Saturday, September 24, 2011

INSIC's Bengals-49ers Pick, Plus How the Week Could Have Been Worse for the Bengals

Worst week ever? Obviously you weren't a Bengals fan in 1989.
If you're a Bengals fan, then you probably realize that this week has been straight out of a Stephen King novel, that is, if Stephen King wrote sports novels about illegal marijuana deliveries.

As bad as this week has been though, please keep in mind that it could have been worse... and we'll tell you why.

Lets review:

Monday: the Bengals announce that Jordan Shipley has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.
Shipley's lucky he's not a gopher.

But it could have been worse, the Bengals could have announced that Shipley has a flesh eating virus that turns you into a gopher and causes AIDS. They didn't though. They announced it was only a torn ACL. ONLY a torn ACL.

Tuesday: Authorities track a 2.5 pound shipment of high-grade marijuana to Jerome Simpson's house. Simpson is now under investigation and because of that, he missed practice on Thursday and Friday. Based on the situation, Simpson might also miss Sunday's game against the 49ers, along with every Bengals game for the next 2-4 years.

But it could have been worse, Simpson could have had a dump truck full of cocaine delivered to a Cincinnati area foster home and then forced the poor foster children to do coke lines at gun point. Not only would have this been worse, it would have been 11 times more illegal than having 2.5 pounds of high-grade marijuana delivered to your house.

Thursday: Mike Silver from Yahoo! sports reports that the NFL has suspended Cedric Benson for three games. Silver says Benson will be allowed to play Sunday against the 49ers and will have the chance to appeal the suspension on Tuesday. Of course, it could have been worse, Benson could have shot himself in the leg at a nightclub.

INSIC's Weekly Power Rankings that have Nothing to do with Power

We explained how our power rankings work last week, if you need a refresher, click here.


1. New England (2-0): Do you think Ochocinco finds irony in the fact that the Jerome Simpson marijuana investigation involves ocho point cinco ounces of pot? He has too. Right?

2. San Diego (1-1): In week one, Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding tore his ACL on the first play of the game. This week against the Chiefs, every player on San Diego's roster could tear their ACL on the first play of the game and the Chargers would still win.

3. Baltimore (1-1): Last Sunday, the Ravens defense got torched like a stunt double in Backdraft. Matt Hasselbeck threw for over 300 yards and Tennessee rolled. The Ravens defense will be mad Sunday against the Rams, which means there's a very good chance that at least 12 Rams players will suffer season ending injuries this weekend.

4. Houston (2-0): If the Texans are good at anything, its completely collapsing after a 2-0 start. In 2007, the Texans started 2-0, only to lose five of their next six. In 2010, the Texans started 2-0, only to lose six of their next eight. This year, the Texans are 2-0 and oh, lets look at their next four games: Saints, Raiders, Steelers, Ravens. Best case scenario there: 1-3.

Harvard QB's are undefeated this season.
5. Buffalo (2-0): The Bills and their Harvard quarterback came back from down 21-3 Sunday to beat the Raiders, that's the surprising part. The non-surprising part, Ryan Fitzpatrick divided the Quadratic Equation by the Pythagorean Theorem and then multiplied it by Murphy's Law to figure out the velocity he needed to throw the ball for the winning touchdown. Its OK to hate Harvard and anyone that's ever gone there.

6. Cincinnati (1-1): After two weeks, the Bengals are tied for first in the AFC North, which is three places higher than where most people thought they would be.


1.  Green Bay Packer (2-0): If the Packers were in the NFC West, they would have already clinched a playoff berth... and its only been two weeks.

2. New Orleans (1-1): The Saints play the Houston Texans this week and here's an interesting stat for you: since entering the league in 2002, the Texans are 1-8 in week three. What we're trying to say here, is that basically, New Orleans has a bye this week.

3. Philadelphia (1-1): There were reports that Michael Vick was coughing up blood at halftime of Sunday's game against the Falcons. Now, no one here at INSIC has a medical degree, but we saw a squirrel coughing up blood once and it died the next day. So someone should probably keep an eye on Vick. 

