In what could go down as one of the most embarrassing losses in Bengals history, the Browns beat Cincinnati yesterday in Cleveland 51-45. The Bengals defense went from celebrated one week ago to totally crushed yesterday in Cleveland. Oh, what a difference a week makes! While it is certainly true that all the praise after last week’s effort against the Ravens was probably blown out of proportion, the massive step backwards taken by this defense yesterday leaves Bengals fans thinking….here we go again.
Let’s first take a look at our keys to the game laid out in our preview and see how Cincy did.
- What we said…….. Rudi Johnson – everyone seems to be highlighting this, and for good reasons, Rudi has a rich history against the Browns and if he tears them up, the Bengals win big. I am expecting 110 and 2 scores from Rudi.
What happened?……. Rudi started off good catching the first of Palmers 6 TD’s but when the shootout began the focus shifted to the air attack. Still Rudi did finish with 151 total yards, a nice day.
- What we said……..Bengals Run D – I highlighted this last week and the Bengals D did it’s job, this week they face their old teammated Eric Steinbach on the Browns OL and a familiar rival in Jamal Lewis. Gotta hold Lewis under 75 yards in my opinion. What happened?…….The Bengals were gashed by Lewis again. He ran for 216 yards and a 66 yard score. The run D sucks again!
- What we said……..Special Teams Play – One of the things that was less than stellar against Baltimore was the play of the special teams. The Bengals gave up the punt return TD to Ed Reed and had injury issues with Graham. Got to have this facet shored up, and now. What happened?……..Joshua Cribbs ran at will on kickoffs and the Bengals coverage was poor again. While this was far from one of the worst things about yesterday, it certainly did not help either.
Wow, what a horrible way to follow up a great win. Go to your rival , who is down and out and let them walk all over you. I am not sure how this defense recovers from a performance like this, it may not happen. I went from thinking we could be heading into the bye at a possible 3-1, and now it could be 1-3.