Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Bengals...So Far

Words before the real words: The Vickers System is begging us to bet on Tulsa (+9.5) tonight, but that ain't happening. Under no circumstances would we bet against the Boise Murdering Murderers when they're single-digit favorites. Proceed accordingly.

Now, here's a bunch of Bengals crapola...

1. Reason No. 138 why Peter King doesn't know a damn thing about the sport he covers for a living (from his MMQB column): "Not only are the Bengals in control of the AFC North, but also they're 3-0 in the division, 3-0 on the road ... and, oh yes, Carson Palmer's back, and he might be as good as ever. He's certainly as clutch as ever." Not even close, bud. Not only is Carson Palmer nowhere near the player he was in 2005, this is the first time he's ever really been clutch. Sure, he's had 4th quarter comebacks in the past (as any player with his ability will occasionally have) but mostly he's been a guy who wilted under pressure. Okay, maybe that's too harsh. Maybe he didn't wilt, but he rarely stepped his game up or rallied the troops the way a $100-million face of the franchise should. Regardless...I can't explain the sudden change, but I'm not complaining, either.

2. As for those horrible interceptions...

Look, Brett Favre and Kurt Warner are responsible for some of the most horrific interceptions in recent memory, so Palmer shouldn't be killed merely for that (although they worry the hell out of me). What Palmer desperately needs to do, however, is compensate for awful early-game picks with big plays in the passing game in the first three quarters. All or nothing guys are fine as log as they produce more all than nothing.

That's why Favre and Warner are given so much slack. Sure, they can look like rookies on one or two plays, but more often than not they make up for it and then some.

The way I see it, there are only two reasons Palmer isn't getting shredded by the media thus far: (a.) The team's record and (b.) his last-minute brilliance.

Let's face it: Palmer has been a subpar quarterback this season in the first three-and-a-half quarters of nearly ever game. That can't last if the Bengals are going to do any damage in January.

3. And they will be around in January. I haven't peeped at the schedule, but they've already faced plenty of formidable opponents, and more than held their own in each contest. The only game where they were outplayed was Pittsburgh, but it wasn't by much. A 4-1 record is a good head start, and I'd kind of be shocked they didn't eke out a 10-6 record (which should be good enough for a Wild Card spot).

4. Lavernues Coles has been a bigger disaster than even I could've imagined. I hated the signing because (a.) his reputation always outweighed his production, (b.) he wasn't exactly a young'n when the Bengals inked him, and (c.) the quickest way to ruin a franchise is by signing other team's aging free agents to five-year deals. WASTE OF MONEY!

5. Okay, so Chase Coffman can't block. Fine. But I know he can catch. How many times have we heard how he's never dropped a pass in practice? A billion, right? So, why can't Coffman be used as a 3rd-and-long/two-minute drill receiving tight end? I'm sick of seeing Daniel Coats drop critical passes.

6. I feel horrible for Mike Zimmer and his family, obviously, but does anyone else feel like this will be something the team rallies behind for the remainder of '09? I certainly do.

7. Fear the Texans. I don't have a great feeling heading into the weekend.

-Brad Spieser (