Gameday and Open Thread: Bengals vs. Cardinals (Game #10)

GAME: Cincinnati Bengals (3-6) vs. Arizona Cardinals (4-5)
WHEN: Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 1:00pm
LOCATION: Cincinnati
BROADCAST: FOX (1:00 PM ET): Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan. SIRIUS: 123 (Arz.), 129 (Cin.). Direct TV: 705 -- no HD.
SB NATION: Revenge of the Birds

NFL.com Game Center

Manually refresh this page to get the latest updates. I've been reconsidering doing the gamedays due to lack of traffic. But if there's generally good interest, then I have no problem continuing. Email me (joshkirkendall [at] gmail.com).

Bengals 27, Cardinals 35. Game Over.
Palmer throws 4 ints, three to Rolle.

Palmer was picked off four times -- three by Rolle -- while throwing the ball 52 times against only 18 rush attempts -- Watson 9 carries, 45 yards for a 5.0 yard-per-carry average. The Bengals defense showed up in the second half giving the Bengals offense plenty of chances to overcome a one-possession deficit. Take away the points off Palmer's turnovers and Cincinnati's fortunes are likely reversed.

Part of me thinks this team should rethink their offensive roster and better allocate to the defense to give the team a little more balance. Because this offense, with nearly every player during the tremendous 2005 season (except Perry and Willie hurt and Steinbach gone) is ineffective. And the salaries these guys make on offense are producing no results -- well, in today's game, the case is made that the Bengals offense LOST the team the game.

This week. We'll probably examine the offensive troubles -- which includes two dropped passes by Henry, a lack of inspiration by our quarterback, disastrous effort at blocking and struggling to rush the football. This team has serious issues right now and if this pace continues, there's no way anyone on this team should, with any conscience, accept a paycheck until they feel right about it.

We'll also praise the defense a little more this week. They've had little reason to be praised this season, but let's give credit when it's due. The defense is playing behind the eight-ball each week with lack of talent and injuries across the board. Of all the units on this team, the defense and special teams stepped up. The offense? Well, it won't be pretty.

[4:17] Palmer on the first play of the two minute drive, completes the pass to Watson for three yards on a screen to the left. Second down at the Cincinnati 35-yard line, Palmer drops back and looks down the middle of the field connecting with Antonio Chatman. It was a great catch.

First down at the 48-yard line. Palmer dumps the pass to Watson in Cardinals territory Bengals call timeout #2.

Second-and-four at the Arizona 46-yard line. Houshmandzadeh is still out. Palmer drops back and connect with Johnson to the 35 yard line. Out of bounds. Clock stops.

Palmer completes the pass to Dorsey. Holding on Ghiaciuc The Cardinals are dropping eight and the Bengals offensive line are having problems with three rushers?

Then Palmer drops back, looks left and throws deep to the right. Rolle picks off the pass and returns it for a touchdown. Called back for personal foul -- "unnecessary contact with quarterback." No touchdown.

Milestone? Palmer has 47 pass attempts with one more drive coming. I believe his personal high is 52 pass attempts his rookie season -- against Baltimore?

[4:10] After successive rushes by James, Warner throws an incomplete pass forcing the Cardinals to punt with over two minutes left. Check out the Bengals defense in the second half. After giving up an opening touchdown, the defense forces punt, blocked punt, punt, punt, punt, punt.

[4:06] After a quick pass to T.J., Chad picks up another two yards setting up a third-and-one. Palmer drops back and completes the pass to T.J. on the right hashmarks. T.J. quickly got off the field holding his back and is now in obvious pain on the Bengals sidelines.

First down at the Cincinnati 43-yard line. Palmer hands off to Kenny with a WIDE OPEN hole. But Watson just tripped. It was an eight-yard gain that could have been a lot more. Palmer hits Henry on the right sidelines, tip tip, and a first down on the 10-yard pass.

