Notes: Bengals draw Savage assignment in QB’s first NFL start

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Eifert said back in the spring and told ESPN.com Tuesday that he wouldn’t go back if selected. Dunlap, who leads the world with 15 passes defensed and is runner-up to Atkins with seven snaps, is pretty sure he wouldn’t pass up another chance.

“I probably wouldn’t. It depends on the scenarios,” Dunlap said. “I would love to pass it up for a Super Bowl. Being a two-time Pro Bowler is something I would love to have next to my name, so I wouldn’t just pass up the opportunity too easily.

“That’s obviously going to be in the back of people’s minds. Guys who are up for news deals will probably worry about that a lot more than guys who are under contracts. Obviously I still have a concern about it, but if you go out there with that in your mind, that’s usually when it happens. So if you go out there and prepare for the football game like you normally would, as a professional, I feel like it’s less likely to happen. But at the end of the day its still football, so stuff like that happens.”

Week 15 was a wild and crazy week not just in the NFL, but in fantasy football as well. If I talked about all the fantasy losers in this article, we’d be here until Thursday morning trying to get through it all.

Fantasy WRs were terrible this week, with cold weather killing any chance they had for success. Meanwhile, RBs racked up yards and points across the league. Hopefully your league has a flex spot, allowing you to play 3 RBs, and giving you a fighting chance to continue your campaign for a league title. And, to prove God has a sense of humor, nine (9) fantasy TEs scored 10-plus points this week. Tight End is by far the thinnest positing in all of fantasy sports (not just football, but ALL sports), yet this week almost every team in your league could have gotten a 10-point effort from their TE.

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According to Elias, head coach Marvin Lewis’ Bengals have teed it up against five others in their NFL debut and while they’ve lost two of them they’ve done it while allowing 50 points total, just one touchdown pass and a combined passer rating of 63.5. Savage can take heart from San Francisco’s Shaun Hill. Hill threw the lone TD pass and racked up the best passer rating of the five with 105.8 in a nationally televised Saturday night 20-13 victory over the Bengals in a December 2007 game at home.

The most famous meeting of all, of course, was the last time they faced a debuting QB, the 30-0 money grab of Johhny Manziel two years ago in Cleveland. The most significant was the Sept. 7, 2008 debut of rookie Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco on Opening Day in Baltimore. It was Mike Zimmer’s first game as Bengals defensive coordinator and as a sign of thigs to come; Flacco struggled on 129 yards and no TDs, but broke the Bengals back with a 38-yard scramble TD off a broken play. But to this day he’s thrown more picks (20) than TDs (16) in splitting 16 games against Cincy while Zimmer began to make a name for him shutting down the likes of a Super Bowl MVP that Flacco became.

Since Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth is rated the second best tackle in the league by profootballfocus.com, you’d have to say he’s got the spot. Ogbuehi, the 2015 first-round pick relieved of his duties at right tackle after 11 games and Whitworth’s backup, may go into his third season still a question mark with the 35-year-old Whitworth an impending free agent and the Bengals having no one who has played there for them.

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Fisher, taken in the round after Ogbuehi on that heady draft day they thought they had locked up both tackles of the future, was surprised he waited until Sunday in the 14th game of his second season to make his first NFL start as a pure tackle.

“You tell me. Every game we play good enough to win but every game we play bad enough to lose. We have a team capable of beating them. We have to keep the gas on them. We can’t keep our foot on the brake. They’ve got a good team, too, and can come back on anybody. There’s nobody on the schedule we couldn’t beat …For us, I would say we have to play all four quarters consistently … we can’t take the foot off the gas and in some games we did that this year.”

Defensive tackle Domata Peko heard what Marvin Lewis said in the still of the locker room and couldn’t agree more with the only coach he’s ever had.

“I think Andy’s had a really good year despite the free agent defections of Marvin Jones and cheap jerseys and Mohamed Sanu, the injuries to Tyler Eifert and , and the problems they’ve had on the offensive line in pass protection,” Boomer told me. “I think he’s standing in there strong, he’s a tough kid, he’s everything you want in a quarterback in the NFL, and next year should be another year with significant expectations.

“When you look at all of the circumstances surrounding the team – on top of losing three coordinators to become head coaches in other cities – you realize that the Bengals have been poached and next year hopefully they’ll add a couple of draft picks and maybe a couple of free agents and get right back to where they belong.”

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