Football is back, and so is the Cincinnati Magazine Bengals Blog Power Rankings. If you aren’t up to speed, I started these during Hard Knocks last year and continued them throughout the season, ranking the most influential players (good or bad) and significant storylines after each game. Also, this is a complete and total rip-off of the Mad Men Power Rankings that Mark Lisanti does over at Grantland. Imitation is the sincerest form of laziness.
Game 1 of the preseason took place last night, with the Bengals falling to the Chiefs by a score of 41-39, in a contest that at one point caused my half-paying-attention-half-wondering-why-the-heck-she’s-engaged-to-me fiancé to utter the sentence, “This is just a stupid-ass game.” She also asked why people had to pay for tickets to preseason games, which I quickly realized I didn’t have a good answer to. I bet that’s how Roger Goodell feels all the time.
“I was there, and I’m going to take presents if you give them to me, I’m going to take them.” —Dre Kirkpatrick, talking about his interception and/or his birthday.
1. Andy Dalton’s contract
I wrote earlier this week on the blog about why the Bengals pretty much had no other choice but to give Andy Dalton that new six-year contract extension. My reasoning was completely validated during the game Thursday night, and not because of the early 53-yard bomb Dalton tossed to AJ Green, but because backup QB Jason Campbell royally sucked. This is the same Jason Campbell who started eight games last season in the NFL (for the Browns, but still). This is the type of QB that the Bengals could get in free agency to replace Dalton. I guarantee you Dalton’s agent was pissed watching the game last night. If he had just waited one more week, he probably could have weaseled an extra $20 million for Dalton out of Campbell’s performance.
2. Jason Campbell throwing touchdowns
Four on the night. Two for the Bengals, two for the Chiefs. I’m perfectly content having Campbell as a backup this year, as long as he doesn’t have to take a single meaningful snap all season.
3. Dane Sanzenbacher
The receiver hauled in a pair of receptions for 46 yards and a TD, as well as 88 yards on three kick returns. After last night, he’s clearly the favorite over Ryan Whalen to win the White Wide Receiver Roster Spot competition.
4. Matt Scott Blowing Chunks
The current third-string QB was impressive after Campbell left with an elbow injury, completing 7-of-11 passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns in addition to gaining 68 yards on the ground. But most impressive was Scott losing his cookies before slinging one of his TD passes.
Vine via Brennen Warner
5. Vontaze Burfict
Vontaze Burfict is that insane, cartoonish, blood-thirsty character in every football movie. Except he’s real.
— Justin Williams (@Williams_Justin) August 8, 2014
Shoutout to the guy yelling “Don’t tase me bro” in the background
This Chiefs fan is already in midseason form.
Honorable Mention: Dre Kirkpatrick, Antony Muñoz’s misshapen pinky, special teams coach Darrin Simmons wanting to murder someone, Mike Valpredo’s faulty microphone, no major injuries