Pretty lackluster first half from the offense against the woeful Detroit defense outside of the big play to Chad Ochocinco on playaction in the second quarter. The good news is the defense is still pretty good, outside of giving up a big pass to Calvin Johnson. Pressure has been decent, coverage has been excellent, and tackling seems to be improving as time goes on. Even the offense heated up at the end of the second half, with Carson Palmer going 5/7 for 73 and a TD after starting 2/6 with an interception.
The Lions got the ball back with just over 2:00 to go, and the Bengals played to get the ball back before the half, and the Lions were forced to punt after some incomplete passes with 1:19 left in the half, and Cincinnati took the ball with 1:08 left at the 38 yard line. Palmer took a sack, Detroit took a time out, :59 left. Palmer to Coles for 11 at the 49, snap with :38. Palmer throws deep to wide open Chad Ochocinco with :30 left, marching into Lions territory. Carson was forced to run it, and managed to spike the ball and stop the clock with :14 seconds, and following a delay of game penalty, Shayne Graham booted a 44 yard field goal to push the Bengals lead to 10.
Some causes for concern in the first half - offensive line and penalties. Carson was under durress far more than we expected him to be against the worst pass defense in the league, and the Bengals were flagged, well, a lot, giving up 50 yards on 6 penalties in the first half. The Lions' only points of the game came after a false start and a hold. We're also only averaging 3.0 yards per carry, which isn't so good.
Causes for optimism - Carson was much hotter toward the end of the second quarter. The defense continues to play well. We're playing the Lions. It's our ball first in the 3rd quarter and we're winning by 10. We've scored more points than our defense gives up per game, and the Lions' offense isn't exactly a juggernaut.
Stats of interest:
- Time Of Possession: CIN - 16:31, DET - 13:29
- Penalties: CIN - 6:50, DET - 4:30
- Total Plays: CIN - 33, DET - 33
- Yards (Passing/Rushing): CIN - 174 (126/48), DET - 142 (88/54)
- 3rd Down Efficiency: CIN - 2/5, DET - 2/8
- 1st Downs: CIN - 12, DET - 9
Kind of even, huh? Hopefully the second half is a little more favorable to the boys in black.