Arizona State University claims that most people's attention span starts to wonder after eight minutes. Jeff Davidson's book, "The Complete Guide to Public Speaking" says that if you're "in front of a group and you don't have something humorous to say at least once every seven minutes, you are going to have a tough time." But as you change mediums, that decreases. Specifically speaking relative to this blog, most adults begin to wonder within 30 seconds on the addictive nature of web surfing (BC Cancer Agency). So my challenge is to keep you engaged. I'm not funny on Monday following a loss to drop the Bengals record to 1-4. Humor is out. My idea. I split everything off. Rather than blurring everything together causing a mesh appearance, I split my points with quick headlines in bold identifying my points. If you're at work, I'm in luck. No one wants to work on Monday. If you're at home, I'm in trouble. Internet porn becomes an issue. So I'll do my best to keep ya around.
Marvin Lewis took one positive from Sunday's loss -- the performance in the second half: "What I told our football team in there just now was that I thought for the first time this football team played like a football team that second half of the game. Although we didn't win the game today, I thought we made progress and showed some signs of a football team, not a bunch of individual guys."
The Bengals did win the second half point-wise, 13-7, while holding the Chiefs offense to 93 total yards and recording 263 second-half yards on offense. In the second half, Larry Johnson rushed 15 times for 13 yards. Palmer completed 20 of 31 passes for 232 yards. However, I suspect that the Chiefs played in a more conservation mode. But hey, if you can pull positives out of a loss like this, then great. Just don't make it a habit.
Jonsing for a Pass Blocker. I thought the story early was Levi Jones' inability to block Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen. It set the tone early for the Chiefs defense and forced the Bengals pass offense to become quicker -- limiting deep passes. Jones, after whining about playing time, was pulled after allowing his third sack in the first half. Jones has been saying all along that he's healthy. He even invited his agent, by way of becoming publicly disgruntled, to claim that other teams would love to have Jones. Historically, Jones has blocked some of the best defensive ends in the league. So I reasonably conclude that Jones' is in fact not healthy causing incredible limitations on his speed. If I'm wrong, then we're spending way too much money on a guy that was virtually ineffective Sunday. But I'll give him the benefit of the doubt... for now.
Sack Allowed by Jones #1. It was third-and-four at the Cincinnati 24-yard line with over five minutes left in the first quarter. With Palmer in shotgun and Kenny Watson blocking to his right, Jones went one-on-one against Allen. Snap. Massive -- and easy -- bull rush and sack.
Sack Allowed by Jones #2. Second-and-10 at the Cincinnati 17-yard line with seconds clicking off the first quarter. The Chiefs pressure Carson Palmer with seven rushers. Allen faked engagement causing Jones to lean forward at the waist. It was already over. Having lost his balance, Jones ate popcorn while Allen dropped Palmer for a seven-yard loss. There was a lot of pressure and chaos around Palmer -- all except for Allen was picked up. If Allen was blocked, Palmer did have a lane to step up in to just get rid of the pass. But, you know. Hindsight. Perfect. Monday. Backseat Driver.
Sack Allowed by Jones #3. This play really illustrates just how slow Jones was against the quicker Allen. Allen took a sprinters stance and took off at the gun. Palmer dropped back and started to roll out right feeling pressure. Jones tried to push Allen out, but there was too much separation between the two and the push was ineffective. Rudi Johnson was in perfect position to help Jones. Instead, he ran a route through the LOS and flipped around just beyond. By that time, the fumbled ball was rolling on the ground and the next stop for the Bengals offense was the sidelines.
Sacks. The following Bengals recorded sacks on Sunday -- which in itself is a mini-victory compared to our typical pass rush.
- Justin Smith - Simple. Smith sprinted outside of left tackle, #77- McIntosh. Smith was too quick and dropped Huard for a six yard loss.
- Landon Johnson - Johnson lined up weak-side outside linebacker. The line parted perfectly for Landon up the middle with Justin Smith easily working around #77-McIntosh. The fullback went into a route after chipping Thornton while #27-Johnson went strong-side. He saw Landon break through and began eating a handful of popcorn. Landon and Smith split the sack.
- Blue Adams - Other than being blue (see below), I thought Blue Adams played as well as anyone in the secondary. It was second-and-seven at the Kansas City 46-yard line with 10:40 left in the third quarter. Adams, with no intention of disguising his blitz, lined up outside the tight end. The left tackle blocked in and #27-Johnson was assigned the outside blitz (Adams) while the tight end left for a pattern. Either #27-Johnson completely missed seeing him -- Adams had every intention of blitzing -- or he screwed up his assignment, I don't know. But Johnson did the old reach after Adams turned the corner recording the sack.
- Madieu Williams - On the very next play, (3rd-and-14) Williams, with a running start towards the line of scrimmage (ala Arena Football), was in full sprint-mode at the snap. With all blockers engaged, Williams wasn't impeded until he made contact with the quarterback. Sack. Chiefs punt.