Why isn't there an all-bird division in the NFL?
INSIC asks the tough questions.
4. San Francisco 49ers (1-1): Due to the general suckiness of the NFC West, a record of 5-11 is going to win it this season. This works out well for the 49ers because they only have four winnable games left on their schedule and no, one of them is not the Bengals.

5. Atlanta Falcons (1-1): If there was a bird division in the NFL (Falcons, Cardinals, Seahawks, Eagles), the Falcons would win it this year. Unfortunately for Atlanta, the NFL doesn't let 6-year-olds pick the divisions, so they're going to have to get past New Orleans if they want to win the NFC South.

6. Detroit Lions (2-0): As a city, Detroit really has nothing going for it. They have a high murder rate, no economy to speak of and nine out of every 10 people there are unemployed. Detroit's really like a combination of Cleveland and a state prison. These people need the Lions. Everyone cheer for the Lions.

Week 3 Picks

In week one, we threw a bunch of cats off of a tall building to make our picks. We went 10-6. Last week we used the slightly more animal friendly strategy of picking the team that sucks less. We went 14-2.
INSIC will be using the Toys R Us strategy for making picks this week.

This week, we're going the Jerome Simpson route. We're going to hot box a Toys 'R' Us bathroom and then ask the cop who eventually arrests us who he thinks is going to win. Got it. Good.

Week 2 Picks
Straight-up: 14-2
SU Overall: 24-8
Against the Spread: 9-7
ATS Overall: 19-13
Exact Week 2 Picks: 1 (We picked Atlanta over Philly 35-31, Atlanta beat Philly 35-31).
Exact Picks Overall: 2

Week 3 Picks
Cincinnati 24-20 over San Francisco
Philadelphia 31-24 over N.Y. Giants
New Orleans 38-31 over Houston
Carolina 27-17 over Jacksonville
New England 38-34 over Buffalo
Cleveland 24-17 over Miami
Tennessee 27-20 over Denver
Detroit 31-20 over Minnesota
Baltimore 35-24 over St. Louis
N.Y. Jets 24-13 over Oakland
San Diego 34-17 over Kansas City
Seattle 20-17 over Arizona
Atlanta 34-28 over Tampa Bay
Pittsburgh 31-13 over Indianapolis
Chicago 24-20 over Green Bay
Dallas 28-20 over Washington

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bad News for Non-Pot Smoking Bengals Fans: Jerome Simpson's House Might be a Marijuana Distribution Center

This sign, in Jerome Simpson's front yard, gave him away.
If you're a Bengals player reading this right now, we have great news: you're probably going to get drug tested in the next 30 minutes and you can thank Jerome Simpson and Anthony Collins.

The two Bengals teammates are being investigated by Kentucky and California authorities after 2.5 pounds of high-grade marijuana was delivered from Northern California to Simpson's Northern Kentucky home.

You can read all about how police got involved here, but if you're lazy, we'll break it down into two sentences.

Authorities tracked the California marijuana shipment to Simpson's house where his girlfriend, Aleen Smith, signed for it. Police tracking the package then searched Simpson's home where they found six more pounds of marijuana, some packaging material and scales for weighing the pot.

"The house was setup as a potential distribution network," one investigator said.

Now, its not clear if Simpson was running an international drug cartel out of his house, but lets just say that 2.5 pounds of pot delivered to your house when you already have six pounds there is a good start for running one.

Simpson's house had more pot than the set of Half-Baked
Now, although Simpson's house had more marijuana than the set of Half-Baked, police didn't arrest anyone after four hours of interviews Tuesday, which in itself is interesting.

Eight pounds of pot and no one gets arrested? We'll let this one play out, but our best bet is that at least one of the three (Simpson, Collins or Simpson's girlfriend) involved here will eventually get busted.

Simpson closed his Twitter account (@Rome089) early Wednesday with one last tweet that read, "Keep the faith." Also, his personal web page no longer exists.

So there's that.

There are two pieces of good news here though:

1. Even if Simpson gets arrested, he's still won't be the worst NFL player turned criminal named Simpson (O.J. obviously wins that)

2. Simpson only had 8.5 pounds of pot in his house, its not like he had 213 pounds in a van, like a certain former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman.

