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Old 10-04-2009, 11:54 PM    (permalink
MarioPalmer
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Default Are the Bengals for real?

I have to ask the obvious question. Are the Cincy Bengals for real in 2009 with their 3-1 record?

The Offense:

Carson Palmer doesn't quite look like the elite QB of past, but he is certainly getting there and his confidence is building with each game and each win.

Chad Ochocinco is once again one of the top receivers in the league and Lavernous Coles is a very good #2 wide out. I would like to see a little more out of Chris Henry, but I have a feeling he'll see more of the field once the Bengals get into the heart of the season around weeks 6-9. Andre Caldwell has been done right awesome and a bit of a surprise this year. For our 3rd/4th wide out he has been great.

Cedric Benson has looked like the running back the Bears were supposed to have drafted with the top 5 overall pick in 2005. Bernard Scott looks to be a star 3rd down back and I'm pretty excited to see him progress through out the season.

The offensive line is decent even without the addition of top pick Andre Smith out. Andrew Whitworth has been solid, but his mental mistakes have been drive killers. Kyle Cook has been solid at the center spot and Anthony Collins has been hot and cold, but when he's hot he looks one of the better tackles in the game and Bobbie Williams is the same old Bobbie Williams, solid but unspectacular.



The Defense:

The defensive line has been very good through 4 games, with Antwan Odom being an absolute beast, and Sims, Peko and Tank Johnson look like a very good group of defensive tackles that the Bengals can rotate in and out. Geathers is solid, still waiting for him to regain his 11 sack form from 2005, but the potential is definitely there.

The linebacking corps looks to be the strength of the defense. Keith Rivers is a certified superstar in the making and Rey Maualuga looks to be following right behind him. I don't have a ton of confidence in Dhani Jones, but he is a veteran with a ton of experience so he does help getting guys lined up and is a leader on and off the field.

The secondary I didn't think would be great. We all know they have a very good CB duo in Jon Joseph and Leon Hall, and they are both playing very well this year, but who would have thought that Roy Williams would be having the season he is having so far? Seriously? Chris Crocker is the weak link in the secondary, but he can be hidden in coverage, but in rush defense he is very stout and has a great ability to get to the ball carrier quickly.

The Special Teams

Shayne Graham is always going to be a very good kicker, so field goal kicking is nothing the Bengals have to worry about. Kevin Huber has been a surprise at the punter position and looks to be the long term answer there.



So what do you guys think of the 3-1 Bengals? Are they a contender or a pretender? Is Carson Palmer progressing in the right direction and does this team look like they are finally getting it?

I say yes, but I'm a Bengals fan, I just want to get the opinions of the Draft Countdown Forum members.

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Old 10-05-2009, 12:07 AM    (permalink
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I think they're a solid team...should be 4-0 but it is what it is....i say they end up with 10 wins
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:12 AM    (permalink
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I think it depends on what you mean by for real. I think they're a legitimate playoff contender, probably in the 9-10 win range. I personally see the AFC as a 3-horse race (Jets, Pats, Colts), but the Bengals are in that 2nd tier, along with Pit & Den. Not quite sure where to place Baltimore at the moment. Suppose losing close to Pats shouldn't take them out of the top-tier, but that's another topic.

As far as the team itself, did Odom go against Joe Thomas today? I see in the stats he got a sack & if that was against JT, I'll tip my hat to him for that. My opinion of him was that he ate that Packers back-up for dinner and that's where all his stats came from.

Palmer seems to be able to piece things together at the last minute when it's needed & eek out a win. The offense seems like any week they could figure things out & play like it's '05 again.

Long-story short, I'd put them as the 5th or 6th best team in the AFC atm, maybe in the top-10 overall.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:12 AM    (permalink
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Define "for real."

Super Bowl contenders? No.

Playoff contenders? Yes.
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Despite looking better against an underachieving Eagles team, I still think the Bears are one of the worst teams in the NFL. I smell a blowout victory by the Lions this week and a division sweep.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:14 AM    (permalink
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Antonio Chatman is decent in the return game.
Antonio Chatman is on IR lol... You sure do follow the Bengals lots don't you haha
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:16 AM    (permalink
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As far as the team itself, did Odom go against Joe Thomas today? I see in the stats he got a sack & if that was against JT, I'll tip my hat to him for that.
Coverage sack.. definitely wasn`t Joe`s fault.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:18 AM    (permalink
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I think they're a good team, I've been a fan of that D since last season and with the new found balance on O I think they can get good on that side of the ball as well. That said I don't trust Marvin Lewis to have this team ready to bounce back should they fall apart at any point in the season so I don't really consider them a team that can make much noise in the playoffs unless things go exceptionally well for them.
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Most misleading 10+ sack season EVER.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:18 AM    (permalink
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I think they're a solid team...should be 4-0 but it is what it is....i say they end up with 10 wins
Really? 10 wins would be quite feat, I would like to see them win 10 but realistically I see 8-9 wins. 10 is playoff time, and with the division they are in, quite possibly the toughest division in the AFC it would be difficult to think that there is enough room for the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers. 2 of them are making the playoffs. Which two is going to be the biggest question.

