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Sunday Primer: Who Dey vs. Who Dat

The Bengals host the Saints Sunday in a match-up of teams on opposite ends of the NFL spectrum.  While the Saints and Bengals are two of the more notoriously bad teams in NFL history, New Orleans has managed to turn their fortunes around through some extremely effective coaching and management—things the Bengals are generally unfamiliar with.  The defending Super Bowl champions boast one of the most potent offenses in the NFL, the seventh ranked defense in the league, and are riding a four game win streak. 

The Bengals, meanwhile, were supposed to be right there with them, but are instead floundering mightily. They rank 22nd in total offense, 26th in scoring defense, and near the bottom in nearly all special teams categories. Then there’s the 8-game losing streak the team is currently riding. 

On paper, it’s a blowout in the making. 

Saints QB Drew Brees should have his way with the Bengals secondary, although they should get a lift with the expected return of S Roy Williams and CB Johnathan Joseph. The Saints aren’t especially good at running the ball, nor do they do it often, but stopping it is another Bengal weak spot. 

When the Bengals have the ball, they should try running it with Cedric Benson, who may find success against New Orleans’ 15th ranked rush defense. Passing against the Saints will be difficult, as they rank 3rd in the league giving up an average of just 198 yards per game. Add to that Darren Sharper’s propensity for getting interceptions and Carson Palmer’s propensity for throwing them, and 3rd downs could be scary to watch. 

On the bright side for Cincinnati, they are playing at home, and there is snow in the forecast, which could work in their favor in slowing down the Saint attack.  It could be argued that the Bengals are due after an 8-game skid, and sooner or later they’ll get a bounce. 

Nonetheless, it looks clear to me that the team has quit on head coach Marvin Lewis, that they have been decimated by injuries, that Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco are now more of a sideshow than an actual threat, that the offensive line is underperforming badly, the defense has been an unexpected failure, the special teams has been absolutely abysmal and that Carson Palmer is war-weary and perhaps done. 

The guys left that are trying are playing sloppy and undisciplined football. Penalties are killing them, and boneheaded plays are occurring in all phases. Meanwhile Lewis stares blankly at the carnage and the T.Ocho show plays their fiddle while Rome burns. 

I expect more of the same Sunday.  The Bengals may make a game of it early, or try to come back late, but either way it won’t be enough.  34-20, Dats over Deys.

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One Response to “Sunday Primer: Who Dey vs. Who Dat”

  1. bengals69 says:

    All of this can change real quick with new and better coaching and personnel management using most of the current starters.

    That said, I don’t think Carson is part of any new Bengal team in 2011. 2 good seasons out of a 8 season career just doesn’t cut it. I agree with you on Carson.

    But hey, its Mike Brown’s system in place for 19 years, its proven and effective to make the Brown family wealthy and that is all that counts. Winning and losing is for chumps to worry about.

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