- By Marcus Hartman
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.