For as much as Michigan and Ohio hate each other I find it funny that they are the two states that have failed the most spectacularly at professional football, and the only states that have gone 0-16. But what about the Bengals, you ask? The Bengals are in Ohio, you claim. Nah, Cincy is just northern Kentucky let’s not pretend otherwise.

But man, the Bengals finally did it. I didn’t think they’d go 0-16, but I was starting to get worried. When they benched Dalton and looked even worse it felt plausible, even possible. New coach in way over his head, abysmally injured team that didn’t appear to be trying that hard, zero depth…the ingredients were there. It was happening. Then the Jets happened. Fucking Jets.

I’m curious how Bengals fans are feeling about all this. Obviously it’s been a disaster this season, but a bit of a calculated one. Maybe not as openly calculated as the suddenly semi-decent Dolphins or the Hue Jackson Browns but this terrible season hasn’t been without some sort of intention behind it. At least once the early losses piled up. The team felt like they were trying to win the first few games. Then the Dolphins won a game and the Bengals decided that was it!

I feel bad for a lot of the people involved. Andy Dalton is going to be somewhere else at the end of this year and it will be weird. Andy Dalton has never been the best player ever and has essentially become a meme for the point where QBs become bad (the “Dalton Line”). but he’s also seemed like a genuinely nice guy who has been utterly professional in his many seasons as a punching bag playing for a punching bag team. In fact it was kind of a shock when he got benched and spoke out about how irritated he was that the team kind of screwed him over by waiting until the trade deadline happened to do it. He had a point, too. If the Bengals weren’t trying to win and don’t plan on keeping Dalton around, why not trade him? Why not let the guy find a place where he could play? Why not get something in return for what you consider a lost asset? I bet he’d have been an upgrade in Chicago. Now he’s doomed to be Elway’s next offseason failure pickup.

Also, just to make ya’ll feel old, Andy Dalton has been in the league for 9 seasons. At least today offered him the chance to become the Bengals all-time passing TD leader. Take that, Boomers! Specifically Boomer Esiason.

The big point of confusion I feel is for Zac Taylor. I don’t feel like he’s been under any real scrutiny because people just kinda assume the Bengals are tanking. But the Dolphins are in a similar situation and Flores got plenty of heat early on. He’s also managed to whip the team into some semblance of shape lately as the Dolphins have won several games, most notably over the Eagles just yesterday. Zac Taylor has been almost a non-entity. When the Browns were openly tanking Hue Jackson also got a ton of attention (which to be fair, was partially due to Hue Jackson). I have to spend a minute thinking and then giving up and going to google to remember who the Bengals new coach even is. How much of this state of things is his fault? I don’t remember the expectations for the Bengals before the season but I feel like it was higher than this.

Anyway pop the cork on the failure moonshine, no winless teams in 2019 baby.