Finally, we here at INSIC would like to point out one odd coincidence: the marijuana shipped to Simpson's house came from Eureka, Calif., a town with a population of exactly 27,191.

So we asked ourselves, "Does Simpson, who is from North Carolina, know anyone from Eureka, Calif.?"

The answer is yes. Bengal middle linebacker Rey Maualuga has some ties to Eureka, he graduated from high school there in 2005. Coincidence? You tell us.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

NFL Week 2 Bengals-Broncos: INSIC Makes a Pick and Puts Out a Power Ranking

F Brandon Stokley Photo by the Cincinnati Enquirer
Hottest twins ever?

Every Friday for the rest of the NFL season, we're going to post INSIC's quick picks and power rankings. Unless of course Nick at Night starts showing reruns of Sister, Sister on Fridays.

If that happens, this blog has no future because everyone here will dance around naked and eat pudding while watching the highly entertaining twin duo of Tia and Tamara Mowry. Tia and Tamara are the hottest twins of all-time not named Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.

Anyway, a few quick facts about the power rankings:

1. Because we're a Cincinnati blog, we'll be devising the rankings under the pretense that the Bengals are the best team in the NFL (which shouldn't be difficult because they are).

2. We'll only be ranking 12 teams.

Why only 12 you ask?

First Glen Rice, who's next?
A. because we're lazy and B. because that's how many teams make the playoffs. Teams number 13 thru 32 will have one thing in common on Jan. 2: they'll all be free to go try and have a one-night stand with Sarah Palin because their season will be over.

3. To clarify further, these rankings are basically playoff projections, so the 12 teams we rank will include six teams from the AFC and six teams from the NFC.


1. New England (1-0): If Carson Palmer threw for 517 yards in a game and Ochocinco only had 14 of them, Chad would have gone to the Paul Brown Stadium parking lot and set Carson's car on fire. Ocho didn't do this to Brady, which means one of two things: Ocho didn't have any matches or he respects Brady...

2. Baltimore (1-0): No, the Ravens didn't take the Steelers into a Milledgeville, Georgia bar bathroom, but they definitely took advantage of them.

3. San Diego (1-0): Charger kicker Nate Kaeding tore his ACL on the opening kickoff Sunday. The only injury we can think of that's worse: your hair catching on fire while you try and blow out your birthday candles... and the hair we're talking about isn't on your head.

4. Houston (1-0): Beating the Colts without Peyton Manning is like having hot sex with a Kardashian... Rob Kardashian. Its nothing to brag about, as a matter of fact, you probably shouldn't tell anyone.

5. Buffalo (1-0): Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard, which means for fun, he likes to do calculus, herd cats and learn foreign languages.

6. Cincinnati (1-0): Mike Brown's diabolical plan of being mediocre for 20 years and then waiting until 2011 to surprise attack every team in the NFL is starting to take shape.


Are you a Packers fan? If so, this could be you every Sunday.
1. Green Bay (1-0): If you're an alcoholic and you're a Packers fan, here's an easy game to play this season: take a shot every time Green Bay scores.

2. Philadelphia (1-0): The Eagles beat the Rams Sunday, but their strategy of injuring the other team's three best players probably isn't going to work every week (They injured Sam Bradford, Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola). Andy Reid better think of something new for Sunday night's game with Atlanta.

3. New Orleans (0-1): The Saints might be the best 0-1 team in NFL history. However, going forward, Sean Payton may want to let Drew Brees' mole make all goal line calls.

4. San Francisco (1-0): The 49ers are shaping up to be the date rape drug of the NFL this season, just when you think they have no chance to win/get laid, you wake up six hours/four months later and wonder how they won the division/got you in bed.

5. Chicago (1-0): The Bears had the most impressive win in the NFL Sunday, which is amazing because outside the National Geographic channel, the words 'Bears' and 'impressive' are never used in the same sentence.

6. Atlanta (0-1): Instead of writing anything about the Falcons, we're just going to show you this commercial because its funny and if you're a Falcons fan, you didn't have anything to laugh about last Sunday:

How many cute kittens died so that we could make our  week 
one picks?