Then, self-destruction. As expected. After Watson picked up about seven yards, Whitworth was called for holding. Self-destruction. That's 10 penalties on Cincinnati. Bengals line up first down and 20 and hand off to Watson on the draw for 11 yards. Not bad. Second-and-9 with T.J. still out.

Palmer passes the ball a good 25 yards down the right sidelines. Henry, wide open, just dropped the ball. It was like went to protect himself from the hit and forgot to catch the pass.

Palmer takes the third-and-nine snap and passes left to Chatman setting up fourth and five. Palmer has his pass tipped at the line of scrimmage. What is that? Four tips at the line of scrimmage?

Cardinals have the ball.

T.J. is questionable with a hip injury.

Chris Henry drops another pass.

[3:58] Third-and-eight at the Arizona 49-yard line. Warner drops back and is SACKED by Geathers and Robinson! Offensive holding declined. Nice job Bengals defense. Whoa. When was the last time anyone said that?! Cardinals punt.

[3:56] Cardinals line up with first down at the Arizona 37-yard line. I guess we should expect the Cardinals to grind out the fourth. After a 2-yard gain by James, Warner completes an 8-yard pass to Boldin for a first down.

First down at the 47-yard line. After a one-yard pick up by James, the Bengals defense continues to make rushing the ball difficult for the Cardinals by only allowing another one-yard gain. James has 47 yards rushing on 20 attempts. That's good stuff.

Cards call timeout #3.

[3:51] On first down, Palmer drops back and throws deep down the middle of the field and NEARLY picked off. It should have been picked, actually. Wow. Awfully risky pass.

After the Cardinals jump off sides, the offense lines up with second-and-five. Palmer, under center, hands off to Kenny Watson for a nice 7-yard gain for first down. Palmer, at the Arizona 41-yard line, drops back and throws deep right and NEARLY picked off.

Palmer hands off the second down play to Watson to the left for four yards setting up third-and-six from the 37-yard line. Palmer, with five receivers, has the pass tipped at the line of scrimmage that falls incomplete. And yes, it's nearly picked off.

Bengals go for it on fourth-and-six. Palmer drops back and throws to the right. Henry, wide open, drops the pass. Goes through his fingers. Turnover on downs.

[3:45] Cards line up first down at the Arizona 30-yard line. After a 10-yard pass to Fitzgerald, James takes the draw and is dropped by Dhani Jones in the backfield for a one-yard loss. Anthony Schlegel knocked Boldin backwards on the second down incompletion -- assuring there's no completion.

Third down and 11. Nedu coming on the blitz, Warner takes the shotgun snap, pump fakes and throws the ball into the dirt while falling down. Nice. Very nice. In all honesty, the defense hasn't played bad. 14 points allowed were off interception returns for touchdown. They're holding their end.

After an illegal block on the back, against the Cardinals surprisingly -- block in the back by the punting team is an odd call -- the Bengals have the ball at the Cincinnati 47-yard line.

[3:39] After a 12-yard pick up to T.J., the Bengals are called for another false start. There's no crowd noise. Nothing. Then Watson lost a yard setting up a second-and-16. Palmer hands off to Watson again. And again, Watson is dropped for a one-yard loss. Add the Bobbie Williams hold on the play and the Bengals are with second-and-26.

The Bengals came so close to taking the lead. Then the offense self-destructs.

Second down. Palmer drops back and throws left. The ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage but Watson was in the area and dove for the reception. Four yard gain. There you go. At least it's not a pick-six. Third-and-22. Palmer, in shotgun, dumps off the pass to Watson for 11 yards. At least it's not a six-pick. Bengals punt.

[3:34] Cardinals head into the game against the Bengals with eight total interceptions. They have three today.

[3:32] After the Cardinals were called for a personal foul -- excessive celebration -- the Bengals return to the ball to midfield. However, block in the back. Bengals are back to where the personal foul really wasn't a big deal. First down at the 25-yard line.

Watson takes the handoff over the right side and picks up five heading into the fourth.

