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Published: Monday, December 18, 2017 @ 10:02 AM
— The Cincinnati Bengals limped into Minnesota yesterday and absorbed pretty much exactly the type of beating that was to be expected.
My main takeaway from this entirely forgettable game: Andy Dalton stunk again.
He set the tone for another blowout with a terrible pick-6 that was vintage Rookie Dalton (or perhaps worse) and ended up with a QB rating of 27.3.
RELATED: Bengals crushed by Vikings
In 14 games this season, he’s been pretty good in seven (if games against the Browns count) and below average or a lot worse in the other seven.
I don’t care about what type of support he is getting — there is no excuse for a veteran player being that inconsistent.
Anyway, of course the bigger news revolved around Marvin Lewis.
One way or another, it’s inconceivable he’ll be back as the Bengals coach in 2018.
I can’t imagine either side wanting this to continue.
Unless Mike Brown suddenly decided he hates selling tickets, he isn’t very likely to want Lewis back even if Lewis wants to return…
Jack Brennan, a former Bengals beat writer who more recently was the team’s PR director until retiring last year, has an interesting take on the Lewis situation.
He goes back farther than I expected to pinpoint the time it all starting going wrong for Lewis and the Bengals: A playoff loss to the Jets in January 2010.
I find that choice a little odd considering they ended up building a better overall team a few years later, but it is interesting insight from a true insider who confirms Lewis wasn’t tough enough on some key players.
I don’t doubt that winning that playoff game against an underwhelming Jets team would have changed some perceptions going forward. That might have helped them avoid so many disappointing performances later, but to me the biggest failure was the 2013 home playoff loss to the Chargers.
That was a total team loss, and with a better all-around team than the outfit playing with Carson Palmer, Dalton shrank to the occasion (three turnovers) in his first chance on a big stage at home.
Turns out that’s who he is, I guess, but I admit that’s hindsight.
Making a change then would have seemed pretty reactionary, but maybe it would have been the right move.
At any rate, there’s no doubt about what needs to happen now.
Recruiting: Early signing period coming to college football, ready or not https://t.co/Xf3WhYofLu— daytonsports (@daytonsports) December 18, 2017
Once the Bengals and Browns got done stinking up the early window of games, the Patriots and Steelers put on a great show of football for the late-afternoon crowd.
Then the NFL ruined it by applying it’s terrible catch rules again.
I figured out as the game was coming down to the wire I still dislike the Steelers more than the Patriots, but Pittsburgh clearly got a raw deal here. Not because the call was wrong —it was, by rule, correct — but because the rule is terrible.
Like many things in Roger Goodell’s NFL, the catch rule is idiotic, unnecessary and has no upside.
Former NFL official Mike Pereira has explained the catch rule was made overly complicated because they wanted to avoid too many fumbles immediately after catches, which is truly mystifying.
I guess I missed the great fumbles crisis gripping the league before the rules began being screwed with.
However many people a few more fumbles might bother, it’s certainly dwarfed by the number who feel their fan experienced is marred by seeing plays like that one in Pittsburgh overturned when any degree of common sense indicates that should have counted.
Before the Lewis reports consumed Sunday, the weekend went pretty well for just about any college basketball team anyone in Southwest Ohio might care about.
Dayton, Wright State, Miami, Ohio State, Xavier and Cincinnati all won.
For the Flyers, beating Georgia State 88-83 was not only key to keep the season from feeling like it might go off the rails but also because it had a lot of positive indicators.
Veterans Josh Cunningham and Darrell Davis led the way, combining for 51 points, while point guard John Crosby added 11 points and seven assists without a turnover.
In the last four games, Josh Cunningham has made 30 of 32 shots from the field. His field-goal percentage is 73.3 after 10 games. pic.twitter.com/EMACRogTic— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) December 17, 2017
That’s a pretty good baseline to start any Dayton game this season, and it sets the stage for one or more of the youngsters to provide the spark to get the Flyers over the top.
Saturday, that was Jordan Davis and Trey Landers.
Freshman Davis tallied 12 points while sophomore Landers added 10.
As expected, new coach Anthony Grant has a lot to work with, and watching how it fits together from night to night is pretty interesting.
Georgia State coach Ron Hunter said that was the best game Dayton has played this season, and I don’t think that was coach-speak.
RELATED: 5 takeaways from Dayton’s win
Next up is a big test: At St. Mary’s, the No. 39 team on KenPom as this week begins.
Dayton is No. 124.
This was the biggest shot in overtime: Jordan Davis extends lead to 4 with a 3. pic.twitter.com/36Dyoc9doO— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) December 17, 2017
Wright State won its third in a row, this one a 77-69 at Toledo.
Justin Mitchell led four Raiders in double figures, and WSU held the Rockets to 40.6-percent shooting from the floor (26 for 44).
The Raiders are one of three Horizon League teams with seven wins so far, joining Milwaukee and Northern Kentucky.
Then there is Ohio State.
Chris Holtmann’s crew is 48th in KenPom and an NCAA tournament bid seems realistic again after four straight wins.
They will probably get crushed by North Carolina on Saturday, but they can go back into Big Ten play with 11 wins if they beat The Citadel and Miami University in games that sandwich the showdown with the defending national champion-Tar Heels.
The RedHawks are 7-4 under first-year coach Jack Owens, a former Purdue assistant.
They blew out NAIA Division II Rio Grand on Sunday.Follow @marcushartman
Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 1:46 AM
OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland A's pitcher Sean Manaea threw the first no-hitter of the 2018 season Saturday, leading the Athletics to a 3-0 win over the Boston Red Sox.
According to The Associated Press, Manaea also made history by becoming "the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter against Boston in almost exactly 25 years." The last one, thrown by Seattle pitcher Chris Bosio, happened April 22, 1993.
