Posted by hobsonschoice1 on November 15, 2010 – 2:50 pm

Leftovers from the ride back from Indy.

Cold leftovers. A lot of paper cups half full and half empty.

HALF FULL: This is the way we had the defense figured at the beginning of the year. Stingy in the red zone, give up nothing on the ground, and go toe-to-toe with a Pro Bowl quarterback.

HALF-EMPTY: Now we know what it’s like if Peyton Manning plays in one of those preseason games since he was missing three of his top five receivers and his running back.

REALITY: Any time you hold down Manning like that at home, whether he’s playing with just backup guys or not, it’s an accomplishment.

HALF FULL: The Bengals offensive line gets kudos for protecting Carson Palmer so well in the passing game. And it is a big accomplishment to keep Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis at bay at their place and down 17-0. Rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham has impressed with his blocking as much as his receiving and he was one of the guys chipping and helping out the tackles.

HALF EMPTY: How can the Bengals rush for 30 yards on 19 conventional runs against the NFL’s No. 29 rush defense that didn’t have a starting linebacker in a regular spot? How can they get no yards on runs by Cedric Benson on second-and-one and third-and-one? And one of them was with three tackles in the game. The game plan had been to run the ball and drain the clock, but they could never do it.

Note the snap before Palmer threw his first interception, a pick-six that put the Bengals down, 10-0. Again it was a play where right tackle Dennis Roland reported as eligible as a tight end. But Benson could only get one yard on the right edge to set up a second-and-nine and putting them off schedule.

HALF FULL: Maybe Palmer shouldn’t have even played, but it shows you the size of his guts. He gets a shot in the shoulder, completes 74 percent of his passes for 292 yards, and made some spectacular plays. That’s a franchise quarterback.

HALF EMPTY: From Nov. 25, 2007 to Oct. 10, 2010, he went 30 games without three picks. Now he’s had two in 35 days. It’s not just him, but he’s made some uncharacteristic bad decisions as of late. On Sunday, the rookie Jordan Shipley appeared to make the mistake on the pick-six. Terrell Owens has taken the blame on the last one. The overthrow to a wide open Chad Ochocinco came because he had to get rid of it. But on the pick to Gresham early in the fourth quarter, it looked like he left the pocket early.

But Palmer is right about one thing: He’s the ultimate source for blame. The way it’s going with his timing with the receivers, it looks like he can’t be as fine and has to back off the tight windows.

TELLTALE STAT OF SEASON: The Bengals have really struggled on third-and-short. After converting two of four third downs of two yards or less Sunday, the Bengals are 15-for-35 on that down and distance this season. They have run it 13 times (converting seven) and passed it 19 times (completing eight). There have been two sacks and a scramble on three other pass plays.

TOPIC OF THE THIS WEEK: The Carson-Fitzy Bowl is 1 p.m. Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium with Palmer facing Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, his backup in 2007 and 2008 and the man who started 12 games in his place in ’08. This year, Fitzpatrick, the seventh-rounder who became the first Harvard quarterback to throw an NFL pass, has slightly better numbers than Palmer and his Heisman Trophy with an 85.5 rating (14 TDs, seven picks) compared to Palmer’s 83 on 16 TDs and 11 picks. In ’08 he had a 70 rating (8 TDs and nine picks). His yards per throw that year was 5.1 compared to this year’s 6.6.

And Fitzpatrick has been out of this world on third down with the NFL’s second-best rating on that down at a 110  with another seventh-round pick, Kentucky’s Steve Johnson, second in the AFC in third-down catches. Shipley is tied for third, but Palmer is 27th on third down at below 60.

T.O. TAKE: Did Owens give up on the ball over the middle that was Palmer’s third pick? I don’t think so. He admited he screwed up the route. But anybody who took on Troy Polamalu like he did against the Steelers for that 20-yard catch that put the ball in the red zone Monday night with 61 seconds left has nothing to prove to me. From now on the only way I’ll be convinced he gives up on a ball is if he waves a white hanky. The one thing you’ve been able to count on is his competitiveness.

Posted in Hobson's Choice | 18 Comments »

18 Responses to “Leftovers”

  1. By overthroensamoan on Nov 15, 2010 | Reply

    Not sure I’m buying your T.O. take. I’ve been pro T.O. up until now. But I’m starting to see things and it’s not the pick that he clearly gave up on and then put forth no effort trying to bring the guy down that has me upset. It’s the long ball down the sideline that fell maybe 1 yard in front of him. If the guy makes any type of a play on the ball he at least gets a PI call. He does nothing. Don’t think you point on how he played against Pitt holds much water. Surely you realize someone with T.O.s ego is going all out on national TV.

