What do a rookie head coach, a rookie quarterback, and a rookie running back all have in common? Together they can beat the crap out of the Bengals. When this game started I was thinking....well it will be good to start the year off with a win, because it might be a long year. Little did I know that the Bengals were really as bad as I thought they were after pre-season. The two things that really stick out in my mind before the season started was; Carson Palmer saying that he was not worried about the offense, and Geoff Hobson proclaiming that this team had a chance to win the division. Both laughable. I of course took notes through out the game for the purpose of this blog. It was a nightmare to go through all the random thoughts and make them coherent enough for people to read it, but here it goes.
Lets start with the pregame. I turn on my 50 inch plasma to find that the game is only on the local channel 12. Great I have 9000 channels and 1000 of them are HD and I can't get the Bengals game in HD. I literally flipped though every channel to try and find it, nothing. So after settling for the local and the game is about to start it tells me, "Game brought to you in HD." FREAKING SWEET! However, 3 minutes into the game it is clear that either they lied, or they discovered HD lower than 480i. It was horrible, so horrible in fact, that my friend Rick was quoted as calling this HD, "high doody."
Now on to the atrocity, or game itself. Since I split my note paper in two parts, one for offense and one for defense, that is how I will attack this post. Lets start with the offense, which was offensive. I am talking the stink that 7 day old Chinese food that is laying out over a 1 month old dead body of a guy that crapped himself before he died stink. I am not going to get into the box score details, that would be boring, and depressing. instead I will look at some points of interest that I saw. In the first half I saw good field position squandered at least three times. Our first drive we got the ball in field goal territory and were sacked twice and we had to punt.
Speaking of sacked twice, good thing we let Willie go, that offensive line never looked better huh? That was one of the more disgusting performances from an offensive line that I have ever seen. They look out of sync, slow, lethargic, and apathetic. I mean their quarterback was getting beat worse than a red headed step child, I guess that broken nose didn't mean anything to those guys.
Past that it was like their defense was in our huddle, I guess Bratkowski is the most predictable play caller in the NFL. Again I have to harp on the coaching. Never has a team had this much talent and done so little. Not one offensive touchdown on Sunday. I know that Baltimore's defense is good, but they are old and nicked up, we should have been able to score at least twice and especially with working on a short field in the first half.
Play clock management was horrible again. I know they got at least two delay of game penalties and had to burn two timeouts for no real reason other than not having enough time to snap the ball. I know those are not game changing events, but it points to a bigger issue. There is a lack of focus, there is a lack of urgency, and I don't understand that coming from a team that has looked that bad offensively since last year.
With an offense struggling you go for it on 4th and 1 and forth and 2? Really? I would elaborate on this more, but why? Mo's daughter was over at our house watching the game and I think that she understood that it was an idiot call. I think that my dogs were confused by those calls.
The look on Carson and T.J.'s faces. They were very different looks, but both summed up the entire game and what might be the season as well. Carson's face after the defense caused a turn over was, damn, I have to go out there and get the shit kicked out of me again? I have never seen Carson look so depressed to take the field, and the funniest part is that he is going to take all of the blame for how bad they were offensively today, I guarantee it. T.J.'s face was straight anger, I mean PISSED. Like if he was Chris Henry I would have been afraid that he would have shot someone. The look on T.J.'s face made me scared, I was worried that he was going to punch me through the TV.
Offensive quote of the night.....
"Look at them run around like they were invited!"
That was my wife talking about the Raven's defense killing the Bengals offense.
Now a look at the defense, which is only slightly less depressing. Top be honest, they first half they looked pretty good, with only a few exceptions. But as the game wore on and they were on the field for what seemed like forever, they got tired, and lazy, and apathetic.
Here is what really stuck out to me though, bad tackling again. We saw it in pre-season and we saw it again yesterday. This has been an epidemic for a few years now, and again it has to go back to coaching. These guys are being coached to tackle incorrectly.
Where was that pass rush that Zimmer talked about all pre-season? Honestly I thought that I was watching a defense run by Chuck Bresnahan....again. It was like that nightmare that you wake up from, but when you fall back asleep it is there waiting for you. I don't know how hard it is for coached to see that if you rattle a quarterback then you can dominate defensively. I mean was Mike just not paying attention when the Ravens were doing that to us? The worst part is that they had a rookie quarterback, how much easier to rattle that guy than say Peyton Manning. but in typical Bengal fashion we made Capt. Uni brow, or Joe Flacco look like an all pro. For other evidence of this see Shawn King, and Bruce Gratkowski.
Of course the two times the Bengals did decide to blitz it was with 5 guys and the corners were playing 20 yards off the receivers so it was an easy completion. Who the hell is coaching these guys?
But, the defense did score our only touchdown, which prompted Mo to say, "the defense is better offensively that the offense." A little confusing I know, but I am used to it since I have lived next door to Mo for three years. I am fluent in "Moeese."
Side note, Dexter Jackson is likes to fight guy. I saw him get in a fight at training camp with his own team. Then I saw him yesterday trying to pick a fight with any and all the Ravens that he could. I like the fire and passion, but he is going to get himself killed.
Looking ahead, Dallas has the chance to post 700 yards on the Bengals!
Defensive quote of the day.....
"The Bengals defense just got out run by a guy that runs a 6.7 40!"
That was Jesy's cousin Kat talking about Joe Flacco scrambling, and I use the term scrambling lightly since he never really scrambled, for a touchdown.
I really struggled to find anything good to say about this game. But, if I had to give out a game ball out it would have to be Jonathan Joseph. He made tackles, returned a fumble for our only touchdown, possibly the only Bengals player all day that looked like he knew what he was doing. Also I would like to say kudos to Coors. I love those commercials and they did not disappoint with their latest one with Brian Billeck. Just saw that while watching the game and it was funny as hell. Not as good as the Dennis Green one, but I would put it second.
I know it may be too early for this, but after watching my team lose, and lose BAD to a team with a rookie head coach, rookie running back and rookie quarterback, I am pretty confident that this team can do what I have been dreaming about for quite a while.....go 0-16. Don't be confused, I don't want that to happen, I just think it is a distinct possibility. I am torn between wanting a team to go 0-16 and that team being my Bengals. If nothing else we have a solid look at a top 5 pick in next years draft! Sad that it is just like the 90's again when after the first game we start looking forward to the draft. Ouch. Welcome back Bungals.