The whole point of this post is to pick out seven things that I liked about the previous game. When the Bengals lose, it makes it hard to write. The Bengals being 2-4 makes it even harder to write. I'm no Negative Nancy though - I'm going to pretend that the Bengals won so I don't cry or throw my computer out of my window. Here we go:
Point One: Carson silences haters
In the third quarter, the Bengals scored 22 points, overcoming a 21-point deficit and Carson Palmer looked like 2005 Carson Palmer. Throughout the course of the game, Palmer threw for 412 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He finished with a 116.4 passer rating. Even though the Bengals still found a way to lose, fingers finally can't be pointed at Palmer. It's good to know that he's still got it. Hopefully he keeps getting it.
I know it's not saying a lot but if the kid is going to be good and be the starting right tackle and the anchor on the right side of the line like the Bengals drafted him to be, then yesterday was a huge step. Even though his pass protection wasn't the best and he had two false start penalties, Smith did show moments of "what could be" in the run blocking game. Hopefully Smith takes yesterday as the foundation of a great career and helps the Bengals move forward from this point.
Point Three: Jordan Shipley has first career game of many career games
Shipley led the Bengals in receiving with 131 yards on six receptions and a touchdown, the first of his career. The touchdown came on a short pass and a long run in which he proved that he has some speed. Shipley is becoming a huge part of the Bengals offense and he's only a rookie. He has constantly made tough catches in traffic and has become a big target for Palmer on third downs. He's one of the most exciting players on the offense to watch.
Point Four: Adam Jones
Yes, Roddy White tore the Bengals secondary a new one and that was one of the major reasons the Bengals lost. However, Adam Jones did have moments of brilliance in his first start in a very long time. In the second half, when Roddy White caught a pass in front of Jones, Jones reached in, grabbed the ball and ripped it from White's hands, causing a fumble. He then picked up the ball and raced towards the end zone and scored a touchdown, giving the Bengals a 25-24 lead. This is why the Bengals signed him. Depth is one of the biggest assets in football and the Bengals are definitely not lacking depth at the cornerback position.
Point Five: More no huddle
After weeks of watching the no huddle offense work while the normal offense sputtered, the Bengals finally put two and two together and decided to run with the no huddle a little more often. Is it a coincidence that the Bengals ran the no huddle more on Sunday against the Falcons and outscored themselves by eight points? I don't think it is.
Point Six: The dynamic duo finally shows up... kind of
Mistakes were made, I know, but for the first time this season, both Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens had a touchdown and at least 80 yards. The majority of Chad's yards came in the second half as did both Chad's and TO's touchdowns. Once everybody was on the same page, the Bengals passing game looked like we all expected it to in the beginning of the season. Unfortunately, it was too little too late. However, the Bengals have a chance to take what worked and transfer it to the next games where hopefully it will help them dig themselves out of the hole their in.
Extra Point: Not out of it yet
Possibility and probability are two completely different things. Is it possible for the Bengals to make the playoffs? Yes. Is it probably. Most people would say no. The good news is this, the Bengals can still dig themselves out of the hole they're in and turn this massive disappointment into something everybody in Cincinnati can be proud of. The Bengals have the talent and they showed us in the second half of the Falcons game that they know how to use it. They still play the Steelers twice, Baltimore once and Cleveland once. They can fix this. We, as fans, should give them a chance until they don't have a chance. When that happens, we can plan for next season.