Friday, August 14, 2009

Hope for the Bengals

You hope the road to respectability started today with the Cincinnati Bengals first preseason game at New Orleans. Yes, they lost 17-7 but there are some positive things to note.

Offensive Line. This is a new alignment with center Kyle Cook and Andrew Whitworth now a left tackle. For the most part, they gave QB Carson Palmer time to throw the ball. And when they got going, they did an okay job of run blocking. The new slogan of "Fight Back" was demonstrated on a pass play where Andrew Whitworth was called for a penalty. The ball was intercepted (bad throw by Carson) and was returned by Jonathan Vilma of the Saints. That's where Whitworth showed his determination. He ran all the way back as Vilma was about to score and recovered a fumble by Vilma. That's hustle and not giving up on the play.

Defense. The Bengals defense showed some spine. One fumble led to Vilma returning the ball to the Bengals' six. The Bengals stopped the Saints. They didn't cave in and the Saints missed the field goal. This type of determination on both parts of the ball leads to victories.

Intangibles. Rookie Bernard Scott looked good. He ripped through holes with good speed. Third string quarterback Jordan Palmer made good tight throws. The one interception was a tip.

Karma. When Carson left with an ankle injury, Bengals Nation groaned. Memories of Ki Jana Carter, and Kenny Irons flooded back. Then hope. It was announced that Palmer's ankle injury was a mild sprain. Perhaps, that's good karma.

Conclusion. Look, the score is more of a reflection of the Saints' having better back up quarterbacks. When you run out guys like Mark Brunell and Joey Harrington against our second and third stringers, you better be able to move the ball. So, this being preseason, it's meaningless. Oops, I forgot to mention that Chad Ocho Cinco and Chris Henry had good games. So, If you are mad at me, "Child please?" (You had to watch Chad in the first episode of Hard Knocks.)

However, the first stringers look feisty. Take away the turnovers and this could be a different game. Look forward to the next game for more progress. (Here's the Bengals website story on the game.)

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