[3:29] Rudi takes the handoff on first down for four yards to the Cincinnati 48-yard line. Dorsey in the game. Palmer pitches to the right behind Bobbie Williams and Stacy Andrews pulling from the right to the edge. Bengals have third-and-three at the Arizona 49-yard line.

Palmer drops back and intercepted by Rolle. Touchdown. Awful. Bengals lined up with six on the line of scrimmage.

[3:25] Cardinals line up first down on the Arizona 30-yard line. Crowd is fired up. Blogger is fired up. We're all fired up. First play, James is dropped for a one-yard loss or no-gain. Bryan Robinson baby! Team is fired up. Let's go! Second down. Warner dumps off the screen to James on the left. HOLDING! Ha!

Cardinals are now stuck with second-and-20 at the Arizona 20-yard line. Warner drops back with Jackson in HIS FACE! He dumps off the pass too soon to Arrington. Incomplete.

THIRD-AND-20!!! Warner, in shotgun, throws and has the ball batted down at the line of scrimmage by Dhani Jones. YES! Punt the ball! Block the punt! Score a touchdown! Cardinals punt only short.

[3:18] Third-and-one at the Arizona 35-yard line. Empty backfield. Warner tries to hit Fitzgerald on a quick pass. Leon Hall made the play hitting Fitzgerald perfectly when the pass hits the receiver. Nice play. Nice play. Defensive stand. Game on baby!!!

BENGALS BLOCK THE PUNT, BENGALS BLOCK THE PUNT, BENGALS BLOCKED THE PUNT. DEDE DORSEY LAID OUT AND PUNTED THE BLOCKED... TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(I mean blocked the punt, just in case.. a little fired up)

[3:16] Cardinals line up first down at the Arizona 26-yard line. After another falling down pass attempt by Warner, James picks up nine on the pass. James is stuffed at the line of scrimmage by Robinson at the line of scrimmage. Third-and-one. Cardinals call timeout #2 -- lost one on challenge.

[3:11] Play stands. TOUCHDOWN! Bengals are only down by eight.

[3:10] OK, on the 37-yard touchdown pass to Henry, there was a pass interference in the endzone against the guy covering him.

The Cardinals challenge.

Even if the touchdown is reversed, the Bengals will have first-and-goal at the one.

[3:09] Bengals set up first down at the Cincinnati 40-yard line. Two possession away from tying. On the drop back, Palmer falls down. Lord. Ghiaciuc stepped on Palmer's feet. Second-and-15. Palmer nearly trips again. LOL!!!!!!!!!!! Palmer completed the pass to Watson out of the backfield for eight yards. Bengals have third-and-seven at the 43-yard line. Palmer drops back and hits Chad DEEP to the right. Chad ran up and then flipped around. The cushion helping, gives the Bengals 20 yards.

TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!!!! Palmer drops back and throws DEEP left to Chris Henry. TOUCHDOWN. Henry had one step on the defender and hauls down the pass at the back of the endzone. Game on?!?!

[3:04] Sorry for the misspellings fellas. I'm usually typing while watching the television screen while listening to the radio. Plus, I'm pissed with this terrible team. So with all that combined, I'm goiag ta misple stff.

[3:03] After the Bengals defense allows 15 yards to James on three rushes, Warner throws a 2nd-and-10 into coverage incomplete. Madieu Williams gets up and dances. Dance away. It's not like we're down by 15. On third down, the Bengals blitz and force the early pass to Fitzgerald. Deltha O'Neal made a great play giving Fitzgerald no room to operate. A lot of people don't like O'Neal, but he's clearly our best pass defender. Clearly. Bengals have the ball.

[3:00] Chad, after fumbling the ball, sits on his butt. Doesn't get up. Just sits there while the Cardinals are recovering. He's pouting like a little baby.

[2:57] The Bengals are having some success on kickoff returns. I mean, there's a positive right? If the guys that "earn" millions of dollars can't do it, might as well have the minimal wage guys do something. Bengals have first down at the Cincinnati 33-yard line. No room for Kenny up the middle.

