It's time to take a look at Carson Palmer through the first 6 weeks of the season and talk about one of the most frustrating aspects of this season. Palmer has 1375 yards (229 yards per game). Of those yards 816 are first half yards (136 yard avg) and 496 second half yards (48. 6 yard avg). An eye popping 267 of the second half yards are in the last 2 minutes. Palmer also only has 40 total yards passing when the Bengals are leading. What's the frustration? It is the play calling!
Cedric Benson gets his props, he is having a great year but right now the Bengals need to throw more. At halftime I look at Palmers numbers and think; "great Carson is going to have 300+ yards and the Bengals are going to roll this team". Then the second half starts and the passing game goes dormant until the last two minutes of the game. The running game cannot shoulder the load for 60 minutes. The Bengals are wasting the weapons that could blow the doors off some of these close games.
What needs to be done? The Bengals need a fresh mind running the offense. Bratkowski is stifling this team with conservative and often predictable play calling. How about a first down play action fake? How about using the threat of Benson for a few big yard plays to Chris Henry and Chad Ochocinco down the field. Maybe some screens to slow down the pass rush and give Palmer a little more time in the pocket? Palmer only has 20 completions over 20 yards this season, Benson could run for 1800 yards this season if Palmer could double that output.
The bottom line is the Bengals need to throw more. Let Palmer run an abbreviated no huddle for one game, similar to the Sugar Huddle Offense the Bengals ran in the Boomer Esiason days. When Palmer starts having 300 to 350 yards a game the Bengals will start winning by touchdowns, not field-goals. The Bengals need to start jumping on teams and driving nails in coffins with the passing game. The Bengals need this and Cedric Benson needs this to stay healthy for the entire season. It's time to see a blowout win, and it's time for Palmer to have a breakout game!