  2. By bengalboi8515 on Nov 15, 2010 | Reply

    I am a huge bengals fan….born and raised in pittsburgh is not easy lol…But anyways I still watch them every single week..I stick by them cheer them on and will not jump on another team considering their season is over….But they are embarassing….i mean….not fully because they are in it every game…but they are establishing themselves once again as the bungles….they are like the bad news bears in the beginning of the game then they turn into a powerhouse top contending team in the like the last 20 to 25 minutes of the game…All just to fall up short on the last drive…Against the Colts was horrible….I mean 5 turnovers….3 of them picks…which I put the blame on Palmer…I am sorry…at times hes still the pro bowl quaterback that saved the team a few years back, but then more so….he is playing like a veteran back up whos been traveling the league for years looking for a team to remain on….think Tommy Maddox style??….He makes horrible decisions. …I totally agree that T.O has proved his age hasnt slowed him down a bit and he is still the competitor and player we all remember him as.

  3. By carson9 on Nov 15, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Hobson, 1st comment I’ve left since July. While Palmer has been erratic at times, I think he’s trying too hard. Im still a Carson believer, and think it would be unwise to get rid of him now. There were years in Denver that the fans were calling for Elway to be cut, that he was past his prime or would never win anything. He had a break through in his late 30’s and we know how that ended up. In my opinion our WRer’s have became too much of a distraction, and (even though I’m an 85 fan) I think we should cut both at end of season and start out fresh next yr as a run first, run 2nd, and sure as hell run on 3rd and short team. It worked once, why not draft a young bruiser RB late in the draft, and go with a 3 headed monster (Benson, Scott, Rookie RB) and just pound it?

  4. By firefly118 on Nov 15, 2010 | Reply

    I really am dumbfounded that I haven’t witnessed Lewis being fired! I shouldn’t be, really, but is there any repercussion for losing? Do we accept below average as par for the course? I mean 5 years is a tough run, 10 years is disheartening, but 20 years??? At some point Mr. Brown has to realize the obvious, this is now a way of life. All the excuses in the world have been used up, all the “glimmer of hope” and “wait til next year” are gone! Granted, a coaching change isn’t going to do a whole lot, its a total overhaul that we need and the first step is Mike Brown to decide that he is just the owner. You can’t argue facts, I don’t care how much football you cover, or if you are an analyst who use to play, or a media guru, the facts are this is a losing franchise with no real outlook for the future. I can’t blame T.O or Ocho for their discust, this organization has ripped up a lot of careers and now theirs.
    There are NO answers….There is only ONE answer…It is time to hire a real proven football guy (Gruden or Cowher) to be the GM/Coach and give 99% team/personnel power to him! Nothing else will change the outcome of this franchise.

  5. By naitjungle on Nov 15, 2010 | Reply

    speaking of leftovers………
    How many more games to the bengals have to loose before Jerome Simpson and Chase Coffman get a chance to step on the field? At what point do the Coaches give up on this season and start planning for the future? It appears the young defenders are getting their shot now its time to give a shot to our young men on the offense.What would happen if Jerome and Chase get their chance and they shine? Next year no need for TO and Reggie Kelly? You bring up the lack of running game on by the bengals but you also fail to bring up the fact that the bengals still wont dress a FB and Still dont start the game trying to run the ball. until next week boys….

  6. By mwindle1973 on Nov 15, 2010 | Reply

    I agree with you on the TO take Hobs. His supposed negativity is partly a media myth. Afterall didn’t his bad rep in Philly start with a comment that hinted that McNabb was not in good enough shape to execute a 2:00 offense in the Super Bowl?

    Good article Hobs. May I again appeal to the good fans of the Bengals to please consider blaming someone other than Lewis for this mess of a season. Blame him all you want, but continue to believe. He does know what this organization needs. He’s just not being allowed to do it.

    Perhaps I can provide somewhere else to point the gun. First Brown, for messing too much in personnel decisions again this season. First clue to that is we didn’t keep any special teams guys this year, we let them all go for guys that can’t play special teams or on the field. Marvin has always put a big emphasis on special teams.

    Let’s point the gun at an even more obvious place. So you want to say Carson hasn’t been the same since ’05. We haven’t had the same QB and WRs coaches since then either. Has anyone ever thought of replacing them? Probably so. And there are probably another position coach or two that would be replaced too. Except again we all know Browns penchant for not letting the Head Coach control who his staff is. Do you think Marvin really wanted Chuck Breshnahan here after the first season?

    Last note is the criticism of Palmer is unwarranted. At least that he should somehow know when his WR is going to run the route right or not. He did all a QB could do.

