Second Thoughts: Dalton has shot to prove he’s a star against Steelers

The girls were discussing football show music during College GameDay. Grace prefers the old version of “Comin’ to Your City.” Jill doesn’t mind the rap version, adding, “It’s better than that Sunday night girl with her butt hanging out.” Apparently she doesn’t approve of Carrie Underwood’s wardrobe. I voiced no opinion.

I don’t like the Bengals’ chances today in Pittsburgh. A hostile crowd, an unsettled passing game (new receivers, Tyler Eifert’s nagging injury) and poor pass protection could take Andy Dalton out of his comfort zone. I doubt the Steelers will allow A.J. Green to catch 12 passes. This game is on Dalton, whose star would rise considerably with a victory.

Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger appears to be in total command of Pittsburgh’s offense, which has more weapons than the Bengals. It’ll be a physical tussle, no doubt. A great halftime show would feature Vontaze Burfict, Joey Porter and an octagon. Steelers 27, Bengals 19.

Archie Miller seems to be putting together another impact recruiting class that someday could be on the level of his current group of seniors. The latest Flyer commit — point guard McKinley Wright — turned down his hometown Minnesota Golden Gophers, Iowa State and Xavier. Impressive list. Gone are the days when UD was content to beat MAC schools for talent. Building the brand.

Reds pitcher Homer Bailey is threatening to pitch again before the season mercifully ends. The Brewers, Cardinals and Cubs are licking their chops; if Bailey throws, their batting averages go up. Bailey has just 60 career victories since breaking into the big leagues in 2007. His ERA is 6.65 in 23 innings this season. And he’s signed for three more big-money years.

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Louisville QB Lamar Jackson looked fantastic in the Cardinals’ knockout of Florida State. He reminds me of a smaller, skinnier version of Vince Young, who led Texas to a national championship in 2005. Jackson is a unique talent, and illustrates why quarterback is the most important position in football.

Trending up: Grace Norman, Shauna Green, Cubs. The first time I saw Norman run was a few years ago at a track meet in Tipp City. She was great, and my sprinter daughter informed me that the Xenia Christian star was “very nice.” Norman, now at Cedarville University, did her country proud at the Paralympic Games, winning gold in the triathlon and bronze in the 400.

Trending down: RGIII, Dewan Huell, Hawkeyes. The Browns today will become the first NFL team to use more than one starting quarterback in 15 straight seasons. The Robert Griffith III experiment lasted all of one game before the fragile Heisman Trophy winner broke something in his shoulder. Enjoy the rest of the season, Browns fans. At least the beer will be cold.

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