What they're saying about the Bengals after loss to Seattle

First note. Marvin Lewis will speak Tuesday rather than Monday -- which is customary.

Kevin Hench mentions about the Matt Hasselbeck fumble/no fumble/complete/received/incomplete play.

Just when it looked like Matt Hasselbeck had fumbled away a possible win for the second week in a row, the Seahawks were saved by the dreaded "non-reviewable" game-changing missed call. Hasselbeck caught his own batted pass, gathered it into his bread basket, staggered a couple of strides and then lost the ball as he went to the turf. It was going to be a tough call: Did the ground cause the fumble or was the ball already moving before his knee hit? Turned out it didn't matter. Once the stripes wrongly called the pass incomplete, it could not be reviewed. Great rule. Special shout-out to Shank Graham, whose John Kasay-evoking, duck-hook kickoff set up the Seahawks for the game-winning drive.

I'm not worried about the change of possession part. I can accept he was down and the ground can't cause a fumble -- even though that's a little suspect. But how the refs missed the basic concept of complete, not complete, is beyond me. Rules. Rules. Rules. It's a disaster that the NFL doesn't add another ref in the press box to make sure plays are called correctly.

Take challenges away from coaches and put it all on the refs. They review each play. If they require more time, or need to make a change, they stop the game and make those corrections. For claiming to be professional, there's a lot of aspects in the NFL that are very bush-league from players to coaches to officiating.

Paul Daugherty wonders about the secondary without mentioning the linebackers -- two of whom joined the team within the past two weeks receiving a large chunk of playing time.

It could be the defense misses Kevin Kaesviharn, a safety who more often than not seemed to be in the right spot at the right time in pass coverage. Kaesviharn signed as a free agent with New Orleans. Maybe the Bengals should give more playing time at cornerback to Keiwan Ratliff, who was not a first-round draft pick (as Joseph and Hall were) but who players say makes things difficult in practice for Carson Palmer.

The Post's Kevin Goheen was spot on.

For the second straight week the Bengals lost a game they could have, and maybe should have, won but didn't because all three phases of the team came up short in one area or another, falling to Seattle 24-21.

Goheen also points out obvious causes for losing -- mainly, the little things.

Things like turning over the ball four times. Things like giving up 72 yards on the opening kickoff to set up Seattle's first touchdown, or kicking the ball off out of bounds to give the Seahawks a final possession opportunity starting at their own 40, as was the case of kicker Shayne Graham after the Bengals had taken a 21-17 lead with 2:42 to play on an 8-yard run by backup running back Kenny Watson.Or something like holding the Seahawks out of the end zone the first 29 minutes of the second half but not being able to come up with one final stop to make it 30 minutes.

Chad and T.J.'s numbers didn't equal a win. But they did a lot more than most of their teammates. Chick Ludwig discusses the receivers numbers for a losing effort.

His 12 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown weren't enough to lead Cincinnati to victory. Neither was Chad Johnson's nine catches for 138 yards. The Bengals sure know how to rack up superlatives in defeat.

Chick, who called Johnathan Joseph a goat, said:

There were numerous candidates, including Palmer (two interceptions) and Graham, whose out-of-bounds kickoff was inexcusable. But the winner is Joseph, who got burned for two TDs, including Deion Branch's 42-yarder in the second quarter.

Chick continues on JJ.

Cornerback Johnathan Joseph was one of the culprits on Seattle's game-winning TD pass. "It was zone coverage," he said. "Every zone has a hole. They just happened to find the hole. "It feels bad to lose anytime. When you lose two straight — games you feel you should've won — you feel really bad. We've got to put it behind us and move on to next week. We can't let this hang over our head, or we'll fall farther behind."

Clark Judge:

10. Lock of the week: New England to score 38 points against anyone. The Pats put up 38 in their opener, 38 last week and 38 on Sunday. So who's the next unlucky loser? Try Cincinnati, which surrenders an average of 32 per start.

Bucky Brooks

The Seahawks didn't go to their typical rushing play on a crucial fourth and-1 on the final drive. Instead, running to the left behind Pro Bowler Walter Jones, the Seahawks gave the ball to Shaun Alexander off tackle to the right. The Bengals had over-shifted their linebackers to the Seahawks' left in anticipation of the run and were caught completely off guard. This was a great tendency-breaker that ultimately helped the Seahawks win the game.
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