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Bills-Bengals Bounce Time!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… prepare to see on display one of the wonders of the NFL and an almost yearly occurrence in Cincinnati:

The Dead Cat Bounce.

Almost every year around Thanksgiving, a struggling Bengals team that has long since lost any realistic hope of postseason glory, finally begins to put it together. After looking inept for 8 to 10 weeks, they suddenly show life, and win a series of meaningless games on the way to the offseason.  This is meant to foster fan enthusiasm for the next season, and allow old-school owner Mike Brown to excuse the failures, and deny the need to make any substantive changes as the team has “turned the corner.”  In actuality, the process usually renews itself the following year. 

Enter the 2010 rendition of the Cincinnati Bengals.  After beginning the season 2-1 and looking a lot like the 09 version that won the AFC Central, the team has made a complete collapse and dropped six straight to effectively end their season.  Nonetheless, they looked scrappy and improved in recent close losses to the Steelers and the Colts, two of the class of the conference.  Their defense has looked stingier as of late and the offense, while still anemic, is ranking near the top of the league in many categories. 

As this woeful team led by a lame duck coach begins its ascension and pointless success, in comes the equally woeful Buffalo Bills under new coach Chan Gailey.  The Bills got their very first victory of the season last week—a 14-12 nail-biter over fellow bottom-feeder Detroit. 

The Bills are led by former Bengals back-up Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Most Bengal fans can remember the bang-up job he did for the 2008 Bengals.  While his performance made no one forget Boomer Esiason, he did help the stripes to a 3-game win streak to end the year. 

A dead cat bounce if I ever saw one. 

The Bengals are actually the better team statistically.  They should match up well against the Bills.  They are at home, and while Buffalo won last week, this Bengals squad is long overdue for a win. They’ve been playing much better as of late, and I’m sure T.O. will have a little extra motivation playing against his old mates. Cedric Benson should be huge in this one, as the Bills give up over 166 yards per game on the ground.  The Bills can’t score against even meager defenses, but are giving up over 27 a game. 

Call it for the Bengals, 24-14. 

Let the Dead Cat Bounce of 2010 begin.  Who. Dey.

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