The morning after Bengals and Browns


By Michael Stegall - From the Sidelines



Being a football junkie is tough nowadays. I don’t agree politically with them, but I still love to watch the games.

Last night I watched what I knew would be an entertaining game with two teams that have struggled to win lately. The Bengals/Browns game was good t.v., but the performance of both teams was, uh……less than inspired. So I thought that I would give my quick synopsis of the contest and see if you agree or disagree with me on these two Ohio teams.

I am sure I am going to make some of you mad……but, I’m in politics so I’ve been there, done that!

Here goes:

(1) – Joe Burrow is the real deal. He is smart, has a quick release of the ball, and is accurate. I do not think he will last the year. He took some horrific shots last night and just missed getting totally drilled from the blind side by a corner blitz. That could have been ugly!

(2) – Joe Burrow was 37 of 61 in passing. If you have to throw the ball that much, you are in for a long year!

(3) Cincinnati’s offensive line is……well, offensive. They need a lot of work. They looked completely out of sync last night.

(4) – Bud Grant, former coach of the Minnesota Vikings once stated “Offense sells tickets, defense wins football games.” I agree.

Cincy gave up 215 yards on the ground on 35 carries, that averages out to 6.1 yards per carry. They gave up 155 yards to the Chargers last week. You are not going to win doing that.

After Cincinnati pulled to within 5 points at 28-23 in the 4th quarter, Cleveland ran the ball 6 straight times and went 75 yards for the game clinching score! The defense, so far, is atrocious.

(5) – Cincinnati has the possibility of being competitive, but until they solve both line problems, the year will be a long one.

Now, for the Browns:

(1) – Baker Mayfield is a good quarterback when motivated as he was last night. He looked really good.

(2) – The Browns may have the best backfield in the NFL with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. They ran well last night and scored 3 touchdowns on the ground and I through the air.

(3) – The Browns defense cannot get off the field on 3 rd down. They were god-awful last night allowing the Bengals to go 4 for 4 on 4th down! That is not a winning defense!

(4) – The Browns offensive and Defensive lines are decent. Not great, but they could become great with some luck in staying healthy.

(5) – Kevin Stefanski, the coach, seems to have control of the situation. He made a few really bad and obvious choices in play calling. (Really? No runpass options on the goal line? No misdirection plays?)

Hopefully for Browns fans, he will learn, just like Zac Taylor did last year. The Bengals and Browns are below average again this year. They have the ability to be pretty good but they cannot make mistakes, they are not good enough.

I think both coaches are pretty good at their jobs; smart, innovative, and both are good with quarterbacks. Both teams are going to be fun to watch this year, and I can’t wait for the rematch to see how they have progressed. That’s the way I see it from the sidelines.

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By Michael Stegall

From the Sidelines

Contributing columnist Mike Stegall a 27 year former OHSAA high school football official and current Darke County Commissioner

Contributing columnist Mike Stegall a 27 year former OHSAA high school football official and current Darke County Commissioner