Monday, September 15, 2008

Tangled Up Bungles

As a DCPO (Disgruntled Carson Palmer Owner) and for no other reason, I am curious to know why the Cincinnati Bengals’ offense has stumbled out of the blocks in 2008.

It's put up or shut up time for the Bengals

Credit: Third and Long

Key Statistics from Week 2

First Down Differential: -5
Yards Per Carry: 3.1
Net Opp. Rushing Yards: 177
Turnover Differential: -1
Time of Possession: 27:26
QB rating: 41.3

Key Statistics from Week 1

First Down Differential: -13
Yards Per Carry: 2.8
Net Opp. Rushing Yards: 229
Turnover Differential: 0
Time of Possession: 23:45
QB rating: 35.3

As a result of their ineptitude, the Bungles rank dead last (NFL averages) in first downs, time of possession and passing yards and 30th in rushing yards allowed. Through two games, Cincinnati is averaging less than half of their first downs last season (20.0 per game) and are vastly underperforming from their 2007 season ranks in the passing department (7th), total offense (10th) and points scored (11th).

Though I’ve heard the phrase “Carson Palmer is done” more than a few times in the past couple weeks, I simply remind those people of Drew Brees who was comparatively atrocious and played poorly for four straight games prior to waking up from his quarter season-long coma.

Could it be cutting Rudi Johnson? Or, perhaps the sending off of tackle Willie Anderson in favor of the less experienced Stacy Andrews? Did Chad Johnson’s antics piss off more people than you or I thought it would? Are the wide receivers unable to get open for a QB who’s moving at Jason Campbell speed through his progressions? Has Marvin Lewis lost the locker room? Have “the same five plays”, as Clement puts it, made defenses ready for what’s coming and made Bob Bratkowski’s once-thriving offense ( obsolete? Does the defense lay out a welcome mat for even the most obscure opposing backs to run all over for games on end?

Bengal WRs: Nowhere to be found

Credit: CNN/SI

In a single word, … YES. It’s all of these things and a few more, like welcoming back criminal recidivist Chris Henry. While it’s too early to declare this season over and order a massive overhaul after two poor showings, the Bungles had better make things right internally before their Week 3 tilt with the defending Super Bowl Champion, the New York Giants.

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