This has been one of those weeks that we've experienced so many times. We lost last week with an unbelievable, unlikely play. Some of us (aka, me), just can't let it go. It was discouraging, disheartening and worthy of a scowl at any unfortunate victims that passed me at work with that look that said, "oh, haha, your team lost like that. Oh, haha." Browns fans I crossed this week were much more sympathetic, if anything. Maybe there's this brotherhood that I've ignored. Two Ohio teams that are, once again, not projected to be a major player in the race for the playoffs. Coworkers and friends that are Steelers fans (aka, needlessly betraying loyalty to Ohio football because they were also born in Ohio but picked a great team on a list at five years old on which team to cheer for for the rest of their lives), mostly stayed away. Not sure if they were giggling or snickering because of the way the Bengals lost, I didn't mind the space. I don't personally know any Ravens fans, so no worries there.
The best part about losing the opening season game that way, is that there's 15 more games to get that filthy taste out of your mouth. Chad Ochocinco, who won't have to appear for jury duty (don't you think it would have been bigger news? And we know that the legal system views NFL players much like politicians), is planning a Lambeau Leap on Sunday if he scores. Remember when Chad was greeted by the Dawg Pound when he scored in 2007?
+ We spoke to Brandon at Acme Packing Company this week and he wrote that starting right offensive tackle Allen Barbre allowed two sacks to defensive end Adewale Ogunleye. He also wrote that he's willing to give Barbre a mulligan (Bill Huber agrees) while co-author Mitchell_M, in a piece asking if the Packers should sign Mark Tauscher, wrote, "we can agree that Allen Barbre looked like absolute garbage against the Bears."
With that said, does this mean that starting left defensive end Robert Geathers has an opportunity to have a great day? I still believe that Geathers is the strongest overall defensive end on the squad; but not by much. However, he's a highly paid defensive end and highly paid defensive ends are paid to get to the quarterback. He made some impressive plays during the preseason, but now he needs results in the regular season. Since signing a six-year contract extension worth $33.75 million ($12.5 million guaranteed) after his 10.5-sack season in 2006, Geathers has recorded a combined six sacks in the 28 games played since.
How is Barbre reacting after last week?
"They're probably saying some things about me, they can exploit me and whatnot," Barbre said Thursday. "But I feel like if I go out there and play with technique, I feel like I can beat anybody."
You almost get the feeling that both players are looking for some sort of redemption. While Geathers has actually played strong overall, he has to be feeling pressure of needing to consistently hit the quarterback with the contract he's under, while Packers offensive tackle Barbre is looking to redeem last week.
+ While I tried to find some encouraging thoughts for the week by saying the Bengals are historically better offensively in the second week, I was quickly beaten like Ohio State in big games recently. The argument against my delusional happy thought of the week, is that the Bengals have played worse teams during the second week and should have done better. Let's examine the teams that they played in the first and second week, and then their final records.
|Season||Opponent||Final Record||Score||Yards (Total)|
|2009||Denver Broncos||N/A||L, 7-12||307|
|2008||Baltimore Ravens||11-5||L, 10-17||154|
|2007||Baltimore Ravens||5-11||W, 27-20||236|
|2006||Kansas City Chiefs||9-7||W, 23-10||236|
|2005||Cleveland Browns||6-10||W, 27-13||420|
|2004||New York Jets||10-6||L, 24-31||351|
|2003||Denver Broncos||10-6||L, 10-30||294|
|Season||Opponent||Final Record||Score||Yards (Total)|
|2009||Green Bay Packers||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|2008||Tennessee Titans||13-3||L, 7-24||215|
|2007||Cleveland Browns||10-6||L, 45-51||531|
|2006||Cleveland Browns||4-12||W, 34-17||481|
|2005||Minnesota Vikings||9-7||W, 37-8||504|
|2004||Miami Dolphins||4-12||W, 16-13||210|
|2003||Oakland Raiders||4-12||L, 20-23||416|
Fine. The week two opponents have been worse than the week one opponents dating back to 2003; so I agree that the opponents were weaker. I will point out, however, that we don't know about the 2009 Green Bay Packers, who are following up a 6-10 season last year. Even though Green Bay's defense picked off Jay Cutler four times, the Packers were still losing 15-13 with over a minute left in the game. So maybe, just maybe, the trend continues that we play a team that'll hover around a .458 winning percentage and the Bengals offense goes bonkers. See, delusional happy thoughts. They work!
+ The Bengals will be without their starting left guard against the Packers; offensive tackle Andre Smith and cornerback David Jones will be out for the second straight week. Green Bay will be without their starting strong safety, Atari Bigby and third string running back Brandon Jackson. Final practice and injury report.
+ Speaking of injury, last week Chris Henry has a bum quad that held him back (and mostly out) against the Denver Broncos. He hasn't appeared on this week's injury list and will likely be a bigger contributor than his one reception for 18 yards against the Broncos. Delusional happy thoughts? Speaking of injury, part II. Andre Smith is expected to be out at least another week, perhaps two, while he recovers from injury. We guessed that Smith might not make the field until the bye week in week eight (November 1). After recovering from his injury, he'll still have to go through his own version of Training Camp.
Bengals invited Tight End Leonard Pope and Cornerback Corey Ivy for a visit this week. Neither were signed when leaving the city.
Even though the Bengals were off on Tuesday, Robert Geathers told his defensive line-mates that they're coming in on Tuesday anyway.
Bengals punter Kevin Huber's first five career punts dropped inside the 20-yard line.
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