Daily Banter: What Is It With The First Round In The Playoffs With Cincinnati Teams

+ So Cincinnati isn't having the greatest luck in the post season lately. Nearly nine months after the Bengals lost to the New York Jets in the opening round of the 2010 Wild Card game, the Cincinnati Reds were on the wrong side of "making history", being no-hit by the Phillies' Roy Halladay in the opening game of the opening round of the National League Division Series.

What do you say about that? Is it embarrassing to have both of our teams pwned like that? Or are you just happy that we have both professional squads making the post season in a short period from each other.

The difference for the Reds is that they can literally put this game behind them and win three out of the next four games to advance to the National League Championship Series. Let's just hope they have short memories.

+ In the past 12 games, the Bengals have reached the red zone 37 times and only scored 12 touchdowns. Marvin Lewis said of the team's red zone inefficiency:

“I’m not happy with what we’re doing. We’re not scoring enough points. We have to keep at it. We have to be able to run the football to create more opportunity. We have to be able to throw and catch it and do some of the things we do. We have to have the protection, and the opportunity to get it done. So it’s three areas that all need to improve in order for us to be more efficient in the red zone. You’re not going to get a touchdown every time unless you’re willing to risk turning it over every time you’re down there. And the good thing is, the quarterback has kept (the ball) with us and has gotten us the opportunity to score points. We don’t want that to change. In other areas, I think we have to keep doing better. Carson has helped extend some plays that way; he’s got to keep doing that.”

+ If Cedric Benson falls below 100 yards rushing against Tampa Bay this weekend, it will be five straight games without 100 yards on the ground, matching his longest drought as a Bengal.

“I definitely noticed that,” he said of his numbers. “Absolutely. It is close. We’ve been close in a couple of games. ... Up until this point, the running game hasn’t been quite where I would like it to be and I’m taking a lot of notice to that and make sure I’m trying to take the right steps to turn that around. I think it’s a great challenge. I feel privileged to be a marked man.”

+ Mike Zimmer on the Bengals having a league low three quarterback sacks through four weeks. “We may set a record."

+ James Walker's "stock watch" has the Bengals offensive line falling and Terrell Owens rising. On the offensive line, he writes:

It may not matter what Cincinnati's offensive identity is if the offensive line cannot block. The Bengals were beat up in the trenches during a loss to the previously winless Cleveland Browns (1-3). Cincinnati allowed four sacks, seven additional quarterback hits and ran for 3.7 yards per carry. Last year it was very good in the run game, but even that's been lagging early in the season.

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