In a very close game following the bye week, the Bengals managed to pull out a huge victory against the Steelers to improve their record to 6-4. This win puts the Bengals in a current Wildcard spot and keeps the Bengals hopes for winning the AFC North alive as well. I am more than happy to not play against the Steelers for another season, as T.J. Watt and the rest of the roster are truly better than their 3-7 record.
· Germaine Pratt had a magnificent game yet again, as our linebacker had 8 total tackles and was a force for all four quarters. I feel as if his play has been taken for granted this season.
· Samaje Perine…What a game! As Mixon left the game early, Perine filled in quite well and had three receiving touchdowns, along with 83 total offensive yards.
· Tee Higgins proved that he can be a Wide Receiver 1 when needed. Tee ended the game with 9 grabs and nearly 150 receiving yards.
· While the defense played fairly bad in the first half, they came to play coming out of the half and forced many 3 and outs. Field position was a huge reason Cincinnati came out of this game victorious.
· Drue Chrisman should hold onto the punter position after a great first start of his NFL career. Drue did a fantastic job holding the ball and had 3 very solid punts.
· Ja’Marr Chase is out of his crutches and is hopefully suiting up next up week. As long as he is truly ready to return, this might be the biggest positive of all (Outside of beating the Steelers, that will never get old).
· Joe Burrow, I don’t need to dive into detail.
· Tyler Boyd came up clutch in the second half, after having a very quiet first half. His veteran presence is huge for this team week in and week out.
· Cincinnati gave up 30 points and their depth and skills at the corner position is something to be concerned about. Awuzie being out for the season is a huge loss and we were able to see this against Pittsburgh.
· Penalties were an issue in this game, although a few didn’t happen to go the Bengals way. Before the game, Cincinnati led the league in the least amount of yards given up per game with penalties. This wasn’t the case on Sunday, as the yellow flags were flying.
· The Ravens beat the Panthers….Yes, it is a little early in the year to scoreboard watch, but with our tough schedule, we need the Ravens to drop a couple games that they are not expected to.
· Kyle Farmer, Reds utility man and fan favorite, has been traded to the Twins. The Reds also traded for Kevin Newman, shortstop from Pittsburgh. While it always hurts to lose fan favorites,
Newman is roughly 3 million dollars cheaper and had a better batting average, on-base percentage, and strikeout percentage than Kyle Farmer.
· The Reds did not tender contracts for Aristides Aquino, Jeff Hoffman, Art Warren, and many other known names in the clubhouse.
Corky Miller joins Matt’s Take
When I think of Corky Miller, I think of the “Fu Manchu,” the long hair, and his elite mentorship. Corky is a Cincinnati fan favorite, as he spent a lot of his career with the Reds organization. Corky also played for the Twins, Red Sox, Braves, and White Sox as well. Outside of playing in the big leagues, Corky spent ten seasons with the Louisville Bats and is the all-time leader in games played with the Bats. Outside of his playing career, Corky has spent time on the coaching staff with the Dayton Dragons, as well as a coaching instructor within the entire Reds organization. Corky’s elite mentorship and love for the game of baseball has made a great impact on the Reds community and his knowledge of the catching position, as well as his love for the game of baseball continues to pass on to the “youngsters” within the organization.
Q: September 4, 2001…What do you remember from your Reds debut?
A: “It was amazing. My Dad, Aunt, and Uncle came to Louisville for the first time since I started professionally. I was excited to play in front of them for the first time since 1998 back in college. I was told by Dave Miley, our AAA manager, that I was going to the big leagues. My first thought was, ‘dang,’ my family came out to see me play and now I’m going to leave. Fortunately, the Reds were at home and they got to drive up with me to Cincinnati. Getting into my first game was surreal, as it was the first time I was truly nervous to play. It is also something no one can ever take away.”
Q: What was your favorite moment as a Cincinnati Red?
A: “Lots of favorite memories, but probably the Jay Bruce walk-off homerun to clinch a spot in the playoffs.”
Q: When do you expect the Reds to truly be contenders again?
A: “We have a lot of great young players coming up including both drafted guys and guys that we got in trades the past couple years. We are always looking to contend, but it’s a matter of how these kids mature and progress in the next couple years.”
Q: As you have coached the Dayton Dragons, what player has impressed you the most during your time in Dayton?
A: “Obviously guys like Hunter Greene and Elly De La Cruz stand out.”
Q: Do you see Tyler Stephenson as a catcher for his entire career or eventually moving towards a different position?
A: “Tyler will be able to catch as long as he is able, but his offense gives him the ability to move to a different role if there was a need for that… Need being age, injury, or an up-and-coming catcher.” Matt’s Take is Presented by BetFred Sportsbook