In some ways yesterday was exactally what we expected from this team, in others it is still hard to believe. But when the dust settled yesterday at Qwest Field in Seattle, our Cincinnati Bengals stood at 1-2 with a Monday night matchup against the world beater Patriots looming. Let’s first take a look at our keys to the game and how they shook out.
- DEFENSE – Yeah, its the obvious and easy choice, but still, the Bengals need to get it back together this week to make us forget the Browns game. Facing Shaun Alexander will be a huge test for the run defense that yielded over 200 yards to over the hill Jamal Lewis last week. But it is the overall defense that really needs to create a couple turnovers and hold Seattle under 20 points somehow. (Alexander finished with 100 yards rushing but did not explode the way many thought he might. The Run D was improved, but still showed some big deficiencies.)
- Carson Palmer – Palmer was mostly on last week, but did throw two picks that really came at crucial times. He needs to play mistake free ball in what should be a loud enviroment in Seattle. Another big game from Palmer could mean a Bengals W this week. (Palmer started the game white hot but still had a couple big mistakes that led to Seattle points, this of course ended up factoring in to the final tally.)
- Special Teams (Again) – We will continue to highlight this until the Bengals act like they care. Last week Cribbs was the one burning the Bengals S/T for big kickoff return gains, and this week Nate Burleson is licking his chops for Seattle. The Bengals have to limit this aspect of the game this week! (Horrible again, especially the fumble at the end of the game, the Bengals are officially one of the worst special teams units in football, this speaks to their lack of depth all around as well.)
And now, thoughts on things we did not mention that factored into the loss.
- Rudi – Rudi left the game with a injury in the second half but was less than effective beforehand. I won’t jump to conclusions here, but Rudi has not been running well to start the season and I am concerned, injury or not. Watson filled in admirably, but is NOT the answer here.
- Bengals Secondary – Too young, too slow and at times too stupid = Torched again.
- Mental Errors – The Bengals were penalized 10 times for 72 yards, and turned the ball over 4 times.