nagy said. “We’re not good enough, we don’t have enough talent and we’re not deep enough where we’re just going to roll in and play poorly and beat people. It takes maturity to show up every night and play well.” 

Better to be the hunted than the hunter, though, right?… 

While the men are alone in first place in the Horizon League, the women’s team is tied with Green Bay and IUPUI. 

All have 5-1 marks in conference play. 

Wright State won for the fifth time in a row Monday (also against Youngstown State) with Fairmont grad Chelsea Welch scoring her 1,000th career point as a Raider

Even more impressive: She’s done that in less than two seasons…  

The Dayton Flyers are back in action tomorrow night against St. Joseph’s. 

The Hawks might stink, but that hasn’t mattered much when it comes to Dayton opponents this season. 

And apparently it hasn’t mattered much how good the Flyers are when they go to Philadelphia. 

David Jablonski points out they’ve lost eight in a row at St. Joe’s and three straight at La Salle… 

Anthony Grant’s team has suffered through some ups and downs, but Shauna Green has the Dayton women’s squad aiming for another Atlantic 10 title

The defending champs are 5-0 in league play after crushing Saint Louis on Sunday afternoon at UD Arena

Jenna Burdette is the A-10 co-player of the week after averaging 24 points, 4.5 rebounds and five assists in a pair of wins. 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Senior Day celebration: Dayton women clinch share of A-10 championship
Senior Day celebration: Dayton women clinch share of A-10 championship

Talk about your going away parties. The University of Dayton women’s basketball team sent seniors Jenna Burdette, JaVonna Layfield and Alex Harris out in style Sunday with a 79-54 win over Fordham in front of 3,357 on Senior Day at UD Arena. “This is perfect,” Burdette said as she watched teammates cut down the net. »RELATED...
Cincinnati Reds: 5 things to know Monday’s first full-squad workout
Cincinnati Reds: 5 things to know Monday’s first full-squad workout

It’s a crowded Sunday at the Reds complex in Goodyear, Arizona as position players reported for physicals ahead of Monday’s first full-squad workout. Here are 5 things to know as the Reds get back to work. In past years Bryan Price came to camp knowing who his opening day starter was going to be and the manager wasn’t afraid to make...
Wright State’s Benzinger to hit Nutter Center floor one last time
Wright State’s Benzinger to hit Nutter Center floor one last time

The courtside seating at the Nutter Center is about to get a lot safer, but first Grant Benzinger has one more game to play there when the Raiders take on Cleveland State for Senior Night on Monday. Known for his hustle and blatant disregard for his body as much as his sharp shooting, Benzinger has dropped more than just sweat on the home hardwood...
Reds’ Barnhart treasures Gold Glove Award, seeks repeat
Reds’ Barnhart treasures Gold Glove Award, seeks repeat

The Cincinnati Reds had an All-Star catcher in Devin Mesoraco, but they struck gold with a 10th-round draft pick when their star was hurt. Tucker Barnhart will accept the Rawlings Gold Glove Award as the National League’s best defensive catcher before a regular-season home game. The Brownsburg, Indiana native became the third Reds catcher to...
Baylor jumps into CBS Sports’ Top 25 after beating Texas Tech
Baylor jumps into CBS Sports’ Top 25 after beating Texas Tech

The Baylor Bears are one of college basketball’s hottest teams, and they’re starting to catch the eye of national outlets. After beating No. 7 Texas Tech on Saturday, the Bears moved to 7-7 in the Big 12, good for fifth place in the conference. Baylor has won five straight games and are undefeated in the month of February. On...
More Stories