Different team, same outcome. In Cincinnati, it may not be the team, but the player.
Quite a few former Ravens found post season success with their new teams, including four starters in Super Bowl 50.
My Take: Michael Oher had an integral role in solidifying the Ravens offensive line during their Super Bowl run in 2012, but fell out of favor with fans and coaching staff. Ed Dixon’s inconsistency and drops led to his move. Good to see both having success with Carolina. If by some chance Oher can handle the Broncos speed rushers AND the Panthers take out the Broncos, he will have two rings at two different tackle positions in four years.
Fans in Cleveland and throughout Ohio will likely be rooting for Carolina in Super Bowl 50 as four of five players representing OSU in the big game will be in a Panthers uniform.
My Take: Many of the former OSU players aren’t just tokens, but have made an impact in the regular season as well as the playoffs. OSU tops the list of alums in SB50 (and would have had six if TE Jeff Heuerman wasn’t on the Broncos IR), followed by Tennessee with four, and six schools with three. Surprisingly, Maryland is tied for 9th with two.
The Bengals big game woes may not be a product of the Bengals psyche as a team, but perhaps based on a few key individuals. Carson Palmer stuggled during his two playoff efforts this season, and not just the NFC Championship game.
My Take: The Bengals playoff struggles start with their quarterbacks’ abilities to perform under pressure. Sure players like AJ Green and others have shared some responsibility, but it starts at the top. Palmer had a poor performance in his only other full postseason appearance back in 2009 with the Bengals. This year, after a near MVP regular season, he showed signs falling apart in the divisional round with puzzling decisions and interceptions, and followed up that performance with a 6-turnover effort in Sunday’s championship game.
Former Steelers Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians a few tough decisions during the offseason including quarterback Carson Palmer.
My Take: What can he do? The Cardinals have shown that they can’t go anywhere without Carson Palmer. However, if this version of playoff Palmer shows up next season, it will be an interesting choice in 2017, and eerily similar to the situation in Cincinnati. I can only assume ownership is slightly more aggressive in Arizona.