    I for one like how hard this bunch plays even if they can’t seem to shoot it straight long enough to produce a win. And I would like to see us try to get TO, JJoe, Chad, and Benson if possible back and any others I’m missing. And keep the coordinators and Lewis intact and take another shot next year. THe alternative is rebuilding and starting over. We seem to be too far along, and have too many things in place to start over.

  7. By mwindle1973 on Nov 15, 2010 | Reply

    I just wanted to point out that the team is doing a canned food drive if anyone would like to take a cheap shot at that. 🙂

    Last time the team did something for the needy someone posted in here that the team was basically pandering to the public.

    Now that’s a frustrated fan for ya!

  8. By bengalpirate on Nov 16, 2010 | Reply

    I’m still half full, although I’ll admit after Gresham’s fumble, I was totally drained and empty. The Colt’s game epitomizes our whole season so far. Fall behind early in the game, come roaring back, throw in a few critical turnovers and key injuries, lose and voila, there is our season so far. Each week it gets a little more painful, but hats off to guys like Carson, Ocho, Marvin and all the rest for playing through the physical and mental pain each week. Next up is the Bills and if we lose to them, then we are reduced again to waiting to see who our 1st round draft pick in 2011 is. If we beat the Bills, we are still in the chase, but have to win out to even have a shot at the playoffs. Who Dey!!! Go Bengals!!!

  9. By tepidfan31 on Nov 16, 2010 | Reply

    Simply wanted to reply to mwindle on his post a few days ago. I totally disagree with his assessment of Brat. He is the least OC regarding innovations. His play calling eg. passing on every 3rd down; 6 with 3 yards or less. He said that he calls 1st and 3rd downs and Palmer calls the 2nd. Look at the average yards per play. Then comments from Whit, they made adjustments and we did not, and Palmer’s laments through out this season, they seemed to know and jumped our routes. Our talent is as good as or better than the Patriots, however they always have both offensive and defensive game plans tailored precisely against the weaknesses of the upcoming opponent, and then make adjustments during the game. We have an offensive game play for the first series only, after that there seems to be no adjustments. Alexander isn’t much better. McNally developed a number of sow’s ears; since Alexander has been here, the only reasonably good OLmen are draft choices in the first few rounds. We can’t run against one of the weakest run defenses in the league. Ask yourself WHY? Sorry, mwindle, on this issue I could not disagree with you more.

  10. By phlockar on Nov 16, 2010 | Reply


    2 things. 1) Palmer has had the same QB coach for the past 7 years so lets not act like there hasn’t been any continuity there. 2) Stop worrying about how and what other fans point the blame at for our failures as an organization. Take a step down from your pedastool. It seems the weather up there is getting to you.

  11. By jengal3 on Nov 16, 2010 | Reply

    Althought the present QB coach has been in place for some time, it seems the pass/receive game has suffered since we lost Mr. Hue Jackson, former receivers coach. If I had my druthers, I’d have him coaching again for the Bengals.

  12. By leafsnbengalsfan on Nov 16, 2010 | Reply

    Really, Hobs? That’s your TO take?? TO has given up on a bunch of balls this year, not to mention the embarrassment of him walking back to the line of scrimmage at the end of the game vs the Pats. Everyone else was on the line waiting for him!!! Granted, his numbers are much higher than I thought they would be, but it’s sad that someone with sooo much talent just can’t seem to give it all. And along with TO, if what we witnessed on Sunday was the real Ocho…Where has he been all season???
    Boy, watching this team is frustrating…….

  13. By mwindle1973 on Nov 16, 2010 | Reply

    @ phlockar

    A few things…

    …1) I stand corrected on our QB coach. He has been here 8 years.

    2) As jengal3 pointed out though, our pass/receive game indeed went downhill with the exit of Hue Jackson. And I too would welcome his return. Even as OC.

    3) The word your looking to insult me with is pedestal, not pedastool. Would have been a good insult. But as it stands it’s about as effective as the 2010 Bengals offense.

    4) Stop worrying about me worrying about worrying about blah blah blah blah. Just do what most others do and ignore me or give your own opinion like tepidfan31. My point is to merely get an intelligent discussion on the issue going.

    @ tepidfan31. I’m not as stuck on Brat as I am Lewis. You have some points. I’m still not convinced that he is as bad as people think. When your that bad. You’ll get called out on ESPN every week. They’ve been doing it to Mike Martz of the Bears all year. Brat is calling the game with us 10 pts behind for most of the game. That really shrinks the playbook a lot. All that said. If we have to fire someone to keep the fans happy. Then let it be Brat before Lewis. Because I don’t think that Brat is exactly a perfect marriage for Lewis like say Zimmer is.

