I hate the Bye and I love the Bye. On the one hand, it helps the football team get healthy and rest - and week 8 is a great time for rest and recovery. On the other, what the heck am I supposed to do with my Sunday afternoon?! I guess I could watch other football games (yawn) or be productive (unlikely), but Bye weeks are torturous. They're like an unwanted taste of the off-season when you can't look forward to watching the Bengals in a few days.
But, the Bengals are 5-2 after beating the Bears, with losses coming to the rising Texans (who won't be rising much longer if Andre Johnson misses significant time) and 6-0 Denver Broncos. The Cats have overcome a relatively difficult early schedule, beating Green Bay and Baltimore on the road and Pittsburgh and Chicago at home. Quality victories, folks. I think we all would have taken a 5-2 start to the season 7 weeks ago, especially with how close our beloved team is to 6-1. But it's time to get over the Broncos loss and move on.
We've got a bye, then Baltimore and @Pittsburgh. These are incredibly important games (we say that every week, and we mean it) before what should be sure-thing-victories against Detroit, @Oakland, and Cleveland. If the Bengals manage to at least split those AFCN contests, they'll be in good shape. Anywho, this is about what professionals have to say about the Bengals. Links and notes, after the jump!
- Here's the AP/ESPN recap of the game with the Countdown Daily video recap. Talking heads!
- Carson Palmer is really good. James Walker thinks he's as good as ever, after Sunday.
- I like CNati.com, I really do. I just wish they'd feature us reciprocally. Here is Scott Priestle's recap, dubbed "Nearly perfect, completely satisfying." Some good quotes about the defensive line answering questions post-Odom injury, and about Carson Palmer finally being satisfied with the offense's performance. Also from CNati, a tradtitional game review with post-game notes (via C. Trent), and a (really awesome) photo gallery via Chris Bergman)!
- Cincinnati Enquirer is also exceptionally strong when it comes to Bengals coverage. Joe Reedy's excellent recap reminds us how awesome a season Cedric Benson is having (720 yards in 7 games, leading the NFL!), which kind of makes me worry about exhausting the workhorse and the 330-carry "curse."
- Chick Ludwig's blog recap of the game is pretty interesting. I was not all that surprised by the blow out today. I was happy, but not too terribly surprised. Ludwig was very surprised. (So was James Walker).
- The Enquirer's Shannon Russel notes that the defense stood out today while the offense shined in the limelight. I mean, both units really were remarkable, as was special teams. No botched snaps, great directional kicking, no big plays from the Bears' return men. Just as a point of reference, Cincinnati has scored 4 points less than Pittsburgh, but has the best scoring defense in the AFCN, allowing 1 point less than Pittsburgh and 2 less than Baltimore (in one less game). That's including last week's debacle against Houston and the Green Bay shoot-out. Generally, if the Bengals score 20+ points this year, they're likely to win.
- In other Cincinnati football news, the Bearcats inexplicably dropped in the BCS and USA Today rankings. Someone, please explain this to me.