To make our week one picks, we threw 16 cats off a 12-story roof, if they lived, we picked the home team, if they didn't, we picked the away team. Unfortunately, we picked the away team a few times, which means not all the cats lived, but don't fret: Sprinkes, Ted and Tiny Nick didn't die in vain, we went 3-0 in those picks.

However, due to complaints by the police, the SPCA and our neighbors who are looking for their missing cats, we decided to change strategies this week. We're just going to pick the team that doesn't suck.

Week 1 Picks:
Straight-up: 10-6
SU Overall: 10-6
Against the Spread: 10-6
ATS Overall: 10-6
Exact picks: 1 (We picked Detroit 27-20 over Tampa, Detroit beat Tampa 27-20)

Week 2 picks:
Cincinnati 20-17 over Denver
Detriot 34-17 over Kansas City
Buffalo 31-20 over Oakland
Tampa Bay 20-13 over Minnesota
New Orleans 34-31 over Chicago
Baltimore 27-17 over Tennessee
Cleveland 24-17 over Indianapolis
Jets 30-13 over Jacksonville
Pittsburgh 34-10 over Seattle
Washington 27-13 over Arizona
Green Bay 35-21 over Carolina
Dallas 24-20 over San Francisco
New England 31-27 over San Diego
Houston 27-20 over Miami
Atlanta 35-31 over Philadelphia
Giants 28-20 over St. Louis

Saturday, September 10, 2011

INSIC's Seven Question/Six Answer 2011 Cincinnati Bengals Preview

Should you bust out the bag now or wait until week two?
Here at INSIC, we've realized three things in the past month:

Number one: drunk babies have longer attention spans than people on the internet.

We realize that if something on the internet takes you more than five minutes to read, you're probably not going to read it. That's why we're going to keep this preview relatively short (it will be 67 paragraphs shorter than anything you've ever read on

Number two: We're trying so hard to keep this preview short, we're not even going to finish this list.

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to 2011 Bengals preview.

Did Ben Savage's career peak with Boy Meets World?
No Bengals preview can start without talking about Carson Palmer. That would be like starting a Ben Savage conversation and not talking about "Boys Meets World".

So lets talk about Carson Palmer.

You can do some risky things in life -- having an unprotected one-night stand with someone who has AIDS comes to mind -- but Carson Palmer one-upped even that.

Palmer got into a $45 million game of chicken with the stingiest owner in professional sports.

Bad idea.

The odds of Palmer winning this standoff with Mike Brown are about the same as Hanson and 50 Cent touring together next summer.

Thanks to Palmer's poorly planned power play, Carson is now in retirement and the Bengals had to pick up Andy Dalton in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft.

Once the lockout ended and it became clear that Dalton would be the Bengals starter this season, we here at INSIC did something that we've never done before: research.

If you get bored easily, have A.D.D or are putting off sex with your girlfriend until you've finished reading this preview, you may want to stop reading now.

The first two paragraphs were a complete lie to get you to read this, this preview isn't going to be short at all. It's going to be twice as long as anything you've ever read at Grantland and three times as long as anything we've ever written. It will rival the dictionary in length.

On that note, lets start the real preview, which isn't a preview at all, but actually a seven question quiz that's going to convince Bengals fans that Cincinnati can win this season.

Q1: Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, how many quarterbacks picked in the second round of the NFL draft have been the opening day starter for their team?

Bengals fans will be bonging Captain this season.
A: ZERO. Now this is based on INSIC research, which is done after bonging three bottles of Captain Morgan and taking shots of grapefruit flavored vodka, but we're fairly confident it's accurate.

This means Andy Dalton is doing something that's never been done before. He is the first second round pick to be his team's opening day starter.

Since 2000, there's been several second round draftees that started for their teams during their rookie year -- Brian Brohm, Tavaris Jackson, John Beck, Quincy Carter and Jimmy Clausen are all on the list -- but none of them have ever started the opening game.

This means Andy Dalton is the man. Also, now that Jeff Garcia is no longer playing, Dalton is now the only red-headed starting QB in the league.

Q2: What's the most wins a second round QB has ever had in his rookie season?

A: The answer is five wins (Tony Banks-1996, Charlie Batch-1998).

Q3: Is Andy Dalton going to obliterate this record?

