Heard it Here First, Change is Coming

Bengals fans, get ready: 2018 will bring a new head coach to Cincinnati AND a new starting quarterback.

I’m just telling you this now to get you ready. No, I am not from the future, but the pieces have been set on the board and the duo of Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton are in check.

The last offseason brought two dynamic playmakers to Cincinnati on the offensive side of the ball and two pass rushers on the defensive side, all via the Draft. It also saw the two most impactful offensive linemen in orange and black leave. It is currently labeled an overreaction, but in the coming weeks it will become clear, Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler going to different teams was the most important thing to happen to the Bengals in 2017. Important because it set them up for a much needed regime change.

“Well, didn’t the front office foresee this? Why didn’t they have a contingency plan?” you may ask. That is where my theory begins.

Knowing Mike Brown was comfortable with the current regime and would not make a change without overwhelming evidence (as proven by Marvin Lewis not being fired after a disappointing 2016 season), Katie Blackburn got her friend Duke Tobin together and hatched a plan.

The two stalwarts on the Bengals’ offensive line were coming to the end of their contracts. Zeitler was going to command a hefty pay raise, one the Bengals were not going to give due to their philosophy of not paying guards lucrative money. Whitworth, on the other hand, was a fan favorite and the unquestioned leader of the offensive line at left tackle. He was moving into the twilight of his career, though, meaning a lowball-type offer could be explained.

So, the front office moved to offer Whit a contract they knew he would turn down and failed to make a better offer once the Rams moved in to sign. They also neglected to even put forth an offer to Zeitler, letting both go. Duke Tobin proceeded to assure anyone wary of the situation that the necessary replacements were in-house, advising that the team, instead, focus on upgrading the skill positions.

They did not set the team up to fail, but they chose the path with success being the least likely outcome.

AJ Green, Tyler Eifert, Brandon LaFell, Tyler Boyd, and John Ross are all dynamic players…when they have the ball in their hands. AJ runs some of the best routes, and is able shake off any cornerback, in the game…but it doesn’t matter if Andy is on the ground in the backfield with the ball still in his hands. “But Andy had the quickest release in the NFL last year!” you argue. Let me show you something, per Pro Football Focus.

Andy is a bottom-half of the league ranked quarterback under pressure. His average QB rating of 91.8 last year fell to 57.1 while under pressure. Last season the o-line, with Whit and Zeitler, allowed the sixth-fewest amount of plays in which Dalton was under pressure. He was sacked on 22% of those plays, however, which is the worst percentage in the league. That’s with an average offensive line covering for him. If you ask any NFL “expert” you will find that the Bengals have one of the worst rated offensive lines in the league. The amount of plays Andy is under pressure will go up, meaning his effectiveness will stay down.

Dalton will have his worst season in five years and he replaced.

Now they are athletes, after all, and they can improve. The game isn’t played on paper. Any given Sunday…blah, blah, blah. These Bengals were built so that the most likely outcome would be a 4-5 win season and a regime change.

Tell me I’m wrong until you are blue in the face, but I will defend this theory until I am proven wrong.

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Disappointment

Let me qualify what I am about to say with this: I love queso and I enjoy Chipotle. The taste of that cilantro-rice with their fresh meat and really good salsa just works together really well. And queso…well…c’mon. There is no better dip for your chip.

I mean, a jar of Tostitos queso and whatever tortilla chips there are in the house is my number one pick for a Saturday or Sunday of football. Tastes amazing, and cleanup is just tossing stuff in the fridge (if there is some left) or the trash. The easy cleanup has it just ahead of Velveeta&Rotel, to me, because you have to make that queso, meaning there is a pot to clean.

Heck, in a pinch, melting some cheese on top of your chips is a solid play.

Heres where my posture turns.

Chipotle made queso. The one thing their menu lacked. My friends and I have always agreed, should Chipotle make queso, world domination would not be far behind for the Tex-mex giant. Chipotle becoming a hotbed for killer foodborn disease notwithstanding, the restaurant has actually blundered with their installment of the cheesy delight.

It sucks. I really don’t know how else to describe it. Chipotle got caught up in some glory battle over fresh ingredients or something and made a not-so-good-tasting product. By itself on a tortilla chip, it actually tasted more like cheddar potato soup. I was incredulous. All they had to do was take some of their delicious salsa and some of their fresh cheese and combine the two. Whatever they did instead of that created something more confusing than auto insurance fine print. Once combined with a burrito, taco, whatever you get at Chipotle, it completely disappears. I got it on my bowl and couldn’t tell it was there. Thinking I was losing it, I grabbed a chip, scooped some queso, and added some rice from the bowl (and only rice) and I was unable to tasks the queso of which I had a good bit of on the chip.

Starting at $1.25 to add it to your burrito, it’s a bit costly. By this line in the blog I’m sure you are thinking “Okay, maybe you’re overreacting? Is it possible you hyped it up too much and were betrayed by your own expectations?” The answer is no. Not at all. This stuff sucks. Don’t waste your money on it.

Bottom line, if you want queso on your Chipotle, do this. Go to Kroger, buy some Tostitos queso, then go to Chipotle and order your stuff. Then combine. Don’t waste your money or time with Chipotle not-queso.