Well Cincinnati Bengals fans … here we are. We had high hopes this year. And as the team plays its final game of the 2016 season against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, we can’t help but shake our heads and wonder about what might have been.
The Bengals returned a ton of talent and experience from last year’s playoff team. They were hoping to make their 6th straight trip to the postseason. But it was not to be. We haven’t seen this much disappointment in an Ohio football team since the Browns announced they were bringing their franchise back in 1999 (zing!).
But even with no playoff game to look forward to, the players still have their jobs to do on the field. And we have ours at the keyboard. Here are our picks for storylines to follow in the Cincinnati Bengals’ game.
3 Things to Watch in the Cincinnati Bengals – Baltimore Ravens Game
Second teamers going first. The Cincinnati Bengals have ruled out AJ Green (WR), Tyler Eifert (TE), Clint Boling (G) and Vontaze Burfict (LB) for the game. It’s a golden opportunity for young guys like Cody Core (WR), Christian Westerman (G), Nick Vigil (LB) and others to score points with the coaches and make a case for playing time next year.
Find some motivation. Both teams are out of the playoffs. So, in that sense, this game means jack. But a victory to end 2016 would put a good taste in the mouth of the winners as they head into the off-season. Yeah, it ain’t much … we’ll take it anyway.
Smith’s swan song. Steve Smith Sr’s emotions will be running high. It’s reportedly the last NFL game for the Ravens’ WR. Combine that with his productivity this year (67 catches, 765 yards, 5 TDs), and the Bengals’ secondary will definitely need to step up their effort to stop him.