Another Monday Night Football game, another egg laid by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Cincinnati was undefeated coming into Monday’s home matchup with the 3-5 Houston Texans, but Houston left town with an underwhelming 10-6 victory engineered by its backup quarterback.
The Bengals had been off for 11 days, and it looked like their offensive players spent all of that time reading press clippings about their undefeated start.
Oh wait, they also worked on creating their “Star Wars” offensive formation which moved a pair of offensive linemen out to the receiver position to block on pass plays.
I have a feeling Bengals’ offensive coordinator Hue Jackson came up with the unconventional idea to start the game in that formation just to impress MNF commentator Jon Gruden.
It worked, since Gruden did highlight the formation on the air.
It’s hard to believe the Bengals could be so complacent as to waste time on silly formations, the same Bengals who haven’t won a playoff game since January of 1991.
Even tight end Tyler Eifert, who some talking heads in the last few weeks were referring to as the next Rob Gronkowski, dropped three passes and whiffed on several blocks.
It will be interesting to see how the Bengals respond to their first loss.
Cincy (8-1) plays at Arizona (7-2) Sunday night in another prime-time game (uh-oh) and there’s a good chance the Bengals will have only a two-game lead over the Steelers (6-4) come Monday morning.
If you get a chance, make sure you check out “Before the League,” a six-part series currently airing on Time Warner Sports Channel (1311).
The series covers the era of pro football before the creation of the NFL when Ohio was the mecca of the sport.
“Before the League” is based on football history books written by NFL Films’ Chris Willis, who just happens to be a graduate of Urbana University.
Trivia Time – Woody Hayes succeeded Wes Fesler as Ohio State’s head football coach in 1951.
This week’s question – Where did Monday Night Football commentator Jon Gruden play college football?