Do you have the same feeling that I have? The Bengals, after an emotional win against the defending Super Bowl Champions, could let down and play poorly against the Cleveland Browns. Will it be a loss? Will it be too close? I'm worried. Then again, we're Bengals fans. Certainty has never seen a home in our vocabulary.
In the meantime, Chris, blogger of Dawgs By Nature, stops in to let us know what we should expect on Sunday.
Note: We do questions and answer forums for our rival opponents each week. If there's a specific question you'd like asked for our next opponent, you're welcome to email me personally. Next week it's the Ravens and then the Texans and Bears. Just make sure you have your question emailed to me by Tuesday.
1. The situation with the Cleveland Browns quarterbacks has been well documented. If you were the coach, who would you start against the Cincinnati Bengals and why?
Chris: That's a loaded question, because if I were the coach, I think I would have played to Brady Quinn's strengths better in my offensive gameplan. Considering the gameplan in place though, I agree with the change to Derek Anderson this week. Quinn was not handling any form of pressure well and gave up on plays too soon.
As soon as Anderson came in, he faced the same pressure but stood in the pocket and delivered a throw as if nobody was about to take him down. The amount of picks he threw against the Ravens came more so out of desperation, so I won't hold him completely accountable for his stats. Anderson is more willing than Quinn to take shots down the field, and with a player like Braylon Edwards as our top wideout, that's what we need right now at QB.
2. Jamal Lewis, in some media circles, was projected as a cut during final cut-down day. He missed last week against the Baltimore Ravens and sat out of practice Wednesday. Do you believe that he’ll contribute at all against the Bengals this weekend? Or is he expected to sit out?
Chris: Lewis also sat out of Thursday's practice, so the outlook isn't too good for him right now. I'm expecting Jerome Harrison to get the start again, and that's a good thing. Despite being dominated by the Ravens last week, Harrison still ran the ball well, even in the first half when the Browns were still within striking distance.
3. Situation: the Browns have the football, they’re down by four points with three seconds on the clock and its fourth-and-goal at the Cincinnati three-yard line. Who do you give the ball to for the Browns to score and win the game?
Chris: With Derek Anderson under center, I think it has to be the fade or quick out to Braylon Edwards. We don't have a guy like Kellen Winslow at tight end anymore, and our other receivers are either inexperienced or not suited for this type of situation. Another option would be Joshua Cribbs in the Wildcat with the option to either run the ball or throw the ball, but that's taking a considerable risk.
Situation II: Same situation as above, but reverse the teams. Which defensive player do you rely on the most to make a play?
Chris: Since I imagine a pass play coming, I'm hoping for pressure to get to Carson Palmer from Kamerion Wimbley on the edge, forcing an errant throw.
In conclusion: I'm optimistic this week with Derek Anderson under center that he can re-live the magic he brought in 2007 when he took over for Charlie Frye. However, the Browns have been so abysmal the past three weeks, while the Bengals have beaten a 2-1 Packers team, the Steelers, and barely lost to an 3-0 Broncos team. If I take the Browns, I'd be taking them on hope alone, which is something I cannot do. Bengals win 24-21 after a late
Palmer touchdown again.