As for their loss, I couldn't agree more. How many times does a miracle play like that actually happen? I mean wow, really?

One thing I was wanting know from some of you guys is what is your opinion on Carson Palmer this year. Does he look like the Carson of old, does he look like he is just a game manager now? I know he is only 29 years old and turns 30 in December and certainly has at least 5-7 years of good football ahead of him if he wants, but do you guys think he is still in the top 10 QB's in the NFL?

I would put him in the top 8, behind Brady, P.Manning, Brees, Rivers, Rogers, Ryan, Rothlisberger and then Palmer.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:20 AM    (permalink
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Antonio Chatman is on IR lol... You sure do follow the Bengals lots don't you haha
Sorry, I was looking at the stupid media guide...LOL Caldwell I think has been taking kick off...sorry, will fix that...LOL
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:20 AM    (permalink
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I think it depends on what you mean by for real. I think they're a legitimate playoff contender, probably in the 9-10 win range. I personally see the AFC as a 3-horse race (Jets, Pats, Colts), but the Bengals are in that 2nd tier, along with Pit & Den. Not quite sure where to place Baltimore at the moment. Suppose losing close to Pats shouldn't take them out of the top-tier, but that's another topic.

As far as the team itself, did Odom go against Joe Thomas today? I see in the stats he got a sack & if that was against JT, I'll tip my hat to him for that. My opinion of him was that he ate that Packers back-up for dinner and that's where all his stats came from.

Palmer seems to be able to piece things together at the last minute when it's needed & eek out a win. The offense seems like any week they could figure things out & play like it's '05 again.

Long-story short, I'd put them as the 5th or 6th best team in the AFC atm, maybe in the top-10 overall.
Where are the Ravens in all of this? I'd say they're definitely better than the Bengals. If the Bengals make the playoffs it will be as the 6th seed and 3rd team from the AFC North. I don't see that happening. Wildcards will be a combo of Jets/Pats and Steelers/Jets.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:21 AM    (permalink
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Really? 10 wins would be quite feat, I would like to see them win 10 but realistically I see 8-9 wins. 10 is playoff time, and with the division they are in, quite possibly the toughest division in the AFC it would be difficult to think that there is enough room for the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers. 2 of them are making the playoffs. Which two is going to be the biggest question.

As for their loss, I couldn't agree more. How many times does a miracle play like that actually happen? I mean wow, really?

One thing I was wanting know from some of you guys is what is your opinion on Carson Palmer this year. Does he look like the Carson of old, does he look like he is just a game manager now? I know he is only 29 years old and turns 30 in December and certainly has at least 5-7 years of good football ahead of him if he wants, but do you guys think he is still in the top 10 QB's in the NFL?

I would put him in the top 8, behind Brady, P.Manning, Brees, Rivers, Rogers, Ryan, Rothlisberger and then Palmer.
I think can aqueeze out 10 with a few bounces going their way....i would put Flacco and McNabb ahead of him as well
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:21 AM    (permalink
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I don't think Carson's back, he could be, but he sure as hell hasn't shown anything this season that would lead me to that conclusion. Right now he's just a good QB, not a QB good enough to carry his team like peyton, brady, brees, rivers, phillips, eli, big ben, cutler, warner, donovan, rogers, ryan or flacco, but he could certainly move into that group if he starts taking over games.
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Most misleading 10+ sack season EVER.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:23 AM    (permalink
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Our defense is as good as it should ever need to be given the money invested on the offensive side.

Special teams needs work. Our long snapper is the biggest choke artist in the league right now. Quan Cosby is a very solid PR and less his fumble today, Caldwell has done a good job as a KR. The kick coverage was awful today but hasn't been all that bad the rest of the season.

The offense either clicks on all cylinders or goes 3 and out. It's very inconsistent. It's like they only get a sense of urgency late in the game. To their credit, in 4 games we've had 4 scoring drives with under 2 minutes left in the game. 3 of 4 games a TD has been scored while trailing with under a minute left.

As the offense is playing now, we have a shot at the playoffs. If the offense starts playing as it should (not '05 form but very above average), then we could be a dangerous team in the playoffs. This is the most complete team we've had since, well probably the super bowl team.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:23 AM    (permalink
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I missed the game today, but how did the Browns manage to push it into over-time. They are not very good.

The Bengals appear to be able to play some very good and some pretty bad football, which as of right now prevents them being considered 'for real' IMO.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:23 AM    (permalink
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I got the playoffs being

E-Jets/Pats
N-Bal
S-Ind
W-Den

W-Loser of Jets/Pats
W-Winner of Bengals/Steelers.

Bengals got a 1-game lead on the Steelers & the head-to-head so far.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:26 AM    (permalink
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What happened to the Auburn RB they drafted? Kenny Irons? Never heard of him after the injury
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:28 AM    (permalink
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He wasn't fully recovered the next season and was eventually cut. It's a shame, we could've used a RB.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:29 AM    (permalink
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I would define "For Real" as a playoff team. Remember this team wasn't far off from the days of the Bungals last year. I know Carson was out but the team was aweful, at least on the offensive side of the ball.