- Nedu Ndukwe - It was third-and-seven with over seven minutes left in the game. Ndukwe lined up on the right outside and blitzed with #27-Johnson engaging. Nedu simply pushed Johnson backwards -- onto his right knee -- sacking Huard in the process. This proved to me that Larry Johnson is the worst blocking running back in the league. Something else. If Nedu missed the sack, it was all Geathers. Chiefs punt and the fourth-and-one attempt on their side of the field (see below) doesn't come back to haunt them.
Third/Fourth and One. The Bengals called two plays to Watson on third/fourth and short.
- Lined up double-tight I-formation with T.J. wide left, Palmer handed the ball off to Watson to the right. #24-Law, lined up outside, closed the running lane by shedding Reggie Kelly's block making contact with Watson about a yard in the backfield. There was a hole about five yards wide up the middle that was quickly closed by #59-Edwards. The unblocked Edwards forced Watson to stretch the play directly into Law. One yard loss. Bengals punt.
- Non-Big Play of the Game. Question: How can a non-big play be any play of the game? It could have been a big play, but ended up being nothing -- thus, non-big play. Anywho... On third-and-three at the Cincinnati 34-yard line, Palmer scrambled out of bounds picking up two after the Chiefs secondary smothered the Bengals receivers. This set up a fourth-and-one with 8:24 left in the third quarter. Palmer remained on the sidelines for a few seconds while the refs measured. He walks to Marvin Lewis suggesting that they go for it. They do. The Bengals were pretty hopeless right now. They needed something to energize the offense and leave our defense off the field. So the Bengals line up in I-formation strong side to the right. All eleven Chiefs defenders were within six yards of the line of scrimmage with eight directly on the line. I shout "pass, pass, pass." It wasn't even close. The offensive line was a bit tardy firing off the line with at least three Chiefs already past the wall when Watson got the handoff. Donnie Edwards threw Daniel Coats away and made the first contact about one yard in the backfield. Turnover on downs. Chiefs ball at the Cincinnati 36-yard line. I don't dispute the decision to go for it. I did wonder why they decided to run Watson between the tackles when the Chiefs had eight players on the line of scrimmage. Call time out. Check out to a deep pattern -- with the entire defense inside six yards of the line of scrimmage, there's no reason to believe the Bengals couldn't utilize their best features on offense; the passing game. Marvin challenges for some reason giving up a timeout and their first challenge of the game. Just, weird.
The 1:52 Drill. There was 1:52 left in the first half. The Bengals were only down by ten. You get the ball first in the second half. Score a touchdown here and you have a realistic shot at taking the lead, 21-17, on the flip-side of halftime. This could be the difference between victory and defeat. Bengals go incomplete, incomplete give-up run play. Punt. The Chiefs scored a field goal on the following possession with 1:27 left in the half to go up 20-7. And just for arguments sake, the Bengals went three-and-out to start the second half after Palmer was sacked on third down -- coverage sack.
What's wrong with this picture? The Bengals past eight games.
|10.14.07||@ Kansas City||L, 20-27|
|10.1.07||New England||L, 13-34|
|9.23.07||@ Seattle||L, 21-24|
|9.16.07||@ Cleveland||L, 45-54|
|12.31.06||Pittsburgh||L, 17-23 OT|
|12.24.06||@ Denver||L, 23-24|
|12.18.06||@ Indianapolis||L, 16-34|
Dating back to the 15th game in 2005 against Buffalo, the Bengals are 9-15 during regular season play.
Long Third Downs Converted by Chiefs. The Chiefs offense only converted one super-long third down attempt.
- 3-18-KC12 (7:02, 1st Quarter) - This wasn't converted -- even though I clearly only include in the headline of this section as "converted". A play similar to this would be converted later. The 17 yard pick-up by #80-Webb was gift wrapped because the Bengals defense virtually allowed it with a three-deep zone coverage; Blue Adams underneath in the short zone; Madieu Williams in the intermediate zone and Dexter Jackson covering any over-the-top zones. All three were on the left. Webb freely ran up and out working the sidelines on the well-thrown pass. Punt. These type of long-play results have been happening all season with a lot being converted.
- 3-15-50 (12:21, 2nd Quarter) - Huard in shotgun, the Bengals send five dropping Justin Smith into coverage. (WHAT?!) Why would you drop our best pass rusher (that's arguable, Josh) into coverage? Blue Adams blitzed from Huard's right and fell one step short of sacking the quarterback. #80-Webb, lined up wide left, ran up and hooked on the sidelines. With Leon Hall covering, Webb caught the pass and picked up the first down.
Nice Play O'Neal #1. This is something O'Neal has always done well as a Bengal. O'Neal quietly nudges #82-Bowe towards the sideline essentially closing any window for #82-Bowe to make a play. This allows O'Neal to gain position for the pass forcing the incomplete. This is similar to how a majority of O'Neal's picks are made.
