Hobson's Choice: wallowing in 5-0

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Hue Jackson says Jeremy Hill is going to have his day.

Geoff, Bengals Fan since birth (theirs not mine). I'm as excited as everyone else for the 5-0 start, but, keeping it in perspective, the opposition so far has 8 wins in 25 games. I think our boys have the talent to beat anyone in the NFL but there are not many laurels to rest on at this point. Do you think they are truly worthy of third place in the NFL power rankings? Richard Gorenflo, Nevada, OH

RICHARD: You sound like Marvin. I would say this, though. The guys don't seem as infatuated with themselves as other Marvin teams have been when they get hot. And they're waiting for January, too.

But, look, they play in the best division in football and I don't care what Pittsburgh and Baltimore look like. Any time you get up in the AFC North, you've done something right and is a top five feat. I hate to pump out the clichés, but I think they apply here. Winning five straight in the NFL is tough against anybody.

And when the season started, didn't they have the second toughest sked?

Plus, the way they've done it is top three worthy. They've won on the West Coast, they pulled off two 80-yard drives in the second toughest place to win in the league (Baltimore) in the last seven minutes, and they scored 17 points in less than a quarter on the league's toughest defense over the previous two seasons. And ask Pittsburgh how easy San Diego is.

I hear you. You're exactly right. It's early. You're a birther. You've been through the December dives in '89, '03, and 06, and the last four Januarys. But I don't think it's been a fraudulent start. That second-ranked offense is pretty legit when it comes to power rankings.

Hey Hobson, it's been a while. And I just want say one thing. WHODEYY! I was so happy about the win and also all of the other Bengals fans. My question is about the starting spot of Jeremy Hill, it kinda puzzles me that Goo gets more carries (not anything againts him, he is a GREAT running back) but I want Hill to have more carries a game. Hue keeps saying that he is the starter and he only gets like 5-14 Times a game(more or less) I'm just estimating) but what's your intake on this. Thanks and WHODEY! Drew Zimmerer, Middletown, OH

ZIM: Hue says not to worry. Hill will have his day. Since he's calling the plays, I have to believe him.

If we're buying into the diversity of the offense, and I think at 30 points per game you have to, there are days looming when the offense is going to need Hill to pound it 20-25 times. But they've proving they can win a variety of ways and that should make the running game more effective in December and January. Hue says they'll do whatever it takes to win and the ratio of carries by Bernard and Hill proves it. He also says the carries are going to "flip."

A 5-0 Who Dey to you, Geoff!!! The best part about our record is that we still have room for plenty of improvement between our offensive run game and LB and secondary play. My question is, what are your thoughts on the Linebacker play?

I have seen flashes of brilliance from the Rey's at times but what's keeping Paul Dawson on the bench? LBs are out there missing tackles - why not let Dawson get some experience? Also, do you think that the yardage we have given up to the Alex Smiths & Steve Smiths of the world can be attributed to scheme or bad angles and tackling? Beau Christopher, Los Angeles, CA

BEAU: The linebackers are running on fumes with Vontaze Burfict on PUP and Chris Carter apparently now only a rusher. In fact, Carter as well as Dawson, took no snaps on defense last Sunday, so Vincent Rey (all of the snaps on Sunday) and Rey Maualuga (70 percent on Sunday) are playing more snaps than you'd like. Those guys are solid players, but the ideal plan isn't for them to be on the field so much.

But give some credit here. They're playing with great effort while they're being asked to do more and according to profootballfocus.com, the backers have missed just one tackle in each of the last two games. Rey and Rey are the ultimate gamers.

At some point you have to figure if Dawson is the guy they think he is, he's going to play more. Apparently they don't think he's there yet. (By the way, thanks for the all Burfict questions, but I'm done opining on when I think he'll be back and how his rehab is going. There doesn't seem to be an answer and that just gets people mad.)

No question that Steve Smith's 50-yard touchdown play was because of a lack of tackling, but the big concern about the defense is how prone it has been in giving up big plays that have nothing to do with tackling. There simply weren't people there.