A: Probably. Dalton is walking into an ideal situation (its not acutally an ideal situation, but its as ideal as a situation like this gets). He has a strong running game behind him, so he won't be forced to take over games. Batch was in a similar situation with the Lions (Barry Sanders at RB). Batch went 5-7 in 12 starts and four of those seven losses were by one score. Is Cedric Benson Barry Sanders? No. But the Bengals 2011 defense should be a lot better than the Lions 1998 D was, so it evens out.

Will Andy Dalton ever be on the SI cover?
Q4: Talk about Boomer Esiason. He's the best Bengal ever. If you can use a Boomer Esiason fact to convince me that Andy Dalton is going to be awesome, then I'll believe you that Andy Dalton is going to be awesome.

A: Nothing beats a good Boomer Esiason fact - except being laid by a J-woww lookalike in a Paul Brown Stadium bathroom - but we digress. Esiason was a second round pick in 1984 and guess what? Esiason started four games for the Bengals.

Boomer is one of 21 second round draft picks since 1970 that have started at least one game in their rookie season. Guess what else? Boomer went 3-1 as a starter, which gives him the record for best winning percentage by a second round draft pick in his rookie season. If Dalton ties Boomer's record, that means the Bengals go 12-4 this year.

Q5: Everyone is saying that Dalton will be a liability this season, but seriously, can he suck more than Carson Palmer did last year?

Carson Palmer single-handedly cost the Bengals several games last season. The Bengals lost eight of their 12 games last year by one score. However, Carson Palmer didn't suck-suck, he just kind of sucked. He threw more pick-6's then Antonio Cromartie has children, but in his defense, he did have to put up with Ocho and T.O.

Q6: What's your prediction for 2011?

A: 7-9

Q7: WTF, 7-9, no way, please explain.

A: The Bengals lucked out with the easiest opening seven games ever. Lets take a look real quick:

9/11 @Browns: Cleveland has won exactly one season opener since 1999. Advantage Bengals.

9/18 @Broncos: If there's one AFC team that could outsuck everyone this year, its Denver. Advantage Bengals.

Can the Carrot Top Cannon get the Bengals off to a quick start?
9/25 San Fran: When experts talk about the worst teams in the NFL this year, the 49ers are usually in the conversation. Advantage Bengals.

10/2 Buffalo: Everyone in Cincinnati witnessed the shit show that was the 2008 Bengals season. Ryan Fitzpatrick engineered that. He is now QB for the Bills. Advantage Bengals.

10/9 @Jaguars: Jacksonville CUT their starting QB five days before the season opener. In terms of winning games, that doesn't usually work out to well for you. Advantage Bengals.

10/16 @Colts: If Kerry Collins is the Colts QB in this game, bet your first child's second child on the Bengals. No Manning. Advantage Bengals.

With an early schedule
easier than Deena, the
Bengals could top out
at 9-7 this year.
10/30 @Seahawks: On the national scene, the Seahawks are the Bengals of the NFC, everyone's predicting them to be horrible and by Oct. 30, people might be calling this the Suck Bowl. As any Bengals fans knows, the Bengals are undefeated in Suck Bowls. Advantage Bengals.

These opening seven games are easier than a drunk Deena, if the Bengals can go 5-2 or 6-1 in this stretch, Dalton's confidence will shoot up faster than the BAC of a college freshman at their first frat party. If this happens, then anything is possible.

We think they'll go 4-3 in this stretch and then 3-6 the rest of the way.

This post is probably still too short for Grantland, isn't it?

Week One Picks: 
Green Bay 28-21 over New Orleans
Cincinnati 20-19 over Cleveland
Atlanta 24-17 over Chicago
Kansas City 20-17 over Buffalo
Philadelphia 21-20 over St. Louis
Detroit 27-20 over Tampa Bay
Tennessee 17-13 over Jacksonville
Pittsburgh 21-13 over Baltimore
Houston 31-17 over Indianapolis
NY Giants 20-14 over Washington
San Diego 35-24 over Minnesota
Seattle 24-16 over San Francisco
Arizona 24-10 over Carolina
NY Jets 20-17 over Dallas
New England 35-20 over Miami
Oakland 17-14 over Denver