It's really nice this week to be a Bengals fan. At least for the first half - even if the entire secondary and Cedric Benson are injured some way or another. Dennis Roland has been really awful, but Carson Palmer, Jonathan Joseph and Cedric Benson have been pretty good.
The defense has been pretty touch and go. They've made some really awful mistakes - roughing the passer on an interception led to a Buffalo touchdown - but they've also scored a touchdown and taken the ball away another time. Chris Crocker and Roy Williams injuries have been particularly damning today, as Buffalo has found daylight around those safeties in the second half. Of course, since we're Bengals fans and we don't deserve nice things because Mike Brown owns our favorite team, the Bills became the NFL's best offense for one minute and put a 4 play, 56 yard drive together to score a touchdown.
Can the Bengals survive the injuries and escape the lowly Bills with their third win of the season? They'll have to keep Mr. Bratkowski in his cage to do so. He reared his ugly face toward the end of the second quarter, and it really wasn't pretty. The offense could also do well to possess the ball a little longer and give the depleted defense a breather or two.
They were pretty great in the half though, scoring on four of five possessions, including their last drive on the first half after Ryan Lidell continued his ineptitude and pushed his kickoff out of bounds. The big play was a 36-yard Palmer to Shipley hook-up, taking the Bengals to the 5, followed by a PI call against Drayton Florence covering Terrell Owens. The big mistake was letting 30 seconds run off the clock between those plays. Ed Hochuli bailed the Bengals out by giving them one second after Bernard Scott failed to score on the goal line, and Aaron Pettrey kicked the 19-yarder to salvage some points after the Bengals squandered the clock as only they could.