Day 4 of my 2019 NFL countdown starts off with our founder and head editor of the website RD's hometown team, coming in at number 20, the Cincinnati Bengals.
Sorry RD, but the Bengals are not very good. They finally let go of Marvin Lewis, but they replaced him with the LA Rams QB coach. What the hell. This dude did not do enough to me to prove that he is ready to be a NFL head coach. But, this is just a new thing where, if you are on the staff of a coach that is considered a "football genius", you will get a job. I do not think this dude will do that well. He has a lot to prove. Then there's the whole Andy Dalton thing. I think the period of time on him being a franchise QB was over about 2 years ago, if not longer. He is just an average NFL QB, which is fine. But, you will never win a Super Bowl with him as your starting QB. The whole running back situation disgusts me because they are relying on a known abuser. In fact, companies like ESPN praise this Joe Mixon, and that makes me sick. He hits children. They just lost their only real offensive threat because they decided to practice on a college field, and he tore up his ankle so bad that he needs surgery. AJ Green was the one guy they couldn't afford to lose, but they did just that. He is going to miss some regular season games, and that is a bummer for this team. I don't know much about the o line, and the defense, while finally shedding Vontaze Burfict and Pac Man Jones, did not do too much to improve themselves. They are bland as white toast, and way less exciting. The Bengals were a good team with Marvin Lewis as the head coach. They were a playoff team. But, the time had come for a change, they just picked the wrong guy. And as long as Andy Dalton is your QB, and AJ Green is missing games, 6 wins is the best you can hope for. Again, sorry to RD and his family that they have to root for this franchise.
At number 19 I have the Cleveland Browns. You may see that and think I am nuts. Well, I think all the other pundits are nuts. What did they do that makes them a sudden division favorite, and a surefire playoff team? I know they traded for Odell Beckham, and that is great. How many playoff games has he been in, and was a contributing factor in? I'll tell you. He's been in one game, he was dreadful and the Giants got thoroughly beaten. I love the way he plays, the flair he brings to the game and the catches he makes, but come on, he has never done anything of real importance in the NFL. The same can be said for Jarvis Landry, although he is not nearly as good as Beckham. Landry is an excellent slot receiver, but again, he has never really won anything in the NFL. He's good, but he's not that good. I like their run game, but the backs are only going into their second year. And all I can see when I watch Baker Mayfield is Robert Griffin, with less athleticism. He was great at the end of last year, but that was against teams that didn't really care what happened. I just do not see what other people see in him. He is not Russell Wilson or Drew Brees. He is more Derek Carr, or if he gets injured, Jimmy Garroppollo. I do like their defense, or Myles Garrett at least. That dude is good. He could be the next Von Miller if he keeps this up. They also have a good secondary. But, for people to be out here proclaiming that the Browns "are destined for greatness", and that " this is the start of something big", calm down. Lets see them do it for a full season, and if they are lucky enough to make the playoffs, make a run before they are the next dynasty. They are more Seattle Mariners than New York Yankees to me. I see them as an 8 or 9 win team at best.
At number 18 I have the Tennessee Titans. This team is boring and dull and a pain to watch and I just don't really care for them. That being said, they win games and make the playoffs. I do feel like this is the make or break year for Marcus Mariota. Either he takes the next step, or it will be Ryan Tannehill time. That is scary. I like Derrick Henry as their running back, and the kid they took from Western Michigan last year in the draft started to break out a bit last year. But, they lose their best lineman because he decided to take a banned substance. That stinks for Mariota. Taylor Lewan has been a selfish player since I watched him at Michigan. And now he does this. The defense is okay, and led by a bunch of no name guys that play hard. They keep this team in games. That is the Titans M.O. They play low scoring games, and sometimes, they win them. It is just unfortunate for them that they play in the same division as Houston and Indianapolis, 2 teams I am pretty high on this year. That will be the reason they don't make the playoffs this year. That, and if Mariota doesn't take that step. I see them as a .500 team this year.
The final team for today, just outside of the playoffs looking in, at number 17 I have the Pittsburgh Steelers. This team got worse on offense this offseason. The fact that they let Antonio Brown go for nothing means they really wanted him gone. They also let LeVeon Bell sit out a whole year and he is gone., And the o line has regressed. Oh, and they gave Ben freaking Roesthilberger another extension. What the hell?! This dude is well past his prime, and is a known sexual assaulter. Why he get chance after chance after chance, I will never understand. James Connor and Ju Ju Smith Schuster were the reason I won my fantasy league last year, but now, they are the focal point of the opposition's defense. They will be keyed on when facing other teams. That will be much harder than being the second option like last season. The defense is old. I love Devin Bush, obviously, and I feel like he is going to be great, but outside of him, they are old, or thin on depth. They are not as strong a unit as they used to be. They will make a stop here or there, but they will get burned just as much, if not more. The Steelers are about to regress, and regress hard. This pleases me because I don't like them, but I wish Devin Bush was playing on a winning team. I think this year he may get lucky, and the Steelers will win 9 games. But after that, they will be a lower tier NFL team.
That's it for today. Come back tomorrow for my next 4 teams. We are getting to the playoff teams here very shortly.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He does not know that in Cincinnati we do not root for the Bengals. We just sit and wait for the season to be over, just like one would with a bad cold.
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