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A lot of ’08-09 Bengals in Fitzy comeback

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on November 22, 2010 – 12:57 pm

 The text clicked in from Buffalo at 10:14 p.m. Sunday night.

“How wild was that hobs?”

Thanks to you Fitzy, it was wild. Not as wild as Harvard Beats Yale, 29-29. Not as wild as Frank Reich in the playoffs. But you’ve got your own niche in football history now, Fitz. Call it Harvard Sails, 14-17.

Take Sunday’s DVD of Buffalo’s 49-31 win over the Bengals and send it to every kid you care about. In the game’s first 20 minutes, Fitzpatrick threw the ball to everyone but Dean Wormer. He came off the field after throwing a pick-six to fall behind 28-7 and looking like some TSA agent had crawled into his bearded disguise.

Take note, kids. Fitzpatrick hit 14 of his last 17 passes to engineer the biggest comeback in NFL history. No one. Not Montana. Not Elway. Not Brady. No one before Sunday had been down by as much as 17 points at the half and ended up winning by 18.

If you ever feel down, take a look at Fitzy trailing, 28-7, and wondering if he had thrown a ball to Kate Middleton for an engagement gift. He never said never. He may not be blessed with all the talent. But kids, heart and brains go a long way.

Which is kind of ironic because there was a lot of Bengals ‘08 and ’09 in Fitzy’s comeback. There was a lot of Carson Palmer grit. It is head coach Marvin Lewis’ style and pitch. Never down, never out. That is one of the many surprising things about Sunday: a Lewis team rarely gets blown out. Win or lose, it always seems like a Lewis game is decided late either way. The big difference between last year and this year is a small number of plays. Last year they were third-down conversions and touchdowns. This year they are fumbles and interceptions.

The great debate continues. Are they underachievers this year or overachievers last year?

Did they give up Sunday?

No, the defense had nothing left, but the last four minutes or so looked bad enough that it sparked  questions.

What will happen Thursday?

Lewis’ guys always seem to play hard. It is hard to see them not.

A few other thoughts:

» What a time to play the Jets. Just when their passing game is hitting all the notes.  You’d have to say the only starting Bengals  DB that looks probable is cornerback Leon Hall and it won’t be surprising if safety Chris Crocker goes on IR.  You’ve got to believe they have to go get another cornerback for Thursday just to make sure they really don’t have to use wide receivers Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby.

Don’t look now, the Jets not only throw it, they throw it in the clutch. They went 72 yards in the final 49 seconds Sunday to beat the Texans, 30-27. Quarterback Mark Sanchez (315 yards) threw a 42-yard bomb to Braylon Edwards to set up a six-yard fade to Santonio Holmes for the winning touchdown with 10 seconds left.

Yikes.

Both Edwards and Holmes tortured the Bengals as members of the Browns and Steelers, respectively. Holmes knocked the Bengals out of the playoffs in ’06 when he ended their season with a run-and-catch touchdown in overtime, and in the past few weeks Holmes had ended two OTs and caught Sunday’s winner, one of seven catches for 126 yards.

» There seems to a split opinion on Terrell Owens’ Howard-Cosell-Tell-It-Like-It-Is news conference after the game. Using the word “terrible” may not have been the best choice.  Carson Palmer said he wouldn’t have used it, but he himself opted for “not very good.” But overall Owens sounded like a guy being honest and he had the always important “include mes” in there. And, basically, Palmer and right guard Bobbie Williams said the same thing about the Jets drilling them if they don’t bounce back quickly.

Guys who play as well as Owens is playing right now have a right to say some things. And he kept it above board by not pointing fingers.

» The most stunning thing on a stunning Sunday was how the Bengals’ best players couldn’t deliver a decisive blow in key points against a 1-8 team:

Palmer’s first red-zone interception of the season, a perfect spot to slow down the comeback.

Running back Cedric Benson’s fourth lost fumble of the season on their opening drive of the second half, just when they needed to keep the ball for five minutes or so to cool off the Bills.

