Bengals: Somebody Could Still Be Surprised

CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 21: Marvin Lewis the Head Coach of the Cincinnati Bengals watches the action during the Bengals 49-31 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium on November 21 2010 in Cincinnati Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

After everything that has happened this season (and by that I mean seven - count them... seven.... losses in a row), it seems that the football gods have decided that it is the Bengals fans, once again, that should be punished. They have found it humorous, kind of like burning ants with a magnifying glass, to take away at least 50 percent, and possibly 75 percent, of the secondary that came into the season regarded as one of the best. Chris Crocker.. Out. Roy Williams... questionable but likely out due to concussion. Then we have Jonathan Joseph, he re-aggravated his ankle injury against the Bills and had to leave the game at half time after returning an interception for a touchdown, who is likely out of Thursdays game because of the short week. That leaves Leon Hall who looked awesome when facing some guy name Steve Johnson. Turns out that Steve Johnson is the real deal and the Bengals just are that bad.

Steve Johnson is on the fantasy team that I played against this week. He scored 39 points. I still won... so there's that.

So who is going to replace Crocker, Williams and Joseph, if he doesn't play? Brandon Ghee is still nursing a groin injury so it's likely that Rico Murray and newly signed Jonathan Wade would take his place. That takes care of the cornerback position, kind of.. I guess, but what about the safeties?

Those positions will likely be filled with Chinedum Ndukwe, Reggie Nelson and Tom Nelson, whose combined 10 years of experience are one year longer than Crocker's and two longer than Williams'.

Before the season started, when I saw the schedule, I couldn't contain my excitement when I saw that I would be able to watch the Bengals on Thanksgiving night for the first time in my life. I knew then that, with my stomach full of turkey and dressing, I would be able to watch the Bengals exact revenge on the team that knocked them out of the playoffs the previous season. I'm still excited about watching my team on Thanksgiving night but I'm not so sure about the whole revenge part anymore.

The Jets, Steelers, Ravens, Browns, Chargers and Saints remain on the schedule. It is very possible that the Bengals could finish with a 2-14 record. While that seems likely, especially considering the way they've played all year, I don't think it will happen. I think everything will come together, just one time this season. The TOcho show will perform outside of a TV studio, Cedric Benson will hold on to the ball, Carson Palmer will be 2005-Palmer and the defense will look the way it did last year. They'll do it once and surprise a good team who was looking past them to the good team that they play the following week. In that one game, we'll see what could/should have been. Will it make you happy or just more depressed? I'm thinking it will just make me more depressed. The question is, who's it going to be? Will they shock the Jets on Thanksgiving with three of their four starting defensive backs likely out?

Stranger things have happened - like losing to the Bills 10 times in a row.

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