It feels like this season won't end. There's little to look forward to and wins are becoming scarce -- the Bengals have lost 10 of their past 13 games. The city of Cincinnati is revisiting the culture of losing again and no one is, nor should be, taking it well. Many find their targets of blame. Most point towards Mike Brown -- the favorite target taught to us as children. Many blame the coaches for being too predictable managing games poorly. Few point their fingers directly at the effort and pride of the players. Who knows. It is what it is. And the Bengals are 3-7 with the realization that the team's only anticipated story-line being a high pick in the NFL draft.
Did you know: Marvin Lewis has a career 38-36 record as head coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. It could be worse. San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Nolan has a career 13-29 record.
Did you know II: The Bengals have played 266 total regular season games since Paul Brown died on August 5, 1991. They are 93-173.
One player that sits in the fans crosshairs is Chad Johnson. Why, you ask? I mean, Chad's having a Chad Johnson like season. He's on pace for 95 receptions, a career-high 1,500 yards receiving and five touchdowns. His 19 20-yard-or-more receptions is more than any season, already, since recording 20 (career-high) in 2003. He's on pace to record 83 first down receptions -- a career high beating 2005's 74. He's catching 60% of all passes thrown his way -- second highest percentage of his career.
Stats at Football Outsiders.
He's recording several numbers that rival season-highs. So why do we go after Chad? Is it effort? I think that point is justified. Is he making an ass of himself on the sidelines with Palmer and Marvin? I think that point is also justified. Do the stats show critical drops on third down? No. Stats Inc., records Chad having five total drops this season -- Houshmandzadeh also has five. Somehow, that number feels a tad bit low.
Did you know: Dhani Jones leads the team with 3.5 stuffs -- tackles in the backfield or the line of scrimmage. Three players are tied for second most -- Bryan Robinson, John Thornton, Domata Peko.
Did you know II: Robert Geathers leads the team with 2.5 sacks.
Marking trends: Take Chris Henry's numbers and chart them for a full season: 96 receptions, 1,440 yards and eight touchdowns.
Even so, the side-story this season is the discussion whether Chad will be in Cincinnati next season. And to be fair, it wasn't discussed with any regularity until Chris Mortensen brought it up on ESPN's NFL pre-game show.
Also this week:
- We examined if Palmer's regression this season was just an aberration -- just a bad season. There are definitely other variables included with Palmer's season. But we focused just on our still-studly quarterback.
- We also examined why the Bengals can't run the ball anymore.
- Is it play calling? We charted trends.
- The team finally moved Robert Geathers back to defensive end against the Cardinals. He resumed his sack-master role by dropping Kurt Warner 1.5 times. Was that a bad move by the team or what by putting Geathers at LB?
- Bengals/Titans primer.
- A favorite topic at CincyJungle.com is debating the real necessity of the NFL's replay system. We reexamined.