Cornerback Leon Hall getting beat on a fade route for the go-ahead touchdown. As the only starter in the secondary on the field, they couldn’t afford that from their most reliable and steady guy on defense.

Punter Kevin Huber’s 23-yard shank right after the three-and-out that followed the Bills’ go-ahead touchdown.

All very good, very tough players, very proven players.

Surprising.

But then, this entire season has been one mystery after the other.

A text went back to Buffalo this morning. The joke two years ago had been to name his youngest kid “Geoff with a G.”

“You should name the next one ‘Stevie,’ ” the text said.


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Posted in Hobson's Choice | 23 Comments »


23 Responses to “A lot of ’08-09 Bengals in Fitzy comeback”

  1. By overthroensamoan on Nov 22, 2010 | Reply

    As I said in Sept this team left GTown with no identity and its only gotten worse. The real question is whats next. Do they blow this thing up and start fresh or keep the core intact and make a change here and there. I say blow it up!!! Bring in a new offensive minded head coach and copy the Saints. Unload all these dead overhyped personalities and replace them with quaulity people that understand team first. It would be a breath of fresh air not having the Divas and Slackers around.

  2. By bengalpirate on Nov 22, 2010 | Reply

    “One mystery after the other” How appropriate. A promising 1st half, followed by a disastrous 2nd half. Right on queue. I STILL remain a loyal Bengals fan, but it hurts right now and the big mystery is why. We swept the AFC North and made the playoffs last year, but now, we may lose the rest of our games. In my opinion, the search for the answers starts right at the top, goes all the way down to the lowest level and then serpentining back to the top again.

    Oh well, there is always next year, but it seems like that is always the quest. But hey, the Buckeyes still have a remote chance to make it to the BCS Championship Game and then on February 16th pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear and then comes the NFL Draft, if there is one. Hope springs eternal for the Bengals, but man, it sure seems like an eternity before any hopes will actually come to fruition. Who Dey!!!.

  3. By bengaldom on Nov 22, 2010 | Reply

    right now the word disappointed isnt the word anymore more like embarassed….the question on everybody’s mind is how do you blow a 17 point lead? now we are the laughing stock of the NFL, and people already tagging us the worst team in the NFL. T.O took the words right out my mouth, however terrible isnt the word, more like horrible. And yet we wonder why we couldnt sell out on home games….

  4. By bengaldom on Nov 22, 2010 | Reply

    now unfortunately I am thinking the whole team quit yesterday. I follow Chad on facebook and twitter, and he was promoting his mad chad game…man we just blew a game to the winds yesterday, you should at least give this social networks a day or 2 and concentrate on making this team better but no Chad wants to talk about other thngs.I played corner all my life and I know something for a fact when your team is down esp. with this losing streak its time for someone to step up and be a leader, its not the time to be just another member of the team. Jeez we have not had a back to back winning season in a LOOOONG TIME….n Chad has been on this team for a while….aren’t NFL players getting paid millions to show up for workand be role models and be leaders of their team? this and many others are questions I cant find answers to…and with the firing of Childress, I say its time to fire sum1 too….not Marv but Bratkowski omg that guy sux at play calling…Ced Benson better get his act together too

  5. By daytonmike on Nov 22, 2010 | Reply

    Consistant incompetance, 18 losing seasons out of the last 20, Mike Brown must be extremely proud of his leadership. I’m embarrased to say I’ve been a season ticket holder since Nippert, and I’m sorry to say, I GIVE UP, unless a competent GM is hired, a competent team of scouts is hired, and a competent, nononsence head coach is hired.
    Under Mr. Browns incompetent leadership the team is filled with overhyped underachieving players, and other than his dad, Gregg, and Wyche the coaching has been horrendous. Mr. Brown you will die a rich man, why not also die a PROUD MAN?

  6. By hobsonschoice1 on Nov 22, 2010 | Reply

    OVERTHROW: Fitting you check in a day after the third time in history a Bengals quarterback started against the guy he backed up. And for the second time, the backup won. Fitzpatrick beat Palmer 17 years to the day Boomer beat Klingler. Kenny Anderson won the 1984 duel against Jack Thompson, although Thompson matched Fitzpatrick with 316 yards.

