Sports Today: Bengals, Browns ruin great weekend by being Bengals, Browns

  • Marcus Hartman
10:08 a.m. Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 Sports
CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 23: Head Coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals and Head Coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns shake hands after the completion of the game at Paul Brown Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Cleveland 31-17. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

I guess I should lead off with the Bengals today, but then again what’s the point? 

This team is dead in the water

If I put the over/under on the remainder of Marvin Lewis’ tenure at two weeks, which one are you taking? 

I’d go under. 

There’s one more game on this three-game road trip, and I think that will pretty much seal the deal. 

After the Bengals lose at Denver next week, they will come home 3-7 with no question there is nothing to play for and no reason for anyone to attend — unless someone new is leading things on the sideline and everyone is put on notice they’re playing for their jobs. 

Making a change then would be the sensible thing to do both from a football and business standpoint (to salvage attendance), which is why I think Mike Brown and his management team just might make that move. 

This is not a prediction, just something I see as plausible. 

It actually worked twice before since Paul Brown left the team to his son, and I suspect this roster is a lot better than 1996 and 2000. 

There are two logical choices for an interim coach on the staff: Linebackers coach Jim Haslett, a former head coach, and Paul Guenther, an up-and-comer who’s done a pretty good job coordinating the defense. 

Seeing if Haslett can steady the ship and provide a presentable product for the second half of the season or giving Guenther a live audition are both sensible moves. 

Will they happen? Stay tuned… 

If you’re a real contender, there’s nothing wrong with losing on the road in the last minute to a division leader in the middle of the season. 

Plenty of time to fix the errors and be ready to be your best self in January. 

But this is who the Bengals are — an offense severely handicapped by a bad offensive line and inconsistent quarterback with a good defense that still needs a couple more pieces to become great. 

Cincinnati has a tendency to give up long drives at inopportune times because the Bengals cant’ stop the run, and the cornerbacks are inconsistent as a whole. 

The run defense can’t function without frequently unavailable Vontaze Burfict and the secondary drops off significantly when Adam Jones isn’t in there. 

Also here I guess it is appropriate to point out the fact Burfict just can’t be counted on. He’s being held to a standard that might be impossible, but it is the standard nonetheless. Lewis seemed to acknowledge this yesterday, though that felt like too little, too late. 

The good news for the Bengals is they don’t have any future money committed to Burfict or Andy Dalton, the alleged leaders of the defense and offense, respectively, so moving on from them wouldn’t hurt financially if the next coach chooses (and is allowed) to do so…. 

I’ve been a Hue Jackson defender, but it’s hard to understand what happened with the Browns at the end of the second quarter in their loss at Detroit yesterday. 

Did I mention that next home game when the Bengals might (should) have a new coach is against this club?… 

Speaking of too little, too late, right? 

I am pledging not to talk playoffs until after Thanksgiving, but we’ll see if I can hold out. I made the decision before some more chaos hit college football in the afternoon and evening games. 

The ironic thing this year is the Buckeyes’ postseason plans might be dependent on the favorites taking care of business the rest of the way out… 

Of course I can’t go any farther without acknowledging the Anthony Grant era of Dayton Flyers basketball got off to a successful and thrilling start with a 78-77 win over Ball State

Josh Cunningham scored the go-ahead basket in the lane to win it for the Flyers, who would have had a long week to stew over that loss otherwise. They don’t play again until Thursday when they face Hofstra in the Charleston Classic in South Carolina. 

The Kostas Antetokounmpo ascendance did not begin, but John Crosby had nice stat line with 13 points, four assists and six rebounds with just two turnovers in his first game as the No. 1 point guard. 

And, oh yeah, that’s why Cunningham was a top 100 recruit coming out of high school. 

He has the type of skills to be a pretty dominant guy inside all year… 

The same night of Cunningham’s heroics, Archie Miller lost his first game as coach at Indiana. Not only that, the Hoosiers were blown out by Indiana State. (Larry Bird did not suit up for the Sycamores as near as I could tell.) 

They did bounce back for a win over Howard last night, though... 

Back in the Buckeye State, it is so far, so good for Christ Holtmann: Ohio State is 2-0 with the former Butler coach at the controls. 

The Buckeyes crushed Robert Morris on Friday night before beating Radford by 10 Sunday. 

Six Buckeyes are averaging at least 9.4 points per game so far... 

Trotwood-Madison ended Dunbar’s season emphatically while Chaminade Julienne rallied to beat New Richmond in the football playoffs Friday night. 

The Rams and Eagles square off this Friday night for a regional title. 

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