Palmer throws a deep pass on second down to the right. He run up and then came back to Palmer. Chad's spin was full of such awesomeness, that he lost his shoe. The 15-yard pick up was followed by a nice pass-and-catch from Palmer to Henry setting up a second-and-one at the Arizona 41-yard line.

After an incomplete pass deep to Chatman has everyone wondering why it wasn't a pass interference. Didn't appear so, but the fans just want to make noise. This team hasn't provided it. Then third-and-one, Palmer hands off to Rudi. A second effort with Arizona guys on the ground forcing him to leap, gives the Bengals a first down.

On first down, Chad is flanked wide left with his arms stretched out wondering "what's the play??". Typical. Palmer completes a five-yard pass to Watson followed by a 6-yard run up the middle for another first down. Then Whitworth was called for late hit, personal foul. There was no whistle when he made the "late hit". Ah, no penalty. Nevermind. The runner wasn't down. Whitworth is PISSSSSED OFF.

Bengals line up with second-and-three at the 17-yard line. Palmer hits Chad quickly on the right. Then Chad does he's done all season. Totally disappoint everyone. He fumbled the ball. Now, stick with me. After he fumbled it, a Cardinals defender fell on the ball. No Bengals play touched him down -- though I though Reggie Kelly did touch him. The Cardinals defender "gave himself" up therefore negating an initial call of touchdown. God lord. Bengals give up the ball and the Cardinals have it.

[2:47] James picks up 11 yards on successive runs of 4 and 7 setting up another first down at the Cincinnati 13-yard line. Dhani Jones got hit late on the third play of the drive and then retaliated. What happens when you retaliate? Personal foul. Nice. Good job guys.

First-and-goal at three-yard line. James takes the hand off, gets hit around the LOS and keeps his balance with the assist of his hands. He stretches into the endzone. Touchdown. Cardinals take a 28-13 lead. That's 14 points off Palmer interceptions.

[2:44] Hey, there you go Palmer. On the first play of the second half, Palmer drops back and throws the ball where only two Arizona defenders were at. There were two guys that would have picked off the pass.

[2:41] Bengals start the second half at their own 42-yard line. Great return by Holt, but he's down. He's hurt. He hit the back of his head on the turf. Those are the type of hits that are obvious concussions. Holt returned the ball 37 yards.

Analysis: If you wanted a recap of the Bengals season, this game is a good example. The offense struggles and fails to convert in the redzone. The Bengals defense, on four total Cardinals possessions, allow Arizona to move the ball on the last two possessions with a 4-play drive ending with a 44-yard Boldin touchdown. Then the defense gives up a touchdown on a 9-play 85-yard drive concluding the first half. Remember that the missed field goal capped off an 11-play drive. The defense just can't get off the field and the Cardinals offense looks to have rhythm heading into the lockerroom.

The offense? Yea, it's as stale as stale gets. I maintain it's the offense that's been the most disappointing this season... and it starts with Palmer. On the last two possessions, the Bengals offense went 12 and 13 play drives. Both ended in field goals. Score the touchdowns, for once. The Bengals fans are booing for good reason because this offense blows. Anyway....

Stats, Stats, Stats:

Palmer: 17/22, 130 yards, TD, INT
Warner: 12/16, 175 yards, 2 TDs

Rudi: 6 carries, 16 yards
Watson: 1 carry, 3 yards
James: 8 carries, 18 yards

T.J: 5 receptions, 57 yards
Chad: 3 receptions, 35 yards
Fitzgerald: 6 receptions, 74 yards, TD
Boldin: 3 receptions, 63 yards, TD

[2:26] When the Bengals go into the lockerroom losing, during the Marvin Lewis era, they are 7-25 all-time with Lewis and 1-5 this season.

[2:26] Bengals offense comes on the field and takes a knee. Fans boo.

[2:25] Warner, in the first half, has a 149.7 passer rating.

[2:23] Cardinals line up with first-and-goal at the Cincinnati 4-yard line. James gets the handoff and Peko hits the running back at the line of scrimmage for no gain. Cards call left the clock roll taking their time to get back to the line of scrimmage. Then with :18 left, they call a timeout. They let a good amount of time go. Radio guys question the move. I don't. They have plenty of time close enough to score.

