Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan
I agree after the Browns game the defense had nowhere to go but up, but it was a good second half perfomance not just in comparison to the week before, at least until the last drive that gave up the winning TD (that probably would have died if the "incomplete" pass Hassslebeck caught would have been ruled either a catch with a 10 yard loss or a fumble).
FWIW Shawn Alexander is exhibiting the dangers of signing a RB in his late 20s to a big contract - he looks beat up 3 games into the season.
I agree the Pats-Bengals game next week will further confirm how great this Pats team may be - the Jets and Bills are no world beaters and the Chargers thrashing may not be teh feat it initially appeared to be. Pats are playing very well but the talk of going undeferated is a bit early.
The main reason the Bengals lost this game was special teams...the seahawks first touchdown was set up by a 72 yard kickoff return...on the seahawks game winning drive, shayne graham kicks the kickoff out of bounds...glenn holt fumbles the kickoff return with one minute and 3 timeouts left for the bengals to get a field goal to tie the game.
The defense actually played pretty well, considering that our linebackers consisted of Dhani Jones, Lemar Marshall, Landon Johnson, and Anthony Schlegel. I would've liked to have seen more pressure on Matt Hasselbeck, but the defense was definitely much improved over last week. I'm not even gonna go into the call on Hasselbeck's -10 yard catch.
Rudi Johnson was horrible...something like 9 yards on 17 carries...Carson Palmer is great, but he needs some kind of support from the running game. Chad and TJ look great...Chad is leading the NFL in receiving yards and TJ's leading in receptions.
I think the major downfall of the Bengals right now is all of the missing or injured players. We've got players starting on defense right now who should be on special teams. As a result we're giving up big plays on defense and special teams.
The Bengals have their backs against the wall right now...expect them to play with a sense of urgency against the patriots. It remind me of the game in 2003 against the chiefs. Obviously the patriots are overwhelming favorites, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Palmer and co. outgun Brady and co. Should be interesting to see the two best receivers up to this point in the season (Moss and Chad) go head-to-head.