Big win for the Bengals! And I believe it may have been the difference between a good season and a disaster. Let me explain.
The Bengals have talent, but they don’t know how to win! They don’t know how to close out a game (see Week 1, and ALMOST Week 2). I feel that a loss to the Packers may have done them in. The Steelers are coming to town next week. I feel they can win that game now. If they had lost to the Pack, probably not. The Bengals haven’t shown the ability to bounce back from adversity in the past. Until Week 2!
I am really excited about how the Bengals D has played the first 2 weeks. They held Denver to 75 yards rushing and kept Orton in check. Without the ridiculous tip play that cost the Bengals a much deserved victory, Orton would have only had 158 yard passing and 0 TD’s. And the DB play is so much better than it has been in a long time. Remember Artrell “Toast” Hawkins? The offense was slightly disturbing against Denver though. You have to score points after getting into the red zone 5 times! But...when they needed to score they did, and should have won that game! Someone really should have taken my shoe strings away after that tip...I digress...
But then came Week 2! I again was impressed with the defense! I really like how fired up they are playing. They are hitting HARD. I am really liking Maualuga. And let’s talk about Odom! Where did that come from? 5 sacks?? 5?? Beast. A highlight of the day for me was then Roy Williams LAID OUT the Packers receiver, causing an incompletion. Another telling stat of how the D is playing is that 2 of the Packers TD’s came after HORRIBLE throws by Palmer. More on that later. One was a Pick 6, and the other gave the Packers the ball inside the 10. They also held the Packers to under a 100 yards rushing. Probably gave up too many passing yards, but they made the stops when they had to.
As far as the offense, there is still some room for improvement, however they played a lot better than Week 1. Palmer looked sharp for the most part. Except the two bad throws to Woodson. He must have been throwing them to Woodson as they hit him in the numbers. O well...he still threw 3 TD’s. But the reason he could even throw those TD’s was due to Cedric Benson. I am very impressed with him. The O line is doing a decent job, but a lot of those runs are squarely on his shoulders. He is making guys miss behind the line and somehow finding little holes to slip through. And he is always looking for someone to hit. GREAT pickup by the Bengals! He gained 141 yards. I like what I am seeing out of Chad Ochocinco. He seems to be back to trying again and having fun, unlike last years debacle. Good game with 91 yards and a TD. And a Lambeau leap to boot!
One more thing that is so much improved over the last few years is the punting game. Kevin Huber is doing a spectacular job! How many times in the past few years have the Bengals needed a good punt, only to have Kyle Larson put one off the side of his foot for a net punt of 12 yards? Huber has been doing a great job.
I am going to go with 3 stars for wins, and 3 goats for losses.
My 3 Stars are: 1. Cedric Benson 2. Kevin Huber 3. The Bengals D!
I am looking forward to next week! Bring on the Steelers!