Rita Tarvin Rocket win streak reaches five G-Men ascend to 4-0 in SBAAC National Division with win at Williamsburg Jays soar to 3-1 with win at North Adams Young Lady Jays improving as season progresses Mary J Yockey Callie J Maynard Windle Blanton Daisy D Nevels RULH HS students visit Jungle Jims Aberdeen Council has busy end of the year River Village Christmas celebration begins SR 41 now open Gast’s three-point shower drowns the Tigers Lady Rockets capture wins over Ripley, Batavia Keplinger signs with Shawnee State Warriors down the Devils, fall to the Greyhounds Broncos edge out Williamsburg, 53-50 Carol S Newman John E Short RULH Elementary names ‘Go Green’ Students RE/MAX Local Experts opens in Williamsburg RULH wraps up ‘No Shave November’ fundraiser Eleven indicted by Brown County Grand Jury Donald C Vance John C Morris Rebecca E Simpson Hot start sets pace for Broncos’ 85-40 win over CNE G-Men get off to 1-1 start Lady Rockets start off season with tough string of road games Basketball Special: 2017-18 Katherine J Wolfe Virginia J Germann Rev Commadora Manning Mona K Kirker Ohio Rural Heritage Association donates to Food Pantry RULH FCCLA attends meeting in D.C. RULH MS students try ‘Tabletop Twitter’ Ripley Village Christmas update Bonita Planck Carol J Wagner Christopher O Richey Sr Five new members to enter WBHS Athletic Hall of Fame Blue Jays ready to soar under Woodward Fischer named to OPSWA All-Ohio First Team of football all-stars High school girls’ hoop action kicks off in Brown County Formation of new joint Fire & EMS District discussed RULH students learn about ‘Global Food’ Personal financial management class at RULH High School Dale G Ferriel John E Slack Nicholas A Arthur Bonnie J Roush Charles E Faul Phyllis A Mills Carl L Watson Marc W Bolce Robert R Moore Robert K King June R Williams William T Ishmael Sr Deborah J Napier High school hoop action begins Fayetteville SAY Girls Wing Soccer Team finishes season among state’s Final Four Devils visit Georgetown for OHSAA Foundation Games Grandfather charged in boy’s death ‘Real Money’ at RULH Middle School Ripley High School celebrates Veterans Day Reward increases for information leading to conviction in Stykes’ murder Ripley Village Christmas update Kenneth M McKinley Vilvens signs with Mount St. Joseph SBAAC awards girls tennis all-stars Layman inducted into Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame SBAAC hands out awards to First Team girls’ soccer all-stars John D Marks Aberdeen Police Department receives ‘Shop With a Cop’ donation Benefit to take place Nov. 17 for Grace Copple St. Michael students take part in Community Soup Supper Voters return Worley to the bench Ruby A Ratliff Donna J Moore Stella M Glasscock Ellen L Gelter Alverda T Guillermin Justin N Beach EHS dedicates ‘Kiser Court’ SBAAC awards First Team football all-stars, winning teams Sizer earns SBAAC American Division Volleyball Player of Year honors for 3rd straight year Broncos to host Blue Jays for OHSAA ‘Jimmy Young’ Foundation Game, Nov. 17 Vern W Kidd Jr Brown County Election Results – 2017 Michael D Hines Raymond W Napier Leslie E Boyle Gary L Barber RULH NHS welcomes new inductees K-9 Units and handlers visit RULH High School EMS members honored for service Road work on Ripley streets to begin

Bengals’ skid only mildly concerning

Put down the pitchforks, Bengals fans. Extinguish the torches and postpone the riot. The Bengals may have lost their second straight game on a last-second field goal by the Arizona Cardinals Sunday night, but by no means is it time to start jumping ship.

There’s no point in mincing words: the Bengals, specifically the secondary, looked terrible for most of the game against the Cardinals. Carson Palmer threw interceptions on two of his first five throws, then looked like an MVP for the majority of the next three quarters.

You can blame the referees as much as you want, but the refs can’t cover the Cardinals’ wide receivers, nor can they keep defensive backs healthy and on the field.

Already without Adam Jones due to injury, the Bengals’ secondary took hit after hit when Dre Kirkpatrick, Darqueze Dennard and Reggie Nelson all left the game at various points with various ailments. It got so bad that sixth-round draft pick Derron Smith saw a pair of snaps on the field, and I had no idea he was even still on the team, let alone the active roster. (Apparently, not only is he still on the team, he’s been active every week. Who knew?) In addition, Chris Lewis-Harris played three snaps at corner and rookie Josh Shaw was on the field for 30 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. There is no earthly way that was in the game-plan.

Regardless, it’s hard for the defense to make stops when the secondary’s attempt at covering wide receivers was so poor at times it made Bruce Willis’ cover of “Respect Yourself” look respectful.

That said, is there any reason to panic over a three-point loss to a good team on the road? I don’t think so, but that doesn’t mean the team can just sit back and assume things will get better. The squad has to cut down on penalties, including the one tackle Domata Peko was called for right at the end of the game. Peko, according to the referees, was simulating the snap count in an effort to get the offensive line to jump offside. Marvin Lewis, for his part, said it was a “phantom” call and that Peko was preparing his defense for the run. Which, you know, the Cardinals would totally be getting ready to do with no timeouts in the fourth quarter of a tie game as the clock wound down close to zero.

To be honest, I think most of the fans’ issue with this loss can be traced back to Monday night and the team’s performance against the Houston Texans. They were awful, there’s no way around that. The only silver lining was the defense, but the offense absolutely had to step up. They did, but the Cardinals were just the better team.

Even the loss to the Texans, while awful, doesn’t mean all that much in the long run. Every team who has won the Super Bowl has a bad loss.

The league is simply too good for teams to be perfect every week. The New York Giants took the 2011 title even though they lost two games to a 6-10 Washington team. In 2012, the Baltimore Ravens took the title, but the 4-12 Philadelphia Eagles took home a week two victory. In 2013, the Seattle Seahawks had three losses, but all three came to teams who would finish the season with at least 10 victories. One year later, however, the New England Patriots got blasted by Kansas City 41-14. It happens to every team.

By no means am I saying that the Bengals are going to win the Super Bowl, although they have just as good a chance as any other team this year.

The Bengals’ season, like it or not, will be defined by what they do in the postseason. If Andy Dalton and the rest of the team can’t win a playoff game, nobody is going to care about the mid-season loss to the Texans. It’ll be forgotten, like how well the team played during the 8-0 start to this season will be if the team falls in the playoffs.

It’ll be an interesting few weeks to end the season for the Bengals, that is certain, then again football season around here is always interesting, one way or another. Given how poorly the Cincinnati Bearcats played against South Florida Friday, maybe it’s a good thing basketball season has finally tipped off.

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By Garth Shanklin

gshanklin@civitasmedia.com

Reach Garth Shanklin at 937-378-6161 or follow him on Twitter @GNDShanklin.

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