Michael D Karos Jr John H Kirk Janet R Meyer Patsy A Clark Dorothy J Schroeder Broncos trample the G-Men, 73-40 Rockets down the Devils, 59-55 Seven new inductees to enter WBHS Sports Hall of Fame Lady Warriors ascend to 13-1 Broncos finish 2nd of 22 teams in Hammer and Anvil Invitational Hedwig Lambert Billie G Walkup Some county offices may be moved G’town Council approves 2017 budget Family doubles in size with adoption Sardinia Mayor looks forward to 2017 2017 Fayetteville Firemen’s Festival set Floyd Newberry Jr Donna F Lang Gene Warren Dwight L Fulton Virginia A O’Neil Anne L Durbin-Thomas Marietta Dunn Charles L Latchford Broncos win ‘Battle of 32’ Lady Broncos claim win over Bethel-Tate Jays top Warriors, fall to Mustangs Lady Warriors claim top spot in SHAC with win over Lynchburg-Clay Broncos buck the Lions, 54-51 James N DeHaas Questions still linger in Stuart explosion New direction for Brittany Stykes case New public safety director now on duty in Brown Co. Fayetteville Mayor anticipates a good year for the village Chamber of Commerce announces awardees Robert Bechdolt Carl E Lindsey Audrey F Maher LeJeune Howser Tammy L Connor Henry C Mayhall Jr Chad Spilker Frank W Kemmeter Jr Wanda J Howard Dorothy Huff Colon C Malott Eastern varsity teams come out on top to capture Brown County Holiday Classic crowns WBHS Army JROTC hosts rifle shooting competition Bronco varsity wrestling team unbeaten at 8-0 Blue Jays finish 1-1 in Ripley Pepsi Classic Mona G Van Vooren Hiram Beardsworth Avery W McCleese Ethel E Long Children learn safety from ‘Officer Phil’ Microchips can help locate lost pets Local GOP plans trip to Washington Three sentenced in common pleas Estel Earhart Roy Stewart Tenacious ‘D’ leads Lady Jays to victory over Blanchester on day one of Ripley Pepsi Classic Fayetteville’s Thompson, Jester earn SWOFCA All-City honors Jays fall to Blanchester on first day of Pepsi Classic Ticket details announced for OHSAA basketball and wrestling state tournaments Jerri K McKenzie Randy D Vaughn Georgetown JR/SR high to have new library Georgetown saw many improvements in 2016 Three sentenced in common pleas court Esther O Brown G-Men go on scoring rampage for 77-41 win over Cardinals Warriors climb to 4-2 with wins over West Union, Lynchburg Rockets top Whiteoak for first win Shirley M Bray Carter Lumber closes in G’town Wenstrup looks forward to 2017 Seven indicted by county grand jury John Ruthven holds pre-Christmas Open House New pet boarding facility now open in Georgetown Denver W Emmons Carl W Liebig Mary L McKinley Blake C Roush Louis A Koewler William D Cornetet Western Brown dedicates Perry Ogden Court Lady Warrior win streak hits 5 Lady Rockets wrap up tough week on the hardwood Barons rally for win over Broncos Georgetown to hire two paid Firefighter/EMT’s Noble receives statewide law enforcement award County helps family in need after house fire Flashing signs banned in G’town historic district ‘Christmas Extravaganza’ at Gaslight Thelma L Ernst Roy L Bruce Ken Leimberger Cathye J Bunthoff Lending a holiday helping hand

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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2016 News Democrat