Second-and-goal at the Cincinnati 5-yard line. Warner drops back with Fitzgerald in the slot on the right. No one noticing the good wide receiver allows Warner to hit Fitzgerald at the back of the endzone. Wide open. Too easy.

[2:19] Cardinals set up with a first down at the Cincinnati 24-yard line. Warner gets hit by Fanene and as he's falling down, he softball throws to Arrington for 3 yards. Should have been a sack. But Warner does his best Favre, Kitna and Gus impression. Just wow. False start on the Cardinals creates second-and-12 at the 26-yard line.

Warner looks right and throws left to Pope for a large again. Unreal. Warner was, again, falling down by Bryan Robinson but he does another shotput/softball throw to Pope running right to left. The play that should have been the second sack on the drive, is a 22 yard pickup. Geathers hurt on the play.

[2:14] Holding on the Cards forces the offense to start first down at the Arizona 15-yard line. Warner, drops back and throws over the middle of the field to Fitzgerald for 19 yards. Fitzgerald was lined up left and ran deep then in around a wide-open hole in the zone. On first down, Leon Hall made a good play on Fitzgerald to force the incompletion.

Second down, Warner, empty backfield, completes the pass to Fitzgerald on the left (flanked wide left) for nine yards. Third-and-one!!!!! Warner, play-action boot legged to the right. Warner, with Geathers closing down, completes the pass to Fitzgerald on the right. Fitzgerald was coming back in for his quarterback giving the Cardinals 20 yards on the play. Wow.

First down at the Bengals 37-yard line. Warner drops back throws to the right to #80-Johnson for 13 yards. Crowd boos.

[2:10] After Chad Johnson committed a false start (how does WR false start???), the Bengals line up with second-and-13. Kooistra in for Whitworth. Palmer, in shotgun, looks down the middle and hits Daniel Coats hands off to the left. Coats juggled and dropped the pass setting up a...

Third-and-13 at the Ari-13-yard line. Palmer with four WR holds, and holds, and holds, then checks down to Chatman for three yards.

Shayne Graham attempts and converts the 38-yard field goal for his 21st straight.

[2:06] Bengals have first down at the 20-yard line. Rudi takes the hand off to the right and picks up six yards with good blocking. Then, as if remembering who they really are, the Bengals blockers didn't, well block. Rudi was hit in the backfield by several for next to nothing. Third-and-four. Palmer, in shotgun, looks to the right left and hits a wide open Chad Johnson several yards past the line of scrimmage.

On first down, Palmer takes the quick snap and hits Reggie Kelly for about three yards. Kelly ran in the right flats. On second down, Palmer looks down the middle and hits Rudi in the left flats setting up... third-and-five at the 38-yard line. Palmer, in shotgun, dumps the pass of to T.J. five yard short of the first down. A BEAUTIFUL spin gives T.J. the first down. Another move that forces another missed tackle gives T.J. 18 total yards on the play.

First down at the Arizona 42-yard line. Palmer drops back and quick hits Henry for a one-yard gain. Wow. That was nuts. Palmer didn't hit the quick pass quick enough. The cornerback nearly jumped it. On second down, Palmer hits T.J. running the same route that Rolle picked off. This time, Palmer led T.J. better for five yards setting up... third-and-three at the 35-yard line.

Palmer looks right and hits Chad sitting in the middle of hole in the zone. Watson picked up the blitz giving Palmer enough time for the 15-yard gain. Bengals in the redzone.

[1:58] First down at the Cincinnati 44-yard line. In off-set I, Warner fakes the handoff and hits Boldin WIDE OPEN down the middle. Dexter Jackson was covering man-on-man. Boldin, ran a post, breezed right past Jackson. Too easy. Cards take lead on the 44-yard play.