    The blow-it-up-question is fascinating. First they have to decide if these guys overachieved last year or underachieved this year. If that isn’t hard enough, what positions do you make priorities?

    Yes, there is a draft this April and there shouldn’t be any holdouts because there figures to be a rookie wage scale in place with a new CBA. The quarterback talk is premature. Breaking it down, he’s the least of the questions.

    Their most productive receiver turns 37 in 16 days and the other starter turns 33 a week the playoffs start. Both safeties are 30 and banged up. They need a pass rusher and a right tackle if they’re not sure about Andre Smith’s health.

    But, before we even get into it, tell me who the coach is and what the new CBA says is going to be a free agent. Until then, it’s dancing in the dark.

  7. By tepidfan31 on Nov 22, 2010 | Reply

    Rebuild, or we’ll have another decade in Hell!

    New Head Coach (Marvin doesn’t want to be shackled by Brown anymore); keep Zimmer, but the Offensive Coaches must go. However, I hope Zimmer would not take it, unless Brown gives him control, not only personnel but also scouting. If not, hire a GM (yeah, not until Hell freezes over). But How?

    1. Pass Rusher, Trade or release Gaethers and/or Odom, If they don’t produce in last games.
    2. At least one Safety
    3. L Guard
    4 Center, If Cook doesn’t improve against NTs
    5 WRs, trade Chad and Caldwell; Can Simpson become a starter, if not release him
    6 LBs, Rivers and Malaluga are simply OK, but not dominant at all, and Jones is old.
    7 Nose Tackle, if two gapper
    8 FB, unless he isn’t important to new system
    8 R Guard, probably next year
    9 QB, next year or whenever franchise one is available.

    Too many holes to fill, need to make trades! Also in draft, how many 5 thru 7 (except with McNally) ever make an impact, trade down. But you can’t do enough in the draft, so be active in the FA market, but never for average, cheap, injured guys like we have in the past.

    I’ve been a multi-seat season ticket holder (4 to 8 seats) since the beginning: I enjoyed and it was worth it for the first 20 years of so under Paul, but I guess it skips a generation, probably now two or three. And it’s now not worth what I am paying for the last 20 years. Organizations always reflect the head man. If not for my children, I would have been outta here 10 years ago. Still may!

  8. By bengalpirate on Nov 22, 2010 | Reply

    Given that there is a draft in April, then how realistic is it that the new CBA is agreed upon by the players and the ownership before July 1st? Do you have any insight as to how close a new CBA is to an agreement? Or are we all dancing in the dark?

  9. By looking4sb1 on Nov 23, 2010 | Reply

    Great points Hobson. And all I have to say (in my most sarcastic voice) is what great timing for the Bengals to turn back to their losing ways. As if there isn’t already enough uncertainty heading into next year, let’s use this year to make sure there is a question mark beside every part of the organization to top it off.

    The inconsistency of this franchise is killing me!

  10. By mwindle1973 on Nov 23, 2010 | Reply

    Hobs, right on here. Getting rid of Palmer is crazy. He’s the least of the problems. Let the media go on about it. They will. I hear Steve Young during our Monday night game say that Palmer was worn out, and age is effecting him.

    I think the answer leans towards overachieving last year. In fact nobody predicted us to do that well. Our overachieving is probably the chief reason Lewis won Coach of the Year. In fact most outlets predicted us to miss the playoffs this year. I seen some have us as low as 6-10. We created a lot of the hype here in Bengaldom. And the media after the fact did as well.

    I think we have most pieces in place to be a top level team next year. On D the weaknesses this year have been 3-tech DT, RDE, & the LBs have disappointed. On O we are weak at LG & obviously FB. C has been a step backwards and RT never came together right.

    I think the biggest question to the whole mystery here is simple. Where do we stand financially. In otherwords, will we have the cap room to sign this roster next year and make upgrades to it?

