Heading into the 2011 season, no one in the national media gave the Cincinnati Bengals a chance at contending. After yesterday's 27-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts moved the Bengals to 4-2, some members of the media are starting to reconsider their stance.
Sports Illustrated columnist Don Banks wrote yesterday:
"With the possible exception of the last-place and going nowhere Rams, there's no team I misjudged more than the Bengals. That would be the 4-2 Bengals, who have already matched their season win total from all of 2010. I had Cincinnati being the worst team in the NFL this season, but I was misinformed."
Banks predicted the Bengals would manage only three wins this season. Thus far, like many others, he has been very impressed with Andy Dalton's performance and the Bengals' newfound team unity.
This morning, Mike Greenberg of ESPN's "Mike & Mike" radio show also repented from his prediction that the Bengals would go 0-16 this season. "Some idiot on the radio predicted this team wouldn't win a game this season," Greenberg admitted in humility.
NBC's Peter King wrote this morning actually praising Bengals owner and general manager Mike Brown for his "patience" in the draft last season. Additionally, the post-game shows yesterday were uniform in their praise for Dalton, AJ Green, and Marvin Lewis. CBS showed a clip from Marvin Lewis' post-game address to the team in which he praised them and exhorted them to "stick together." Of course, former Bengal great Boomer Esiason was quick to add his praise to the chorus.
We're still awaiting the most egregious preseason doubter, SI's Rick Reilly, to come clean. Reilly not only predicted the Bengals would go 0-16, but that Andy Dalton "was likely to end up in the ICU" and called Mike Brown a "horrible boss" while sympathizing with Carson Palmer walking out on his contract. Reilly has never been one to retract ridiculous statements, so we'll grab a Snickers and wait for him to give Andy Dalton and his teammates their due.
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