In what is apparently becoming an annual tradition, we've done another playoff preview Q&A with the incomparable Steph Stradley of the Houston Chronicle blog TexansChick. You can find the link here, and a little taste below:
Without question, the Bengals are stronger on the defensive side of the ball. That will probably remain the case as long as DC Mike Zimmer, for reasons unclear to me, continues to not get head coaching offers from the rest of the NFL.
In particular, the Bengals are strong on the defensive line. That is something I have never been able to say as a fan until these last few years. And I have never been able to say that because Geno Atkins did not play on the Bengals. But he does now. And it is glorious.
Go read the whole thing.
Also, for an incredibly in depth diagnosis of the current state of the Texans, definitely read Steph's piece "My Unified Theory of the 2012 Texans and the Meaning of Life". You get sophisticated footbaw analysis AND the meaning of life in one post! Why are you not reading that right now?!
Last, as I haven't posted in some time, I'll throw out a few thoughts on the 2012 Bengals season.
In our season preview for KSK we said there were actually reasons for hope, and for the most part that ended up being correct. I think there's a ceiling to that hope come the playoffs, but hey, anything can happen I suppose. If we're talking hope, then looking to the two Giants Superbowl runs is the likely model where a nasty defensive line led the way. That model also supposes Andy Dalton has Eli Manning upside. I'll just leave that thought there.
More importantly, as the unofficial watchdog of the Bengals franchise, WDR is pleased to see the team be able to finally sustain success for more than one year. It's an open question if that sustained success is 1) a function of the recent marginal but significant organizational changes within the Bengals that has led to a better a process, or 2) if the process is still broken and we have just mostly lucked into a nice stretch that is unsustainable. Likely, it's a little of both and the organization is slowly repairing what was a broken process under Mike Brown for 20 years.
At any rate, our hats are off to the Bengals in 2012. They resurrected a faltering season and are playing defense at a level I have never seen a Bengals team play in my lifetime. I only hope the franchise continues their modernization and builds off the foundation they have laid the past few years. Only time will tell.