Zimmer has turned the defense into a real weapon. They are starting to be opertunistic defense. This was the second week in a row where the defense scored a TD. Thats what playoff teams do, and it's been great to see the defense play that way.

Yeah, Odom's sack was a coverage sack, but a sack is a sack, and he had 2 in week 1 as well. And that was against Ryan Clady, so it's not like he is beating just backup Packer O-Lineman.

What really worries me though is that the Bengals aren't beating teams in the 1st half. They haven't dominated games in the 1st half. They have been winning with last minute drives and fourth quarter heroics. I would have thought that this week against the Browns they would have been able to really take it too them and get into the habit of taking it to teams right out of the gate instead of waiting until the 3rd quarter to wake up.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:31 AM    (permalink
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12 wins Mark it down
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:33 AM    (permalink
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I would define "For Real" as a playoff team. Remember this team wasn't far off from the days of the Bungals last year. I know Carson was out but the team was aweful, at least on the offensive side of the ball.

Zimmer has turned the defense into a real weapon. They are starting to be opertunistic defense. This was the second week in a row where the defense scored a TD. Thats what playoff teams do, and it's been great to see the defense play that way.

Yeah, Odom's sack was a coverage sack, but a sack is a sack, and he had 2 in week 1 as well. And that was against Ryan Clady, so it's not like he is beating just backup Packer O-Lineman.

What really worries me though is that the Bengals aren't beating teams in the 1st half. They haven't dominated games in the 1st half. They have been winning with last minute drives and fourth quarter heroics. I would have thought that this week against the Browns they would have been able to really take it too them and get into the habit of taking it to teams right out of the gate instead of waiting until the 3rd quarter to wake up.
Neither of Odom's sacks were against Clady. Going into todays game he still hadnt given up a sack through his 19 game career. Not sure if he gave one up today or not.

Don't count on too many late 4th quarter comebacks that you've had so far. The Bills did the same thing last year and started off 4-0 and then **** the bed. The Bengals are probably a better and more solid team, but the offense will need to show up for a lot more of the game if you want to steal a playoff spot in the AFC this year.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:34 AM    (permalink
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I don't think Carson's back, he could be, but he sure as hell hasn't shown anything this season that would lead me to that conclusion. Right now he's just a good QB, not a QB good enough to carry his team like peyton, brady, brees, rivers, phillips, eli, big ben, cutler, warner, donovan, rogers, ryan or flacco, but he could certainly move into that group if he starts taking over games.
I would put Cutler right with Palmer, but with McNabb out I can't give him the nod above Palmer right now, so maybe I need an asterisk by Palmer's name and then when McNabb is fully healthy then I have Palmer at 9a or 9b with Cutler. LOL I'm not a huge Warner fan so I don't put him in front of Palmer because I think Warner is crazy spoiled with that receiving corps and that talented RB duo.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:36 AM    (permalink
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As Vox pointed out, Odom did not get a sack on Clady. Clady didn't give up any today either and is currently at 20 games without giving one up.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:37 AM    (permalink
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The Bengals have a tough schedule - there are really only 4 games where you would consider them to be clearly a better team. Playoffs may be a stretch with that schedule.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:40 AM    (permalink
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Neither of Odom's sacks were against Clady. Going into todays game he still hadnt given up a sack through his 19 game career. Not sure if he gave one up today or not.

Don't count on too many late 4th quarter comebacks that you've had so far. The Bills did the same thing last year and started off 4-0 and then **** the bed. The Bengals are probably a better and more solid team, but the offense will need to show up for a lot more of the game if you want to steal a playoff spot in the AFC this year.
I could have sworn they were, I guess not then. Sorry bout that.

Trst me, thats what worries me. I wish they were beating teams in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters instead of the 4th quarters. I'm worried that once they get handled by a team that won't allow them to come back late in the game they will fall apart. I don't have much faith in Lewis and Brat (OC) in getting the offensive up off the ground if they get knocked out for a game. I was really expecting them to come out guns'a'blazing in todays game against the Browns but the play calling was so damn bland. It was was run, run, pass and punt. It was a very easy offense for the Browns to counter;. And when Benson can't get chunks of yards and establish the running game then the play action doesn't work and then thats where I think the Bengals get in trouble.

Lewis is so set on making this a run first team. I don't get that. In 2005 they were an all out attack and every team in the league knew they were going to pass and the Bengals didn't care, they dared you to stop them. Now it's like they are scared to go that route again. I don't know why.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:41 AM    (permalink
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The Bengals have a tough schedule - there are really only 4 games where you would consider them to be clearly a better team. Playoffs may be a stretch with that schedule.
Have you seen their schedule??? Their toughest opponents are Division rivals....they can get 10 wins against the Chiefs, Raiders, Browns, Lions, and Texans...then they would need a few upsets
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