They're tied for third in the NFL for giving up the most plays of at least 40 yards and two TDs at home, a 40-yarder to Chargers wide receiver Michael Floyd, and a 30-yarder to Seattle wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, were blown coverages and Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls' 69-yard touchdown run came on a simple cut-back with no one there. I believe I'm correct in saying through 5 weeks, the Bengals have not made a single roster move including the practice squad. Is there another NFL team that has not made a roster move of any type so far? Jeff Martin, Mason, OH

JEFF: You are correct, sir. After perusing all teams' transactions on spotrac.com, the Bengals are the only team that has yet to switch up their active roster and/or practice squad.

Hey Geoff! Been to a lot of games...not nearly as many as you...but I don't think I've ever heard the Jungle rockin' like it was down the stretch in the Seahawk game. We were seated in the upper deck and could actually feel the stadium shaking at key points in the 4th quarter and overtime. Is that the loudest you have heard it? Do you think it really had much of an impact on a Seahawk team that is used to crazy amounts of noise? Kevin Beavon, Dayton, OH

KEVIN: No question it was rollicking. I'd put it right there with the 2007 Monday night opener against the Ravens and when Carson Palmer hit Andre Caldwell from four yards out with 14 seconds left to give them a 23-20 win over the Steelers on Sept. 27, 2009 that ignited the AFC North sweep. That was another fourth-quarter comeback against a team off a Super Bowl appearance, this one from 20-9 with Palmer leading TD drives of 85 and 71 in the fourth quarter.

I think the crowd had a significant impact on a Seattle offense that went 1-for-6 on third down in the fourth quarter and OT. It made it extremely tough on an inexperienced offensive line. And that supersonic Seattle roar is usually hushed when Russell Wilson has the ball.  

Hey Geoff, in my ten years as a Bengals fan I don't think I've ever seen them comeback from so much on that good of a team, have you? Was wondering, do you think the defensive line depth, or our healthy weapons on offense is the bigger key in our first five games? Obviously having a healthy team in general is going to be huge but, in the eyes of Marvin Lewis, who do you think he's most thank to have back? Andrew Todd, Medford, OR

ANDREW: You're right about the two things that have really marked this start. But I don't think you can say one is more important than the other. If they didn't have 9.5 yards per pass and 15 sacks together, they wouldn't be 5-0.

It's an interesting time here in Columbus, which is 85% Buckeyes/Browns country, with all the recent success. Not just this year's 5-0 start. The playoffs can't come soon enough. With that being said, my question goes well beyond the playoffs. I hate to ask it because I know the answer. But, is there any way the Bengals can keep Hue Jackson after this year? Any way at all!?!? He'll deserve whatever offers come his way just as much as he didn't deserve to lose the job in Oakland. But, man.....Joel Nelson, Columbus, OH

JOEL: Talk about the Patriots. How about the Hue Jackson Revenge Tour? Oakland, where he never should have been fired after 2011, and Buffalo, where he should have been hired in 2015.  And I imagine he'll be in demand a lot more than he was last offseason.

 Hi Geoff I've been a optimistic Bengals can for years, good and bad. This team feels different and it's great to see. Even the critics are taking notice. My question is if you know if there are talks in signing Adam Jones to an extension? Dalton had been doing great and is definitely the team leader, as a Dalton defender, it's great to see. Adam Jones is a great leader for the defense. He helped pull them together with that "don't give up" attitude that they needed at the end of that Seattle game. He is a great asset for our defense especially with the absence of Burfict and would love to see him as a Bengal for at least a couple more years. Aaron Pangallo, Las Vegas, NV

AARON: Adam Jones is having a great season and I imagine both sides would like to get something done, but it's not going to happen now. The earliest something might get done is December but they have until early March when free agency starts. He likes it here, they like him, so you figure it can work. I guess the only question is if they're going to have the same figure in mind for a 32-year-old corner that is playing like he's 26 and says he feels like he's 28.

 

Marvin Lewis Community Fund host Hometown Huddle event at William Howard Taft Elementary School in Cincinnati, OH. 10/13/2015

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