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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Malik Zorrok’s Between The Numbers: Zeke Strikes Again, Broncos Starting Off Well and Cincinnati Has a Problem

Malik Zorrok’s Between The Numbers: Zeke Strikes Again, Broncos Starting Off Well and Cincinnati Has a Problem

Between the Numbers
Publish Date: 09/23/2017
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos is introduced to the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 11, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

More running back issues, two teams are (admittedly) pre-maturely judged and Cincinnati has a problem.

Ezekiel Elliot Needs To Be Benched

You would think Zeke would want to exude maximum effort since he fought Goodell to play this season. Well, he had other plans.

Broncos defensive back Chris Harris intercepted a pass by Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, and Zeke didn’t even bother to give any sort of effort to try and stop Harris.

This is just flat out unacceptable. Sure, you could give the excuse of he’s young, he’s not accustomed to losing, he wasn’t even that close to the play.

Or, you could realize that Elliot still doesn’t get it, after being hunted down by the NFL for a domestic violence situation he’s still awaiting discipline for, that he would mature, at least a bit.

Instead, he’s out there half-assing it, even though he may not get the opportunity to play 16 games this season. Oh well, some Ohio State guys never get it.

Denver Looks Legit

Now I’m not going to sit here and say that Trevor Siemian is all of a sudden enough to take the Broncos deep into the playoffs, or better yet make an appearance in the playoffs, but Denver doesn’t need what Siemian is doing right now.

If Denver can get 75-80% of what Siemian has played like in the first two weeks of the season (106.9 passer rating, 450 yards, 6 touchdowns, 2 interceptions), then they will be in the race come December.

Their defense looks improved, especially the run defense, which was able to bottle up Zeke Sunday afternoon.

The offense has talented skill players such as Demaryius Thomas,
Emmanuel Sanders and C.J. Anderson, and the offensive line has
improved since last year, although there is room to grow.

Denver looks legit. Let’s see if they can sustain this type of play in week 15.

Cowboys Don’t Look Legit

This may be unfair. After all, judging a team after two weeks of play is never a smart idea, but this was a good test for Dallas.

They didn’t get much better in the offseason after their 13-3 season, if any better. The  secondary looks like it could be a potential problem, and there is still the question of whether quarterback Dak Prescott can lead the offense when Zeke isn’t finding much room to run.

The Cowboys have a lot of talent, and it would shock me if they didn’t turn it around against the Arizona Cardinals next week.

But the defense has to improve, and Dak has to make star quarterback-quality plays for me to buy in.

Time Is Running Out For Marvin Lewis

The Cincinnati Bengals have taken quite the turn. After making the playoffs three consecutive seasons, although not winning a postseason game, the Bengals looked like a team that could be a fixture in the AFC postseason race for at least a couple more years.

A ferocious defense, a good young quarterback, a monster wideout and continuity usually means playoff appearances. Well, not when that quarterback is under siege play in and play out.

Now, I’m not a huge fan of Dalton, but you can win with him, and the Bengals have proved that. What you can’t win with, is an offensive line as bad as the Bengals are throwing out there thus far this season.

Is it Marvin Lewis’ fault? Of course not. But after not winning a playoff game in his 13+ seasons of coaching the Bengals, along with the many discipline issues this team has faced on and off the field, it’s probably time to move on.

Quote Of The Week

Slim pickings this week but I loved Rodger’s answer to a reporter’s question about never beating the Bengals thus far in his career, “I’ve beaten the Packers a few times. I’ve had couple bad games.”

Weekly Awards

Biggest what-the-f moment: The fan attendance for the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams combined was less than the rematch of the classic 2006 Texas-USC showdown. Yes, the Chargers are in a stadium that seats less than 30,000. Yet, they still couldn’t fill out the stadium.

Best GIF: Boy, is it good to have Marshawn Lynch back in the NFL.

Greatest fantasy disappointment: Jordan Howard fantasy owners (myself included) did not have a particularly fun Sunday afternoon. After rookie Tarik Cohen bit into Howard’s touches week one, Howard left Sunday’s matchup early after registering nine carries for seven yards. Yes, I lost.

Ugliest unit to watch: Can I give a tie to both the Houston Texans offense and Bengals offense? Man, talk about some bad Thursday night football.

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