  14. By mwindle1973 on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    “When it comes to coverages,” The Ocho said Wednesday, he wished the Bengals would “be more aggressive and not do what the defense dictates, but instead make the defense react and cover their moves.”

    This quote about sums it up for me. When you have the talent we do, I think you should dictate to the D what they are going to cover and not just react to how they line up.

    If you think about it. We are behind in the score a lot. And then are forced to throw deep into a Cover 2 shell. We have had success in these situations. Yet we won’t take the tact early in the game.

    And if you notice defenses have really gotten into baiting us with looks, then backing out of them. Or sending delayed blitzes from coverage sets. They know if they give us a look we will check out of the play. In that way the offese has become predictable. Once you get us reacting to the D, then the DC for the other team can begin to corner us with past tendecies.

    On another note Kudos to the team for pointing out that the 3 ints can be credited to someone other than Carson. Which has been the case with over half of his ints. Now I realize that in the press room ints always belong to the QB. But in the film room they do not. Makes sense. Nothing Carson can do to make a guy be where he is supposed to be on a route.

    In fact, Hobs it would be real nice to see a breakdown of how many Carson ints are actually attributed to his mistake. I would bet a dollar to a dime that he isn’t responsible for half of them.

  15. By jengal3 on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    “In fact, Hobs it would be real nice to see a breakdown of how many Carson ints are actually attributed to his mistake. I would bet a dollar to a dime that he isn’t responsible for half of them.”

    On a similar note I’d be interested in finding out how many of Palmer’s interceptions had T.O. as his target. It seems to me many of them have been thrown in T.O.’s direction and I wonder if Carson is trying to force it to him to make a play because he’s such a visible and ‘big’ target. Perhaps if he’d thrown a few balls away instead of trying to get it to T.O. there’d be a few more “W”‘s in the column. And that’s not to say I don’t agree that some receivers haven’t been running their routes correctly and that Palmer often gets blamed unfairly, but I’d still be interested in the numbers.

  16. By mwindle1973 on Nov 19, 2010 | Reply

    jengal3 you have another good point there. Because I believe that going into the Indy game, Owens had been targeted more than any other WR in the NFL. Or he coudl have been 2nd, can’t remember for sure. But if you looked at Ocho’s numbers. He had been targeted much less, but caught a much higher % of the targets.

    On another note I seen a comment or 2 about us not having a FB. Seems like this is a common complaint. And it doesn’t help anything that’s for sure. I think last year the FB helped a lot where the Oline blocking broke down.

    But it’s important to note that the Steelers aren’t using one this season either. Like us they are using TEs back there. But honestly I believe the team on this one. Gresham and Kelly are better overall FBs than Pressley right now.

    Good thing is we have Pressley back with us again, and hopefully he can be ready to go by next season. But if you notice, no other team used him either. That’s how we ended up with him again. It’s a position where there aren’t enough quality players for every team to have one. Every year a few teams have problems finding a FB at all. But it would be nice wouldn’t it? Because the best rushing teams always have one.

    But honestly with all the 3 WR sets we run, we should have been able to run block better with field so spread. Last year we came out in 1 WR power formations. But this year those aren’t working. I don’t get it really. Same Oline, the TEs do a good job at FB, same HB, but we can’t run. BUt you have ROland, Cook, and to a smaller extent, Livings who aren’t playing at last years level.

    Problem is we have been so bad at running the ball, that we can’t do it long enough to set up the mis-direction, counters, and cutback plays that gave us the big gains last year

  17. By oshi76 on Nov 20, 2010 | Reply

    last i checked lorenzo neal is still looking for work. i could be crazy but the guy has had nothing but successful RB’s line up behind him. of course the bengals would never give money to an aging player that stays in tremendous shape……

  18. By dave419247 on Nov 21, 2010 | Reply

    to every bengals fan everywhere, i have been telling everyone who will listen for 6 years Marvin Lewis must goooo. Defense sux so bad it isnt even funny. Marvin is supposed to be a defensive genius. turns out the players in baltimore that marvin coached made him look so good. when marvin left baltimore as defensive coordinator the defense actually got better for three straight years statictically. that tells me lewis doesnt deserve his job. all he does is sit and nod on the sideline. DO SOMETHING MARVIN ! its simple show us how u built a defensive dynasty in baltimore, no wait u didnt the ravens palyers were and are that good. marvin is a defensive back coach at best he doesnt understand offenses and if you think he does look at his offense < run ist down 2 yards run 2nd down 1 yard < 3rd and long incomplete pass then punt < that is marvin.

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