Nice Play O'Neal #2. With 11 minutes left in the second quarter, Huard hands off to Larry Johnson on second-and-15. Deltha O'Neal, mirroring #82-Bowe in motion from right to left (Bowe's POV), filled the D gap on his right containing the edge. After #27-Johnson sprinted through the massive hole up the middle, O'Neal began tracking the running back down by picking up an angle from behind. O'Neal made contact on Johnson from behind three yards short of the endzone. O'Neal's right hand swung into Johnson's basket, grabbing and stripping the football -- bouncing through the back of the endzone. Touchback. Bengals ball.
Blues. Blue Adams, in the first three minutes of the game, committed two personal fouls and 30 yards gift wrapped for the Chiefs on their opening possession.
Encouraging. This is normally what the Bengals do. A four-play, 73 yard drive in two minutes scoring a touchdown in their first possession of the game.
- Stretch play to the right. Kenny Watson picks up five yards to the right on double-TE single-back formation with big Bobbie Williams (RG) pulling out to the right edge.
- Quick pass to Chad. Standard three-wide formation with Reggie Kelly on the right and Chad Johnson in the left slot. Chad ran up eight yards than cut out. The pass was thrown at the cut. The play picks up seven yards. Allen put on a ton of pressure beating Jones around the corner. That was the first bad sign of things to come.
- Misdirection to the right. Bengals line up in weak offset I formation with Kelly left and Jeremi Johnson offset to the right. Watson takes one step to the left and runs to the right (hence, misdirection). Everyone blocked straight up with Jeremi Johnson blocking the edge. Watson forced #49-Pollard to miss the tackle picking up about 10 yards and 19 yards total on the play.
- Touchdown pass to T.J. Bengals line up in standard three-wide formation, strong side to the right. Palmer faked the hand-off with Jared Allen bearing down. T.J. lined up in on the left in the slot. He ran 17 yards and flipped around at the Kansas City 25-yard line. Here's the impressive part. At the point of reception, T.J. had #59-Edwards one yard to his left and #44-Page three yards in front of him. Palmer perfectly placed an arching pass inches from #34-Brackenridge's fingertips already on decent towards the receiver. Houshmandzadeh, perhaps one of the toughest receivers in the league to tackle, spun around to his right. #44-Page came down and tried to tackle his legs -- instead knocking #59-Edwards off the sure-tackle. T.J. wasn't touched again.
The sad thing? The Bengals wouldn't score again until there was 13:58 on the clock in the fourth quarter. Here's something else: The Bengals wouldn't record more than 30 yards on any drive until their third possession in the third quarter with four three-and-out possessions between.
Pointless. The Chiefs entered Sunday without any first quarter points. The Bengals defense gave up 10 points in the opening quarter.
Quarters Time. Of the past eight quarters, the opposition has had the ball for nine minutes or more in five of those quarters. Only once did the Bengals win time of possession in any quarter -- the third against Kansas City.
Quarters score. The Bengals have been outscored in three of four quarters. Check out the disturbing trend in the second quarter where the Bengals are out-scored by 28 points.
100-yard rushers. The Bengals have given up 100 yards to the opposing team's feature back in four straight games after Larry Johnson rushed for 119 yards.
Long Climb. After Baltimore and Cleveland won, the updated standings and "games behind". Note, this is the number of games Cincinnati is behind. Not how much the leader is ahead.
The Obvious: The Bengals are the only team in the AFC North with a losing record. Of the past five games played, every team in the North has a winning record -- except the Bengals.
More division news.
Of all the teams in the AFC North, the Browns are miles ahead of the competition with 167 points scored -- 2nd to New England's 230 points for AFC lead. Here's the back to Earth moment. The Browns have also allowed the most points (183) in the AFC.
Why Am I Typing This?
The Bengals are one of seven teams that have either one or no wins for the season. (Note: the 1-4 Falcons play Monday Night).
The one-win teams:
- Cincinnati Bengals (1-4)
- Buffalo Bills (1-4)
- New York Jets (1-5)
- New Orleans Saints (1-4)
- Atlanta Falcons (1-4) (play Monday Night)
The winless teams:
- Miami Dolphins (0-6)
- St. Louis Rams (0-6)
Quote of the day from T.J. Houshmandzadeh: "I say it every week that we are losing to teams that aren't as good as we are, but eventually I'm going to have to quit saying that and we are going to have to start beating them."
Thus, the formula of the Month
Winners = Good. Losers = Bad. Therefore Winners > Losers.
If you're reading this, that means you're not wondering therefore proving all the "experts" wrong. Go you guys!
Levi Jones on obtaining big contract, publicly being disgruntled about playing time, becoming giddy about being named first team then being utterly owned by Jared Allen:
The formula: Jones = boy. Allen = man.
Double Daily Dose of Deuces
In the past two weeks, the Bengals have allowed 18 receptions for 204 yards and four touchdowns to the opposing team's leading receiver (Randy Moss, Tony Gonzalez).
Kenny vs. Rudi
For the season, Rudi Johnson has 27 more rush attempts than Kenny Watson. Yet, Watson is only three yards from taking the team lead for rushing yards.
I know it doesn't mean much. But I love stats. If the existing trends continue, T.J Houshmandzadeh will finish with the following numbers.
I'm finally done. If you have anything, bring it.