NFL / andy dalton

The Cincinnati Bengals are 5-3 and in second place in the AFC North by percentage points. So what do they do at the trade deadline? They punt. I see it as a missed an opportunity this week to display some new stripes. In other words, instead of rolling the proverbial dice to pick up a few upgrades in talent for positions they could use (TIGHT END especially, linebacker, corner, or at least reinforcements for either of the offensive or defensive fronts). Year after year the Cincinnati ownership and front office seem content to be competitive pretenders. It's not a Super Bowl or bust mentality, instead it is just try not to lose too much. Injuries hap[pen to every team, and sometimes their young backups or free agents off the street who can step in. However, winning teams like the Philadelphia Eagles last season's champs, or the New England Patriots, are willing to send a way a draft pick for someone who can fill a void now. That's why those are the most recent Super Bowl winners in the NFL. Cincinnati was unwilling to part with future players for the sake of winning today. Sometimes the window is only there so long, Quarterback Andy Dalton (31) and all-world wideout A.J. Green (30) are both now in their early 30s. A.J. has a boot around one of his feet and may miss a game or two. They have been in the playoffs without winning, but if they got a little help they might actually advance past the first round. The Bengals have been decimated at tight end, as only one (C. J. Uzomah) of the four tight ends they had going into training camp is not injured. That limits the Bengals and their offensive coordinator Bill Lazor from using their two tight end formations. Two tight end packages are tough for a defense to read, you can't tell if it is going to be a pass play or a run. It also allows a team to have a more physical running attack. Which lets a team dictate time possession and keeps their defense on the sidelines, fresh and less injury prone. Speaking of the defense, it is ranked LAST in the NFL in net total yards, and they are giving up an embarrassing 29.6 points a game. The defense has had some key injuries at linebacker, cornerback, and the defensive front. Can you imagine though if this team had gotten in a couple of proven solid players? Would it brighten up the locker room and hopes for the second half of the season that has tough road games coming up? Yes it would. Don't be surprised if the Bengals are 8-7 or 9-6 going into the Pittsburgh game at the end of the year needing to win against the Steelers just to get in the playoffs. And yeah those Steelers have beaten the Bengals seven times in a row. Then again, that is hitting the perceived goal of the Bengal front office, pretending to be competitive and losing in nearly every big game.

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