[1:54] Cardinals start their drive at the 32-yard line. So far the Bengals have forced a three-and-out and stiffened on the last drive forcing a missed field goal. Let's D! On first down, Warner drops back and throws to the left. Warner was hit in the left arm as he threw. Incomplete. Second down, Warner pitches to James on the left. The Bengals defense clogged the POA but not the cut back lanes giving James room for five yards cutting back to the right setting up...

Third-and-five at the 37-yard line. Robert Geathers was called for "neutral zone infraction". Whatever. Third-and-inches after the five yard penalty. James goes into motion to the left and then back to the backfield. Larry Fitzgerald receives the pass. He pushed off Hall BIG TIME. No flag. BS. First down.

First-and-ten at the Cincinnati 44-yard line. Cards call timeout #1.

[1:48] Palmer hands off to Rudi in single-back formation running to the right. Whitworth called for holding. So, first down at the Arizona 33-yard line. Palmer hits Henry on first down on a quick out pattern for a short five yards. Holding penalties always takes the breath out of you.

Watson picks up the reception on a screen pass to the left for five yards back to the original line of scrimmage. Third down. Palmer, in shotgun with Watson in company, looks down the middle and throws a Favre fast ball to Watson sitting over the middle. Incomplete. Wouldn't have been a first down anyway.

Graham hits his 20th field goal in a row on the 41-yard conversion.

[1:44] Bengals line up second-and-two at the Arizona 25-yard line to start the second quarter. Palmer hands off to Rudi for 1.99999 yards. Nope. Two yards and a first down.

Bengals call timeout #2. Horrible. The Bengals offense brought in a "big" package with Scott Kooistra substituting for Chris Henry. Problem was that the Bengals converted the first down. I really wonder if the coaches are paying attention. After discovering they converted, they brought Kooistra back out and brought Henry in. Problem? There was two seconds left on the play clock when the formation was set and the play was called.

Pay attention.

[1:39] Bengals line up first-and-ten at the Arizona 33-yard line after a decent Glenn Holt return. Fox showing highlights of the game for the second time. On first down, Palmer drops back and quickly passes to Kelly a little high. Kelly tipped the pass and the ball was floating in the air for what seemed like a month. Incomplete. On second down, Palmer drops back and hits Henry running a short in route. He was flanked wide left. The seven yard pass brings up third-and-three at the 40-yard line. Palmer drops back and hits T.J. between the hashmarks. T.J. is smoked, but picks up the first down on the five yard completion.

Bengals set up first-and-ten at the Cincinnati 45-yard line. Palmer hits T.J. quickly on the right. T.J., being a manly man, carries about 5 Arizona players for the first down on the ten yard pickup.

After a minimal Rudi gain up the middle, Palmer drops back and looks to the right. Chad, with about 5 yards cushion, runs up and out for about 12 yards. Palmer gets the offense to the line of scrimmage quickly and hits Chad down the right sidelines in the endzone. A little long. Incomplete. But the quick snap by Palmer and the offense caught 12 Cardinals on the field.

First-and-five at the Arizona 28-yard line. Rudi gets the hand off, hits the line HARD!!! While it was a three-yard gain, Rudi saw the hole and hit it hard. That's the old Rudi I remember. Rudi might have a good game. Something he, and the team, desperately needs. First quarter over.

[1:31] Bengals line up with first-and-ten. Palmer pitches to Rudi Johnson to the left. Jeremi Johnson makes a nice POA (point of attack) block freeing up Johnson for four yards. On second down, Palmer throws to the right to T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Rolle covering T.J. very close, steals the football (it's an interception) and returns for a touchdown. Rolle closed on the predictable pass.

[1:27] Cardinals set up third-and-11 at the Cincinnati 36-yard line. Warner drops back looking for a quick hit to the right -- Arrington lined up in the backfield and ran to the right flats. No one was covering so Warner went to hit him quickly. Jonathan Fanene puts his big paw in the air slapping down the pass at the line of scrimmage. Incomplete. Neil Rackers attempts a 54-yard field goal. The distance was fine. But it went wide left. Woot. No points.