    The #s suggest yes. Yet the historic cheapness of this team suggests no. In 2009 we spent 122M out of a salary cap of 127M. This year ourstarting team salary was 109M placing us 20th in the NFL. The end $$s are always higher. If this was a capped year that # would auto rise to 126M based on the cutting of COles and Bryant. Other factors would have drove that # up above 130M. So the #s do indeed suggest we could make a push for the next 2 seasons to win a championship. We have the main ingredients in place. Will Brown be willing to put up another 10-20M in order to accomplish this? Can he even afford to? The fact that he could afford to cut 17M in an uncapped year suggest that we could indeed spend that same amount or greater on new salaries next year. But how much will it take to re-sign Ocho, TO, JJoe, Benson alone?

  11. By tepidfan31 on Nov 23, 2010 | Reply

    I feel very sorry for Marvin and believe that he is a good coach. Injuries have taken their toll, however some things beyond injuries are at work here, which are determining success and failure. As fans, we can only surmise based on what we see, the results, and our limited knowledge, not only of our team, but also other teams, who are either perennially good or bad. The teams, who are always contenders, are so, even though they are always drafting at the end of each round. Whereas the poor teams, even though they draft early every year, seem to remain in mediocrity. All teams have injuries, it is simply that good teams are able to overcome them, and poor teams are not. The conclusion; there can only be three factors that affect a team’s results, Coaching, Player Talent, and Management.

    Coaching is definitely a factor, since it is obvious that some have significantly more success than others. It is typical in any field of endeavor (doctors, engineers, athletes, etc.), where there is a range from those who are excellent to those who are less so; like a scale of 10 to 1. The same applies to Talent and Management. Coaches must not only be good at Xs and Os, but also as motivators; but they must also have available to them all the tools they need for success. If not, how can you hold them accountable?

    It is obvious that if coaching is equal that a more talented team should be better than a less talented team. So talent is a major factor, not only athletic, but also character, intelligence, and commitment. But who in each organization is responsible for and has the knowledge to assess the talent? If it is coaches, then they are to be held accountable. If it is management, then they must be held accountable. Also, management is responsible for assessing the qualities of the coaches they hire, so in this only they must be held accountable.

    Finally, teams that are perennial losers, usually going through a number of coaches, the failure absolutely must be pinned on Management. But, being an absolute monopoly, the owners of franchises, are either totally committed to winning or are satisfied with mediocrity. Yes, all of them prefer to win, but some don’t have the acumen, but the arrogance, or won’t pay the price to do so. It is inconceivable that in America we have monopolies like the NFL, where you do not have to win to make an obscene amount of money. An owner, if he chooses, simply doesn’t have to provide a good product to his consumers to be financially successful. They are an anathema!

  12. By 2ndboot on Nov 23, 2010 | Reply

    I know i’m not alone in thinking perhaps the best thing that could happen for Cincinnati as a town is for Mike Brown to just pack up and move this team so someone else can bring in a new team. Cincinnati is obviously a viable NFL market, but Mike Brown isn’t going to bring a winner in after so many years of failure.
    This season brought great hopes among fans only to see the entire thing implode one game after another.
    I love the Bengals, but it’s painfully obvious now the feeling just isn’t mutual. if it were we would have a winner for more than a single season at a time.

  13. By overthroensamoan on Nov 23, 2010 | Reply

    Hobson.
    Even though he has looked dazed and confused all season I agree with you QB is not the major problem. There are so many other holes that need to be filled but I believe you start at the top and with that in mind I hope J Jones is sold on a big name coach in Dallas because Jason Garrett would be a perfect fit. He’s familiar with a owner who thinks he’s a GM and has a great offensive mind. It’s very clear this team must improve both lines, the LBs have been a sore spot and now the secondary is in shambles not to mention the WRs. In order of importance as this team stands right now. 1. They must resign J Joseph. 2. WR (only if AJ Green is available) if not D Line is a must. 3. They must stabilize the OL. 4. They’re going to have to replace both S. As far as trying to figure out this years team compared to last year I think you look no further than the head coach. Last year he made it very clear what that team was going be and he won Coach Of The Year. This year nothing, no direction, no emphasis and even worse no leadership. Thats why I’m convinced Marvin must go. His words are now falling on deaf ears it’s time for a change.

