The Bengals gave everyone a scare on Sunday night, but managed to put the game away behind a scooped fumble recovery for a touchdown by Sam Hubbard. The Bengals will now turn to face the Buffalo Bills for the first time following the tragic Monday night game. Let’s look at the Bengals WildCard Review and key takeaways from the game.
Bengals Playoff Victory
Is anyone else’s blood pressure still through the roof after last night’s victory? I know mine is. At this point, I have watched the clip of Logan Wilson punching out the ball and Sam Hubbard returning it for nearly 100 yards over ten times. Sunday night was exactly what I thought it would be, an AFC North ugly battle between two teams who know each other very well. It certainly wasn’t pretty, but that doesn’t matter in football, especially come mid-January. Just as Cincinnati made a run last year in the playoffs, the defense managed to make a play that ultimately won the game. I think the entire league understands that you can never count out this Bengals team or Lou Anarumo.
Looking forward, Cincinnati will now have to travel to Buffalo (don’t get me started on how unfair this is) to take on the Bills for a rematch that didn’t get completed just weeks earlier on Monday Night Football. For Cincinnati to come out of this game victorious though, they will have to play much better come kickoff time against the Bills. On the other end of the bracket, the Chiefs will be taking on the Jaguars. While many are counting out the Jaguars, they have played some good football down the stretch and Kansas City nearly lost a few games against bad opponents at the end of the year. Hold on tight Bengals fans, as we have another crazy ride ahead of us!
Bengals Wildcard Review: Positive Takeaways
- Cincinnati can never be counted out. When things look bad, even at the 2-yard line, you simply cannot count them out.
- Logan Wilson and Sam Hubbard made a season saving play. Watching those 2 guys week in and week out has been a joy. If you want to watch football played the right way, look no further.
- Akeem Davis-Gaither deserved a game ball after his performance on Sunday. In person, you could see him around the ball in every play and he managed to even reel in a huge interception. Our linebacker depth is a massive strength.
- Ja’Marr Chase was our safety blanket yet again, as he had 9 receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown (he won me $1200 on this by the way, download BetFred already)!
- Jessie Bates had a solid game and continued his excellence in the playoffs from last season. He recorded 9 tackles, nearly leading the team from the safety position.
- Zac Taylor is a good human being and a good coach. I have been critical of him and his play calling a lot in the past, but one thing is for certain, the players love playing for him. As he went to the bars after the game and handed out game balls and as I listened to Harbaugh’s interview from the game and post conference, I couldn’t help but think about how lucky this Cincinnati fan base truly is. Mike Brown and company, you knocked it out of the park when you hired Zac Taylor and I was completely wrong for ever thinking otherwise.
Bengals Wildcard Review: Negative Takeaways
- Our run game is still non-existent. We can’t get it going on the ground and it is a huge problem going forward. While Baltimore is probably the best defense that we would face in the AFC, if I am Buffalo, I don’t know why I would ever come out of Cover 2.
- Our offensive line is on life support. Without Williams, Collins, and Cappa, you could see how much we were struggling at the line of scrimmage.
- Evan McPherson missed another extra point. This is beginning to become a theme each week and in playoff football, that one point is eventually going to matter.
- Dax Hill struggled in this one, including his penalty for running out of bounds on his own and an unnecessary facemask call that hurt Cincinnati. I trust that he will learn from these mistakes before next week, as we need Dax to play a much better game.
- Eli Apple made his first really bad play in a long time. Robinson went right around him for the score on the outside and I quickly heard fans hating on Apple as it happened. I guess I don’t understand the hate for him from some of our own fanbase, as he has been phenomenal for the entire year. Without Awuzie, if Apple would ever be out for a game, trust that Cincinnati would be in major trouble.
Bootsy Collins Interview on Matt’s Take
The one and only, Bootsy Collins kindly joined Matt’s Take this week. William Earl “Bootsy” Collins is a Cincinnati legend and a famous bass guitarist and singer. He is known for his widespread genres of funk, hip hop, soul, and rock music. Bootsy is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and has spent time in his career playing with many others such as James Brown, Snoop Dogg, and George Clinton. Rolling Stones even has Bootsy listed as the 4th greatest bassist of all time! As my wife and I were at Bengal Jim’s tailgate before the game, we were lucky enough to meet up with Bootsy, as well as watch his awesome halftime performance. Bengals fans were more than ecstatic to “crank it up fool” as we awaited an exhilarating 2nd half of football.
Q: What has been your favorite moment in your long career?
A: “Hahaha, wow that is a loaded question, but the best moment was when I played my 1st gig with my elder brother Phelps “Catfish” Collins. I always looked up to him & wanted to be just like him. We played our 1st gig in a Rathole, but it was so much fun.”
Q: As a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, how did it feel when you learned you were going to be inducted?
A: “I didn’t know how I felt or how I had got there, but the feeling was like jumping off the highest mountain in the world just to discover I had Wings! I would have never known that honor had I not made that jump.”
Q: What has been your favorite show that you have ever put on and where was it?
A: “It was in LA at Mavericks Flat in 1972/73 when we pulled into town in two station wagon cars with Ohio license plates. Unbeknownst to us, 11 inmates had escaped from Ohio prison. So guess who the LAPD pulls over as soon as we hit town? Yep, we did look guilty, but we didn’t do it your honor, I promise (Lol). Well after the people demanded that they let us out to play the gig at Mavericks flat plus a mere 5000.00 bail, we were spared. The rest of this story will be in my 2023 book!”
Q: As all fans are excited for your halftime performance on Sunday, what is your score prediction for the game?
A: “You know I’m not good at predictions, but I feel like we have to come out blazing, so I’d say Bengals by 7 points.”
Q: If the Bengals would happen to win the Super Bowl, can we expect another performance from you!?
A: “Wow, do you know how long it has taken to get 4 minutes of Funk at a halftime show? I feel that we are so blessed to be able to perform in front of a multi-cultured audience, whom for the 1st time never knew what a Bootsy was. My Mother named me that & I asked her why she named me that. She said, because u look like a Bootsy! Well I guess I will leave that one alone. The Funk will not be denied, we shall funk until the end of time! Bootsy baby!”
Matt’s Take is presented by BetFred Sportsbook