[1:24] The Cardinals start with first-and-ten at the Arizona 25-yard line. When Warner looked pass for his receivers, he decided to check down to James for roughly ten yards. No one covering him. Johnathan Joseph called for illegal chuck adds five yards, but negates the 10-yard gain by James. Fox is already showing highlights of the game with 9:36 left in the first quarter.

First down, Boldin is WIDE OPEN running a ten-yard in route. The Bengals pass defense was playing a deep zone of sorts. That gave the Cardinals a first down on the second down play.

First-and-ten at the Arizona 40-yard line. James takes the handoff to the right. Jeanty made the stop shedding off the block at the line of scrimmage after a three-yard gain. On second-and-seven, James gets the handoff, but Jonathan Fanene (or Geathers) whiffed the tackle giving James a chance at picking up the first down after a seven yard gain.

First-and-ten at the 50. Warner hits Larry Fitzgerald underneath. A very T.J-like route for six yards. Second down, likely run. James gets the handoff, spins in the backfield after Hall blitzed and made contact. James made Hall missed but Myers finished him off at the line of scrimmage.

Third-and-four at the Cincinnati 44-yard line. Warner, in shotgun, throws over the left hashmark hitting Boldin, running a crossing pattern from right to left, for nine yards. Converted.

Now, first-and-ten at the Cincinnati 35-yard line. James gets the handoff and Dexter Jackson blitzed through the line forcing James to shuffle. Smith and Dhani Jones finished off James at the line of scrimmage. The Bengals defense is blitzing. On second down, Warner looks right. Holds on to the ball and runs left. Warner wanted to throw to the right and the receiver wasn't ready... at all. So Warner had to take off to the left on the busted play. Madieu Williams sacks Warner setting up...

A Bengals timeout???? We waste time outs like nothing. I swear.

[1:12] On first down, Palmer and Ghiaciuc FUMBLED the snap. Ghiaciuc has a splint on a finger on his snapping hand. So now, second-and-11. Palmer in I formation with two receivers left, Palmer hits Watson in the left flats for six yards. Add that to an illegal chuck and the Bengals set up with a first-and-ten at the Arizona 31-yard line.

After Watson gains three yards up the middle, Palmer short-arms a pass to Chad on the left side. Palmer was pressured by #58 being blocked -- barely -- by Watson. Incomplete.

That sets up a third-and-seven at the Arizona 28-yard line. Palmer drops back and hits Chris Henry on a timing pattern. Henry, lined up left, went up and out. The pass was low and Henry made a nice grab to pick up the pass. First and ten at the 19-yard line.

TOUCHDOWN!!!!!! Palmer hits T.J. Houshmandzadeh on the right. Palmer, with plenty of time, throws the ball towards the right front pylon. T.J. ran up and then out. Plenty of cushion on the receiver by the Cardinals defense.

[1:06] The Cards start first-and-ten at the Arizona 20-yard line. Edgerrin James runs up the middle for a minimal gain. Dhani Jones made the first contact allowing a 2-yard gain. After a false start on Leonard Pope, the Cards line up off-set I to the right. Warner hands off to James on a delay to the right back to the original line of scrimmage.

Third-and-ten at the Arizona 20-yard line. Three receivers in shotgun, Warner is SACKED by Robert Geathers. The Bengals defense called an all-out blitz and get to Warner quickly. The Bengals defense said this week they have to get to Warner. They did. On the punt, the Bengals return man, Antonio Chatman FUMBLED. Interference against the Cards. Bengals have the ball at the Arizona 36-yard line.

