Xavier has scored 59, 47, 55, 45 in the last four games.
It's the first time Xavier has scored fewer than 60 points in four consecutive games since the 1949-50 XU team. That Xavier team went (2-2) in that stretch: 58-53 (L) UK, 53-48 (W) Toledo, 59-51 (L) UD, 54-53 (W) UC.
Bengals K Josh Brown today was named by the NFL as AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for December.
Brown, a 10th-year veteran, signed as a free agent with Cincinnati on Dec. 6 to fill in for injured K Mike Nugent and went on to connect on 11 of 12 field goal attempts (91.7 percent) and eight of eight PATs in December for 41 total points. His 43-yarder with four seconds left on Dec. 23 at Pittsburgh clinched a playoff berth for the Bengals. His only FG miss since joining the team was a 56-yard attempt in the same game at Heinz Field, where, since it opened in 2001, no one has connected on an attempt longer than 52 yards.
This is Brown’s second career Player of the Month award. He previously won the award in October of 2008 when he played with the St. Louis Rams.
Overall, the Bengals this season have captured seven of the league’s weekly or monthly AFC awards, which sets a new team record for most in franchise history. Previously, Cincinnati had achieved six total awards in both the 1988 and ’89 seasons.
6:05, The Roundtable Show w/ John Thornton
Joe Reedy, in-studio, 7-8pm
Bengals 'D' lacks headlines, not stars
Todd Jones, Columbus Dispatch
Marketers and branding experts haven't seen fit to cast the Bengals defense in a memorable image. The unit has no catchy nickname, no players doing commercials, no individual personifying menace.
"We've got a bunch of nobodys," Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins said. "Nobody knows who we are, but we play as a unit. We thrive off it."
Streaking Bengals tough draw for slumping Texans
The net result of the Texans’ late-season slide was the worst possible playoff draw, starting Saturday against Cincinnati. Forget the looming hurdles Tom Brady’s Patriots and Peyton Manning’s Broncos present. The Bengals, who must be dealt with first, are no less of a nightmare matchup.
AP Pro32 comments about Bengals
Bengals-Texans: What you need to know
The Texans batted or tipped 37 passes this season, with 16 coming from JJ Watt (both best in NFL). Andy Dalton has had 32 passes batted or tipped since entering the NFL (third most), including five in two games against the Texans last season, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Watt.
Marvin Lewis feels pressure mounting
Paul Dehner Jr, CBS Sports
With a string of firings this week, the Bengals' Marvin Lewis became the second-most tenured coach in the NFL behind Bill Belichick.
But when it comes to the postseason, Lewis and Belichick part company. In the world of what have you done for me lately in the Not For Long league, Lewis has lasted 10 years despite never won a playoff game.
His Bengals' teams are 0-3, losing in 2005, 2009 and 2011.
Toss out Rodgers and Flacco, and the combined number of playoff starts by the other six quarterbacks in the first round? One.
Luck, RG3,Wilson,Schaub, Ponder: 0
From Sam Farmer, LA Times(@LATimesFarmer)
How the smartest NFL teams spend money
Wall Street Journal
Because the NFL has rules that limit spending, each franchise starts with virtually the same resources. So the challenge is to figure out how to arrange all the pieces to put the best possible team on the field. Do you splurge on a once-elite quarterback who is just returning from multiple neck surgeries? Or is it better to divide that cash for a linebacker, a tight end and a pair of beefy tackles?
The point, here, is that the NFL is basically a form of competitive economics—and by looking at the financial decisions teams make, you can learn a fair bit about the essential nature of modern football.
Second Team: A.J. Green (CIN) - We toyed with the idea of making this slot centric, but it would have been wrong to rob A.J. Green who got the nod over Roddy White.
Right Tackle: Andre Smith (CIN)
We’re not going to ignore the right tackles in the league and with that in mind Andre Smith simply had to get first team honors. The best RT in football in 2012, Smith cut out the lapses (minus that game against Brandon Graham) and was a real bully in the run game.
Defensive Interior: Geno Atkins (CIN)
If you don’t know a lot about Geno Atkins then literally put on a tape of any Bengals game this year. You won’t be disappointed. Our top ranked defensive tackle, Atkins is relentless in wearing down and working over interior linemen. The new owner of the highest overall grade we’ve ever given to a defensive tackle.
Wild Card weekend: Bengals vs Texans
The Bengals are playing quarterback-eating defense. The Texans' offense can't seem to score. If the Bengals' rush can get to Schaub, if the Bengals' front can contain Foster, if Schaub can't get his play-action game going, it could be a long afternoon in Texas. The Bengals are streaking, riding their defense. And if anyone in addition to Green can show up on offense, the question that Cincinnati safety Chris Crocker asked -- "Why not us?" -- could be appropriate.
Five things you might want to know
Marvin Lewis hasn't won a playoff game. Period. We talk all the time about Atlanta getting blanked in the playoffs under Mike Smith, but the same goes here. Lewis is 0-3 with Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton. Mike Zimmer's defense gives him a shot to break through. So does Houston's unexpected free-fall. But keep this in mind: Lewis hasn't come closer than 10 points in any of his playoff losses.