  14. By hobsonschoice1 on Nov 23, 2010 | Reply

    This is not my sarcastic voice. When the players don’t see a deal in sight and the owners aren’t supposed to talk, yeah, I think most of us are dancing in the dark. My prediction is there is a deal in early August, just in time to try out that 18-game sked.

    WINDER – First, they have to decide if they want to sign those guys. They’ve got to be worried about Chad’s focus, Benson’s fumbles, and Jospeh’s durability. You can make arguments for keeping all three or letting them all go. I love all three of those guys, but if you ranked them, wouldn’t J.Joe be at the top of the list? Great athlete at a premium position. Benson is a man, always plays hard. At 33, how much will The Ocho have left and will it be worth $6M?

    Maybe so if you follow the Paul Brown way of thinking. Which is don’t move someone until you can replace them. That has to drive the decision-making this offseason.

  15. By mwindle1973 on Nov 24, 2010 | Reply

    Hobs, a question…

    …DO you foresee any chance that we will attempt to trade someone out of here in order to get back the 3rd round pick we traded away for Nelson?

    At the time it seemed like a decent deal. But if he doesn’t step up next season, it will become a bad deal. What maybe looked like the a trade for the 90th player in the coming draft will probably turn out to be the about the 70th player picked. We’ve also limited ourselves to 2 real chances to make a difference in the draft. And good teams can’t afford to chase need in the draft, you have to draft talent. We’ve done that the last 2 years and it has payed off. Drafting for need creates Caldwells & Simpsons.

    But who could we possibly trade to even pick up a 5th or 6th round pick that we would be willing to deal?

    Do you do the unthinkable and send someone like Benson to a contender that needs HBs, like say the Pats? He’s up this season, unhappy, and may command more money than we will spend. He is one of the few that could get us a 2nd or 3rd round pick. But if we know we can sign him it may not be worth it, because you have to then either pick up a HB in free agency or draft for need with one of your first 2 picks.

  16. By mwindle1973 on Nov 25, 2010 | Reply

    Geoff, I’ve said this before about the Ocho. We’ve had the fortune of having him here for well under 5M a year for the last 3 years. I think Rex Ryan stated it best. That Chad is still the biggest vertical threat in the game. He didn’t say Randy Moss for a reason. I’ve watched Moss play several times this season. He is double covered most of the time. But is still left out there on an island enough to get several shots in a game. Chad is never left in man coverage. He is always doubled, sometimes tripled (doubled plus a bracket, so he is doubled inside or out).

    Actually our whole offense is predicated on the D doubling Chad. Every D that plays us doubles him. Even if they never do that. The Jets even went man on MOss quite a bit this season. But on Thursday they will double Chad all the way.

  17. By tepidfan31 on Nov 25, 2010 | Reply

    My opinion!
    To win in the NFL today, especially when against good QBs like Brady, both Mannings, Drees, etc. is with a pass rush. Almost every game Indy loses, it is because of a pass rush on Manning, like Sunday against NE, he throws a pick on his last throw because of the pass rush. The same is true vs. the other good QBs, like the Giants against NE in the Super Bowl. Give any of these guys time and they will cut you apart. An integral component of this, then, is obviously pass protection. If a good QB has protection, and if the opposing good QB does not, you win, period. Yes, teams with average QBs might stress the run, so run blocking and run stopping are factors, but a distant second. End of my opinion!

  18. By mwindle1973 on Nov 25, 2010 | Reply

    Well at least I get to see some of this one on NFL.com!

    They don’t show you the whole game, but they’ve shown 40-50% of it and have analysis inbetween time.

    They have a nice download that gives you HD quality video stream. I have it going on my laptop now. Have the laptop run into my TV via HDMI slot and have a great quality, full screen picture to look at.