Scoring

  • Palmer completes 19-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Bengals, 7-0)
  • Rolle returns Palmer interception 55 yards for TD (tie, 7-7)
  • Shayne Graham kicks 41-yard field goal. (Bengals, 10-7)
  • Warner completes 44-yard touchdown pass to Boldin (Cards, 14-10)
  • Shayne Graham kicks 38-yard field goal. (Cards, 14-13)
  • Warner completes 5-yard touchdown pass to Fitzgerald (Cards, 21-13)
  • James runs three yards for TD. (Cards, 28-13)
  • Palmer completes 37-yard touchdown pass to Chris Henry (Cards, 28-20)
  • Blocked punt by DeDe Dorsey returned for TD (Cards, 28-27)
  • Rolle returns Palmer interception 54 yards for TD (Cards, 35-27)

Turnovers (Cards, +4... 21 points off turnover)

  • Palmer intercepted by Rolle. Rolle returns for TD.
  • Palmer intercepted by Dansby.
  • Chad Johnson fumble.
  • Palmer intercepted by Rolle. Rolle returns for TD.

Injury

[1:02] As a Bengal, Shayne Graham has converted 121 of 138 field goals.

[1:01] Coin toss. Cardinals call tails, the flip is tails and the Cards will receive. Let's go Bengals!

[12:57] Wild Card? I can see it. Tennessee and Jacksonville hold the lead for Wild Card spots right now sporting a 6-3 record each. I wonder how that will play out with AFC South teams beating up on each other. The Browns and Bills are 5-4. The Bills hold the head-to-head tie-breaker and the Bengals still have the Browns on tap. Baltimore is 4-5, but the Bengals own the tie-breaker. The Chiefs and Broncos are 4-5. The Chiefs own the tie-breaker and the Broncos are not really that good. In fact, all the teams that are 5-4 and worse have an equal chance at faltering as the Bengals do at winning. Long story short, the Bengals have to go on a great run with the leading wild card contenders playing at an average clip. Long road. But it's still there.

[12:47] Tomvanwyhe (Revenge of the Birds) says "Unlike Cincinnati, Arizona is still fighting for a shot at the division title. That will give the team a strong incentive to win while Arizona does enough on defense to win. The pick:  Arizona, 27-21."

I'm not so certain. I think the Bengals offense, finding themselves close to total potency with the passing offense, will, with the Cardinals Pro Bowl safety -- Adrian Wilson -- out have a powerful advantage. That alone will give the Bengals more than 21 points.

[12:45] Roll call. Are you out there? Are you outside the broadcast area? Are you watching from Cincinnati?

[12:41] You might disagree. No, you will disagree. Perhaps. Maybe not so certain. Anyhow... the Bengals offense will show up with Chris Henry and the Bengals defense will do just enough to win. I predicted a 40-point offensive showing with the defense holding the Cardinals to under 30. I can't predict point totals. If the New York Times couldn't do it, I have no shot.

Personnel Update: Hall starts, Cardinals Pro Bowl safety out
Rookie Leon Hall, looking for an interception in his third straight game, got his second straight start at cornerback in place of Deltha O'Neal Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium against Arizona. The Cardinals made a major change in their secondary when they deactivated their best defensive player, Pro Bowl strong safety Adrian Wilson, out with a heel injury. But they did start Eric Green at cornerback after he suffered a mild ankle sprain in Thursday's practice.
[Bengals.com]

Bengals inactives are wide receiver Marcus Maxwell, cornerback David Jones, center Dan Santucci, right tackle Willie Anderson, tight end Nate Lawrie, defensive end Frostee Rucker and linebacker Roy Manning. Jeff Rowe is the third quarterback.
[Curnutte's blog]

Inactive/Out: T Willie Anderson (knee)

Uniform: Black.

Weather: Partly Cloudy. High 50F. Winds, 5-10 mph N [Weather.com]

Who's watching? As per this NFL distribution map

Starters:

(D, Doubtful... Q, Questionable)

POS. Projected
QB Palmer
RB R.Johnson
FB J.Johnson
WR C. Johnson
WR Houshmandzadeh
TE Kelly
LT Jones
LG Whitworth
C Ghiaciuc
RG Williams
RT Andrews
   
POS D
LE Robinson
DT Peko
DT Myers
RE Smith
WB D.Jones
MB L.Johnson
SB R.Geathers
SS Jackson
FS Williams
CB Joseph
CB Hall
X
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