- Ohio State also had relatively good injury luck this season, at least until the end when Dobbins and Fields were slowed by lower body ailments. Still, if that is the worst that happens, it's a remarkable year that isn't likely to be repeated. Moving on…
- The Bengals finished 2-14 with a win over the Browns to go out with an unqualified smiley face. It was nice they gave fans something to genuinely enjoy after such a miserable year following the almost complete disappointment that has ruled since the playoff implosion against the Steelers four years ago.
- Obviously the Bengals finished a lot better than they started, but there is a reason you can't create your own save situation in baseball. Not only did they lose the first 11, they usually looked incompetent in the first half of the season. This staff has to own it all. If you want to take a total glass-half-full view, I won't stand in your way. I don't want to become too cynical in my old age, but I am not close to abandoning all my doubts about the staff, either.
- That said, the life at the end of the year does at least make the offseason more interesting. Rebuilding again feels like at least a possible task. You're safe to again conclude with a real offensive line and more talent on defense, this team is just a decent quarterback away from being competitive again. Add a real franchise quarterback (Joe Burrow?), something they haven't had since Carson Palmer was injured, and you'd really have something to be excited about. The line wasn't so bad in the second half of the season, and getting Jonah Williams back will be like adding two first-round picks at one time. He alone isn't enough, but at least that's a head start.
- The Cincinnati Reds are having another active offseason, and they likely aren't done. The potential signing of Shogo Akiyama gives them another bat but maybe more. Like MLBTradeRumors.com, I wondered if it could make pulling the trigger on a deal for Francisco Lindor (with Nick Senzel the centerpiece) more possible. I wouldn't hesitate to package multiple major projects for Lindor, especially if they really want to win now and because the Reds have had such trouble translating prospects into actual major leaguers. Senzel had a solid debut last season, but he's not Lindor, who also plays a position the Reds most need an upgrade at this point in time.
“Marcus Musings” is a semi-regular feature here at the blog. While most of our other coverage is concentrated on news and analysis, this is a place to share opinions on various stories permeating the sports world and (hopefully) have some fun. Have your own thoughts? Send them along to firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Twitter or Facebook.