    Halftime, hopefully we can find a way to pull this one out. This Wade kid we signed this week looks pretty good. He may be the fastest guy on our D now.

  19. By mwindle1973 on Nov 26, 2010 | Reply

    Tepid I couldn’t agree with you more about shoring up the O & D lines. They are the bread and right now all we have on this team is a bunch of butter :)

    The argument continues on TV. Pundits that sit in a studio (this NFL Network’s crew) say that Palmer has something physically wrong with him and he’s done. Yet the analysts on the field continue to excuse some of things as a bad season, miscues on the rest of the offense, or simply bad decisions by Palmer. Seems to be an argument brewing. Is this a physical problem, or is it mental, or is it mechanical?

    Joe Theisman reported that before the game that he graded Palmer’s ints and only 4 were his fault. Make that 6 after the Jets game.

  20. By tepidfan31 on Nov 26, 2010 | Reply

    NFL Personnel Strategy

    Avg. % of Draft Picks who become NFL starters:
    First round 75%
    Second round 50%
    Third round 35%
    Fourth round 25%
    Fifth round 15%
    Sixth round 10%
    Seventh round 8%

    Team Draft Picks Becomes Starters
    First round 3 every 4 years
    Second round 2 every 4 years
    Third round 1 every 3 years
    Fourth round 1 every 4 years
    Fifth round 1 every 7 years
    Sixth round 1 every 10 years
    Seventh round 1 every 13 years

    Conclusion:
    1 Try to trade all 5th to 7th round picks
    2 Trade up in 1st and 2nd rounds for a sure fire starter
    3 Draft trade could be for proven player, rather than pick
    4 Combine 4th thru 7th and possibly 3rd picks for 1st or 2nd
    5 Never trade for player or FA, who cannot become immediate starter

  21. By mwindle1973 on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    One thing I just can’t get here. And I’m not alone, a couple NFL analysts wondered the same thing. Marvin made the comment that his upstairs replay guys told him the ball hit Caldwell on the head during the blotched punt turnover.

    Here’s what I’m wondering. How does the ball touch a player and he not know it? In fact how does the ball touch a player and it not change the trajectory of the ball at all. They didn’t show very many looks of it in slow-mo, so I couldn’t see the ball react at all.

    Keep in mind I’m not saying it didn’t happen. But mainly if it did, how did Caldwell no know. If he had reacted, he himself had inside position and could have recovered the ball. But he literally did not react to the ball hitting him. I was convinced it didn’t at the time. Obviously it did. But how does this happen? How does a punt come down on someones head, no matter how slightly, and that person not know? Was he pretending it didn’t happen, hoping it wouldn’t be noticed?

  22. By mwindle1973 on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    You know something I’ve been thinking about. Most people think Mike Brown runs the team. In fact, the GM responsibilities are split up between 7 people. Although Brown retains the final say in all matters. It just seems weird. No team in the league does that. How can you have a consistent philosophy and make consistent decisions with a “panel” calling the shots. It’s like they’ve set up a little “congress” right inside board room.

    This has to be addressed. Brown is at apoint again that to renew fan interest he is going to have to do something. Next season will not bring automatic sellouts. Hopefully this time instead of getting rid of good coaches and players he will hire a GM and cure the terrible management of this teams football operations. I’m convinced of this. The only thing fans can do is stop buying tickets and merchandise. It’s really the only way for you to have a voice.

    Here’s one thing though. Organizations will be reluctant to hire new staff of any sorts. Th reason being that a lockout will prevent any new coaches or staff from contacting players until an agreement is reached. So if we get new coaches and there is a lockout until August or so. There will be no way for players to learn the inevitable new schemes and plays that a new coach bring with him.

  23. By tepidfan31 on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Benson said
    “As teammates we all talk about things and things we would like to see addressed; it’s not happening; Guys are rolling with the punches and letting the coaches make decisions and trying to play with the schemes that we’re put in.”
    Brat, how many offensive players have to say it before you get the message?

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