Executive Of The Year: Hue Jackson. All I’m saying, if Jay Gruden leaves in twelve months to be a head coach and Jackson comes back as our offensive coordinator with the three zillion draft picks we have, then Mike Brown really is an evil genius.
Problem For The Off-Season: What to do at running back. In Cedric Benson’s last six quarters against the Texans he ran for 16 yards on eleven rushes. Whilst I didn’t have an NFL defensive line trying to rip out my spleen, that’s fewer than I had in the same time on my living room-to-fridge runs. On roughly the same number of carries. To be fair though, he’s consistent a runner as he is a pouter and it seems hard to qualify the rest of our offensive inconsistencies with the up and down O-line, whilst not giving Benson the same excuse. Unless Richardson drops (which seems unlikely) then giving him at least a one year extension whilst developing a rookie seems smart.
Things I Can Say Following The 2011 Season I’d Never Have Guessed I Would Say After The 2010 NFL Season:
- Marvin Lewis is the Head Coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.
- Mike Brown? Great job.
- The Bengals and The Packers will both make the play offs but Aaron Rodgers will have more post-season rushing yards than Cedric Benson.
- I could beat Brandon Jacobs in a fight.
- The Bengals have a red-headed quarterback who just lost in the play offs. His name isn’t Carson Palmer.
- Tim Tebow just beat the Steelers in the Play Offs. Tim. Tebow.
- Tim Tebow will have more career Play Off wins as a quarter back than Carson Palmer.
- So will TJ Yates.
- I know who TJ Yates is.
- There were a surprisingly high number of holding calls on the Ravens and Steelers this year. **
Genius Move Of The Year: Oh come on. As if Jerome Simpson’s Olympic front flip had any competition. Apart from Tim Tebow’s overtime win that ended the Steeler’s season.
Idiot Move Of The Year: Oh come on. As if Jerome Simpson getting busted with an Olympic amount of pot had any competition. Certainly not from Tim Tebow.
Game Of The Year: Bills at home. OK, look, Ryan Fitzpatrick got his $59m contract extension and, finally moving into the top 50 earners of his graduation class, lost his motivation and turned the clock back to years. But at that time the Bills were unbeaten, Fitzpatrick had just whupped Brady and the Bills were expected to crush us. Instead, we found our franchise quarterback and started rolling towards an epically unexpected play off run.
Best Statistic Of The Year: Andy Dalton played in as many post-season games as Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees. He also won as many.
Play Of The Season: A.J. Green’s touchdown against the Browns. There were more exciting moments, more clutch moments, more skillful moments. But…lest we forget, the Browns were most people’s dark horse for the Play Offs, the Bengals were supposed to be a joke. Green had not really been a factor. We were losing. Dalton had been solid but was hurt. Had we lost that game, our fortunes and the Browns’ fortunes could have been reversed. One ballsy Jay Gruden call, executed by our back up QB and our stud of the future started us on the road to the Play Offs and sent the smug Browns back to mediocrity.
MVP: Andy Dalton. Yep, no debate here surely?
Offensive MVP: A.J. Green. First Pro Bowl rookie wide receiver in the NFL since 2006, first from the Bengals since Chris Collinsworth.
Defensive MVP: Geno Atkins. Most sacks amongst defensive tackles. Fast, tough, smart, Pro Bowl. Reggie Nelson and Domata Peko had really good years too but Geno lead the charge.
Predictions Of The Year That Will Never Happen Again So I’m Going To Milk Them For All They’re Worth: The observant amongst you will remember (or not) my flying in the face of public opinion and suggesting the Bengals would go 10-6, sneak the last wild card spot, and that Geno Atkins would be the break out star to watch. OK, well I was bloody close, wasn’t i? And sure, I predicted we’d make the play-offs out of a combination of perversity and child-like naivete, and predicted Geno would be a star because I named my fantasy team after him, but, hey, a win’s a win! Next year? Super Bowl. And the player to look out for…Gresham. I know he’s already a name but it’s time for him to join the Grahams and Gronks of this world…put your money on it now…
* That’s a joke, of course. There were no holding calls against the Ravens or the Steelers. There never are. There never will be.