By Matthew McAdow
Reds Late Season Crash
This past weekend I drove to the ballpark with the hopes of Cincinnati sweeping the Pirates, but they fell short and lost 2 out of 3. Those 2 losses realistically took them out of the playoff hunt and made many of Reds country come to realization that this team is going to miss the playoffs. Losing a game that you were up 9-0 in a playoff race goes up pretty high on my list of the Matt’s Take heartbreaking moments (Close to my favorite local wing place changing their Buffalo Sauce-How could they?). While it has been a very fun and surprising year, it’s okay to feel that this is also a letdown, as this team is more than talented enough to play October baseball. They battled through adversity all year with injuries to Greene, Ashcraft, and Lodolo, along with Covid and underperformances from Wil Myers and Luke Weaver. Despite all the chaos, they still managed to put themselves in a position to make the playoffs, yet they ended up just short with a bullpen meltdown at the absolute worst time.
Where Things Stand
Cincinnati currently has a record of 80-77 with remaining games against the Guardians and Cardinals. With 5 remaining games, they most likely would need to win out, along with some help from the Diamondbacks, Marlins, and Cubs. They could be 82-75 if they would’ve handled business this weekend and would only be sitting a .5 game back from the final Wildcard spot…But, the past weekend aside though, it has been fun watching this young team grow and I think success in Cincinnati can be expected for the years ahead. Before handing out my “Matt’s Take” season awards next week, let’s just cross our fingers that this team continues to battle and ends the season on a high note that carries on to next year. I’ll wait for my Joey Votto comments another week as well, as that will take up an entire section of this newspaper!
Scoreboard Watch – Remaining Games
- Reds vs. Guardians, Cardinals
- Miami vs. Mets, Pirates
- Cubs vs. Braves, Brewers
- Diamondbacks vs. Yankees, White Sox, Astros
Bengals Secure First Win
Cincinnati handled business on primetime television on Monday and all of Bengals Nation was finally able to exhale in relief. It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but pretty doesn’t matter in the NFL. Beating the Rams in a previous Super Bowl matchup felt quite good, but there is still ground to be made up. With two very winnable games approaching against the Titans and Cardinals, now is the perfect time to get this team back on track and showing the league that we still run the AFC North.
- Have yourself a game Logan Wilson! 2 interceptions for the ballhawk who was in the right place at the right time throughout all of Monday night.
- Dax Hill had the best game of his career. 8 total tackles, 1 sack, and amazing coverage throughout the night led to Dax performing at a high level on primetime television.
- Ja’Marr Chase hasn’t missed a beat. 12 receptions for a quiet 141 yards. He is still the best receiver in the league.
- While it wasn’t pretty, Burrow gutted this one out. I am glad we have a quarterback that is serious enough about his craft and this team that he wants to lay it all out there game after game.
- The offensive line did a fantastic job. They continued to protect Burrow and managed to handle Donald throughout the game.
- 3rd down defense was unreal. The Rams were 1-11 on third down attempts and struggled moving the chains throughout the night.
- Time of possession for this game was huge. Handing Mixon the rock led to Cincinnati being able to hold a 12 minute advantage in the time of possession category.
- The biggest positive for me from the night was the pressure we got from our defensive line. They quickly improved and were able to pull Stafford down 6 times for a loss of 48 yards. Watching Hendrickson from the edge, as well as pressure from Hubbard and Reader all night was a huge relief.
- Joe Burrow still doesn’t look like himself. I hope this gets better as he heals, but he missed a lot of throws, especially near the sideline. He was 26-49 and just didn’t look like the Joe that we all know. I am not sure what the correct decision is regarding his health, but if he continues to think he can play, then you have to let him do so.
- Tee Higgins had multiple drops throughout the night and only reeled in 2 catches on 8 targets.
- Brad Robbins had another less than stellar performance. It might be time to dial 1-800-Drue Chrisman first thing this morning.
- Cincinnati is really lacking at the tight end position. With Smith Jr. being inactive this game, it really showed how much we are missing a tight end threat. Tanner Hudson, Drew Sample, and Mitchell Wilcox are simply not the threat of Hayden Hurst.
Matt’s Take – betJACK Pick of the Week
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