Monday, November 06, 2006

What's Gone Wrong with the Bengals? [David Stefanini]

As ESPN anaylst, Len Pasquarelli agrees, "There is clearly something missing from the Bengals."
The question now becomes how do they fix it? This was a team last year which many say would have beaten the eventual Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, if Carson Palmer didn't blow out his knee.
The team does not look good as a unit. Chad Johnson is doing a great deal of talking, however unlike years past, he is not showing the production. I am the first person to say I have no problem with people talking smack in the week leading up to the game as long as they can back it up. Chad Johnson is not backing up his talk this season. Maybe some of his lack-luster performances lie on the shoulders of Carson Palmer.
Carson Palmer does not look fully comfortable in the pocket as he did last season. It does not look a if his knee is giving him any difficulty, it looks as if it's his confidence that is the problem. Last year Palmer walked around with a certain attitude and cockiness that we see from the icons of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Rightfully so Palmer was making his claim to be in the category with those two great quarterbacks.

It is to early to say this team is out of playoff contention yet, but things do not look good. In my 'humble' opinion they need to stop worrying and play like they did after they played the Colts last season. After that game they came out saying you can't stop us, and we know it, they would proceed to comeout passing and hitting the opposition with draw plays. They need to get Rudi Johnson involved more. Last year people knew the Bengals would pass on them, but they still had no answer for Rudi Johnson, this year they play pass, and the Bengals keep throwing it to them. They need to use the run to set up the pass. I am not saying they need to become a run first offense, but at least line up and slam it up the middle once or twice a drive.
I guess only time will tell if the Bengals will turn their season around. If any team has the offensive talent to do so (other than the Colts) it's the Bengals.