This is paying my due to Zeb for accepting his “Gut Feeling” challenge that the Cincinnati Bengals would defeat my Green Bay Packers on September 22. It’s taken me this long to actually sit down and write it because I think I was too angry, disappointed, or shocked by that game.
As a recap, before Aaron Rodgers took the field, the Bengals led 14-0. Then the Bengals decided to make a game of it by coughing up the ball on four straight possessions, but the Packers only had a 16-14 lead at half-time. The Packers scored two offensive touchdowns to begin the third quarter to go up 30-14, and then promptly took their foot off the gas. Give Cincy the benefit of never quit playing because they scored two TDs to close to 30-27 when the fateful fourth down fumble by Jonathan Franklin was scooped up by Terence Newman who ran 58 yards for the winning TD. I really felt the momentum change when Marvin Jones had that 22 yard reception and Cincy got an additional 15 yards on the personal foul on Tramon Williams. Just plain fricking stupid.
Heroes: There were no heroes on the Packers side. The entire Bengals team should get the award for their never quit attitude representative of their coach Marvin Lewis.
Goats: In no particular order with no particular value of blame, there’s many goats on the Packers. Starting with Jeremy Ross – thank God they released him on Monday after the game, should have made him walk back from Cincy. His fumble (second of this short season) of a kick-off at the 2 allowed Cincy to go up 14-0. Aaron Rodgers – looked like a rookie. Two interceptions, leading his receivers to get walloped over the middle (Finley), and having passes knocked down repeatedly is especially disappointing after throwing for 480 yards against Washington. Offensive line – you guys gave up another 4 sacks making it 10 in only three games. The thought of having Seneca Wallace as your backup QB ought to make you play better. Mike McCarthy – you had only two running backs active for the game and had them both go out with injuries. That’s a roll of the dice that came up craps. Jonathan Franklin – yeah, you were almost THE hero of the game by coming off the bench and rushing for 103 yards; but that fumble cost us the game.
Injuries are killing us again. Was it GB’s first possession when Jermichael Finley went out due to a concussion? James Starks left in the second quarter with a twisted knee and looked to be on pace to rush for over 100 yards for a second straight week. Jonathan Franklin left after injuring his foot/ankle but returned on the Packer’s last possession but was ineffective trying to pass block. And Clay Matthews didn’t play in the second half after tweaking a thigh muscle that plagued him previously. He was pretty disruptive in sacking Andy Dalton and even forced BenJarvis Green-Ellis to fumble. His injury really started GB’s downslide in the second half. Thank God Green Bay has an early bye this week in hopes of getting well.
Well, you can’t win them all; but this one hurt because it was given away.