Sports Today: Bengals loss in Pittsburgh full of (distressing) symbolism

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Sports Today: Bengals loss in Pittsburgh full of (distressing) symbolism

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Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 22: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers shakes hands with Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals at the conclusion of the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-14 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on October 22, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Bengals went to Pittsburgh and not only lost but did so in demoralizing fashion. 

I’ve never seen both teams kneel on the ball at the end of a game, but for the Steelers’ 29-14 win it was appropriate. 

The Steelers had done all they needed to do, and the Bengals had nothing left. 

This game was really big on symbols as it turned out. 

Andy Dalton threw the ball away on a fourth down play in the fourth quarter, an inexplicable move for a rookie let alone a veteran whose mind is supposed to be his best attribute. 

And nobody noticed early on, but there was also another Vontaze Burfict incident

Isn’t it too early in the season to go into reruns? 

At any rate, this game checked off all the boxes for anyone looking for a reason not to believe in the Bengals this season. 

The offense looked good early, but ultimately the creativity only lasted about as long as the pregame script. 

After that, Bengals offensive coordinator Bill Lazor had no answers for a young Pittsburgh defense on the rise. This was very similar to the Packers game in that regard. 

Of course it’s hard to call plays when you can’t block anyone. 

Joe Mixon’s complaints about being underutilized are valid, but if he had gotten the ball more I assume he would have been talking after the game more about how often he was hit in the backfield. 

And as happens far too often, Dalton failed to rise to the occasion when the team needed him. 

That was the story of last season. It’s been the story in all four of the team’s losses this season, although they probably still would have lost if he had been average yesterday. 

Guess what the story is going to be the rest of the way?… 

On the bright side, William Jackson III played well… 

Bengals abandon a run game that was working

At least the Browns are still a lot worse. 

Hue Jackson had to bench his hopeful future franchise quarterback again because he turned the ball over too much, and both of them had to answer questions about DeShone Kizer being out late Friday night

I’m still a Jackson believer — the guys who gave him this terrible roster are mostly to blame for the 0-7 record — but things are undeniably trending in the wrong direction, which is somewhat amazing considering how bad they were last year. 

To add injury to insult, the Browns also had to play without star left tackle Joe Thomas for the first time in more than 10,000 snaps… 

The weekend went pretty well for Dayton Flyers basketball. 

While Charles Cooke remains with the New Orleans Pelicans, Kyle Davis is on the training camp roster for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League. 

Both were stars for the Flyers as they won the Atlantic 10 last season and major cogs in making four consecutive NCAA tournaments. 

Meanwhile, we had a couple of looks at the immediate future of the UD program with Tom Archdeacon’s profile of Dayton freshman Matej Svoboda and an overview of the freshman class

The women’s program’s future got brighter with the verbal commitment of Destiny Bohanon, a junior at Wayne. 

She averaged 11.7 points and 3.1 assists last season for a loaded Warriors squad that went 20-5 and won the GWOC National East. 

Coach Shauan Green has verbal commitments from two current seniors (Kyla Whitehead of Pickerington Central and Ella Skeens of Chillicothe Southeastern). 

Wayne coach Travis Trice recently told this news organization Dayton has also offered a scholarship to sophomore Nyla Hampton and freshman Bree Hall. 

Although she hasn’t played a high school game yet, Hall is already a hot commodity. 

Ohio State offered her a scholarship in June, and Hall tweeted over the weekend she received an offer from Michigan State…. 

And finally how about college football? 

As I wrote yesterday, I did not think Michigan would beat Penn State, but the Nittany Lions’ win came easier than expected. 

That of course sets the stage for a showdown in Columbus this weekend with Ohio State. 

The Buckeyes were off but remain No. 1 in Football Outsiders S&P-Plus

The Nittany Lions are No. 3 (behind Alabama), but OSU and PSU are the only teams with both their offense and defenses ranked in the top 10. 

We have all week to talk about this game, but early on my feeling is it will come down to Ohio State’s OL being able to impose its will on the Penn State front seven and the Ohio State secondary being able to contain Nittany Lions receivers. 

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