The odds of it
From Bovada @BovadaLV
Odds to win the 2013 Super Bowl XLVII
Denver Broncos 11/4
New England Patriots 4/1
San Francisco 49ers 6/1
Atlanta Falcons 7/1
Green Bay Packers 8/1
Seattle Seahawks 11/1
Houston Texans 15/1
Washington Redskins 18/1
Baltimore Ravens 22/1
Minnesota Vikings 40/1
Cincinnati Bengals 45/1
Indianapolis Colts 45/1
Odds to win the 2013 AFC Championship
Denver Broncos 5/4
New England Patriots 8/5
Houston Texans 7/1
Baltimore Ravens 11/1
Cincinnati Bengals 20/1
Indianapolis Colts 22/1
Wild Card Weekend Props - Cincinnati Bengals - Playoff Progress
Eliminated in Wild Card Round 4/9
Eliminated in AFC Divisional Round 9/4
Eliminated in AFC Championship Game 11/1
Super Bowl Runner Up 28/1
Super Bowl Champion 45/1
Spread: Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans
Cincinnati Bengals +4½
Houston Texans -4½
Total Passing Yards - Andy Dalton (CIN)
Total Rushing Yards - BenJarvus Green-Ellis (CIN)
Sheldon: Rolen still undecided
Xavier has lost four in a row for the first time since 2000:
Then (2000): January 11-15-23-25 vs Dayton, Duquesne, La Salle and Temple
Now (2013): December 19-22-29, January 2 vs UC, Wofford, Tennessee and Wake Forest.
Xavier had played a span of 427 games since its last four game skid.
Xavier had faced a three game losing streak on three other occasions since losing four straight: '00-01, '03-'04, '04-'05, '11-'12.
The last Xavier team to lose four straight included: West, Frey, Price, McAfee and Williams. They finished 21-12, while losing to Notre Dame in the second round of the NIT. What kind of night was it for the Musketeers? The game ended at 9:05 and Shannon Russell (Enquirer) writes that Chris Mack kept the team in the locker room until 11:38.
How about Dave Bezold and NKU? The Norse, in their first year as a Division One program, won in Atlantic Sun play last night, and have won 3 of their last 4.
Mel Kiper's All-Rookie Team
Guards/Kevin Zeitler, Bengals: Another guy from the offensive lineman assembly line at Wisconsin, Zeitler was needed immediately and played at a Pro Bowl level for much of the season in Cincinnati. The Bengals lost a guard early in the year, and Zeitler's steady play was a huge lift for this team.
Center/Trevor Robinson, Bengals: There wasn't a lot to choose from here, but Robinson stepped in to help the Bengals when Kyle Cook suffered a foot injury. The Notre Dame alumnus has a bright future.
Defensive end/Derek Wolfe, Broncos: As a college player at Cincinnati, Wolfe was a guy I rated a bit higher than most, mainly because of his relentlessness. He piled up sacks from the interior as a defensive tackle. Denver moved him to defensive end, where he continued to play with great energy and got some sacks as well. He finished with 6.0 for the season and looks like a steal as a second-round pick.
Inside linebackers/Luke Kuechly, Panthers: Not only did Kuechly lead the NFL in tackles with 164, he also had the same number of solo tackles (103) as the next-highest tackler on the Panthers had combined. Last season Carolina was 25th in rushing yards allowed per game; this season it was 14th. Kuechly is the future heart and soul of this defense, but he's pretty close to the present one as well. The Boston College star became exactly what I thought he'd be, and in a hurry.
OLB/Vontaze Burfict, Bengals: One of the great stories of the season not just in the rookie class but everywhere. Burfict led the Bengals in tackles playing on the weak side for them, this after going undrafted out of Arizona State. Burfict was a disaster during the draft process, and a guy I once had in my top 10 on the Big Board could have missed out on the NFL entirely. But coach Marvin Lewis clearly saw what Burfict was capable of when focused and got a steal. Burfict finished the season with 127 total tackles and has the playoffs to look forward to.
Luke Kuechly makes case for Defensive Rookie of Year.
Babcock: Tuberville's $2.2M salary 'market rate'
Can you talk about Ray Lewis and his legacy without talking about the murder case in 2000?
Why the local TV bubble is about to burst
Sophomore Victor Dukes, of the Nettleton Raiders, in the 66th Annual NEA Invitational High School Basketball Tournament.
HS hoops shout out!
The Franklin Wildcats, led by head coach Brian Bales, finished 1-2 in the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, SC this past weekend. The Cats lost to Bishop Gormin of Nevada, one of the top teams in the country, and to Orem of Utah in a contest that went down the wire. They defeated Myrtle Beach High School.
Sophomore Luke Kennard, who has received offers already from UC, Xavier, Ohio State, Michigan, Butler and Dayton, was named the tournament's most outstanding player. Luke scored 43 in a losing effort against Orem (Utah) High School. That effort surpassed Kobe Bryant in single game scoring for the tournament, while the record is still held by Mike Bibby. Senior Travis Lakins, who is an Ohio State signee in baseball, won the tournament's three point shooting competition. On Saturday, the Wildcats return home to take on next door neighbor Springboro Panthers.