"I didn't even think about it until I looked up in the seventh or eighth, and I was like, 'Oh my God, why is there still a zero on there?'" said Manaea, who struck out 10 batters, the AP reported.
Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:55 PM
DAYTON — All Dunbar needs to do is follow Jalani Allen’s lead in its quest to ring up yet another boys state track and field team championship.
That’s the Wolverines’ goal every spring season. The names change over the years, but the goal always remains the same.
“We hope to go for back-to-back (state championships),” said Allen during the 68th annual Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays at Welcome Stadium on Friday. “That’s certainly the goal. It’s very exciting when it gets around to this time of the year. This will be one (team) to watch.”
Allen did his part as a member of four winning relays.
Dunbar (77 points) won six events and captured the boys team title. Thomas Worthington (53) was second and Miamisburg (51) third.
Thomas Worthington edged Lima Senior 65-61 to win the girls team title. Chaminade Julienne (54) was third.
Only the field events – minus the discus – were individually scored. Reconstruction of the adjoining University of Dayton Arena parking lot has eliminated the discus area.
Allen ran on the winning 440 shuttle hurdles relay (1:02.91) and also helped Dunbar sweep the 4x100-meter (42.70), 4x200 (1:29.19) and 4x400 (3:28.46) relays.
Dunbar’s boys also were first in the 800 sprint medley relay (1:34.48) and 1,600 sprint medley relay (3:44.17).
Allen was among the Wolverines’ leaders in winning the 2017 outdoor state track title and adding another combined Divisions II-III indoor state title in February. That’s the kind of all-around talent that enabled Allen to sign with Malone University, where he’ll play football and run track.
“It felt like the wait was over,” he said when signing with the Canton-area NCAA Division II program. “All the searching and stressing was over. I’m just ready to graduate and get going.”
Also headed to Malone to play football and run track is Springfield hurdler Dyier Smith, although he’s sitting out this season.
Springfield senior Quincy Scott won the long jump (22 feet, 7.50 inches) in a great showdown against Zamir Youngblood of Dunbar (22-1).
Other area boys firsts were posted by Miamisburg teammates Jason Hubbard and Tyler Johnson in the high jump (6-0), Covington’s Jett Murphy in the pole vault (14-0) and Springfield Isaiah Gibson in the shot put (46-7.50).
Area girls winners were Covington in the 3,200 relay (10:21.74), Dunbar’s 1,600 sprint medley relay (4:31.00), Miamisburg’s RaMya Woodward in the high jump (5-4), Beavercreek’s Eileen Yang in the pole vault (12-0) and Lauren Christian of Covington in the shot put (40-3.25).
• Beavercreek swept the boys (191 points) and girls (175) team titles in Thursday’s Greene County track and field championships at Xenia. Bellbrook was runner-up in both.
Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:10 PM
Updated: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:44 PM
DAYTON — It didn’t take long for Springfield High School junior Austin Tyree to establish himself among the state’s best hurdlers this spring. His personal best times of 39.04 in the 300-meter hurdles and 15.05 in the 110 highs shot him high on the Division I state leader board.
That kind of breakout season is just what Tyree had envisioned.
“Being a part of such a great team, I wanted to be a part of that special group of great athletes who come from Springfield,” Tyree said during Friday’s 68th annual Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays at Welcome Stadium. “It’s been a pretty exciting season so far.”
Only the field events – minus the discus – were individually scored.
Springfield senior teammate Quincy Scott won the long jump (22 feet, 7.50 inches) in a great showdown against Zamir Youngblood of Dunbar (22-1).
Springfield junior Isaiah Gibson added another first in the shot put (46-7.50) and senior Austin Garza was fourth (40-7).
Tyree and Scott also were on the runner-up boys 4x100-meter relay (43.22), as were Mike Brown and Jacob Yost. The Wildcats’ 4x200 relay was third (1:37.67).
Junior Tiffany Moss paced Springfield’s girls with a third in the long jump (15-11.75). She also ran on the fourth-place shuttle hurdle relay (1:09.91).
Dunbar (77 points) captured the boys team title. Thomas Worthington (53) was second and Miamisburg (51) third. Springfield (41) was sixth.
Thomas Worthington edged Lima Senior 65-61 to win the girls team title. Chaminade Julienne (54) was third. Springfield (19) was 11th.
Tyree has taken over for Springfield hurdler Dyier Smith, who is not running as a senior but intends on playing football and running track at Malone University in Canton.
Tyree excelled for the Dayton Wolverines AAU summer track and field team last year and even ran cross country – with the Springfield Courage – to be better prepared for this track season.
Even the extended winter-like weather couldn’t prevent Tyree from advancing in his specialties. At least four of Springfield’s meets have been canceled.
“Last year I didn’t even get out of district,” he said. “I worked harder this summer and fall with a goal of potentially reaching (37 seconds) in the (300 hurdles). I’m working on that now. Having a successful start is exciting because my goals are up there.”
Another Wildcats junior, Mike Brown, owns a best high jump of 6-4 and cleared 6-6 last season.
Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 5:54 AM
INDIANAPOLIS — Basketball superstar LeBron James has made a habit of buying his teammates gifts during the NBA playoffs.
Previous gifts have included Beats by Dre headphones, Apple watches, Samsung Edge phones and even personalized shields. This year, James wanted his teammates to look sharp when they arrived for Game 3 of the Cavaliers’ first-round series, which shifted to Indianapolis on Friday. So, he bought matching suits for all 15 players, ESPN reported.
The Cavaliers arrived at Bankers Life Fieldhouse wearing gray suits, a white oxford shirt, a gray tie and a gray cashmere cardigan sweater, ESPN reported. Players also received black leather boots, overcoats and bags.