James Walker's latest Stock Watch is a weekly list of trends from the previous week, broken down between "falling" and "rising". You know, like the stock market. The list itself is a brief overview of the division's best and worst aspects from the previous week(s). This week he lists Pat Sims as the biggest "fall" in the division. I know, I know. Make it stop. However, Walker isn't alone in his criticisms, even though he did refer to Sims when saying that the Bengals "may have the lowest football IQ of any team I've been around in six years covering the NFL."
Peter King listed Sims as his goat of the week, writing that jumping offsides is a "Dumb, dumb play, obviously." We agree. It was. But all things considered, he wasn't even our biggest goat of the game. That award could go to Jonathan Wade or Chinedum Ndukwe for directly allowing touchdowns, or Reggie Nelson for allowing a 50-yard plus pass with under two minutes in the first half.
We should point out that while Sims made a big mistake, he's been one of the few decent consistencies on the defensive line. Aside from Carlos Dunlap's 1.5 quarterback sacks, Sims was the only player to hit quarterback Drew Brees multiple times in the game. According to the weekly NFL Game Book, Sims (and Frostee Rucker) leads the team with with most quarterback hits. According to Pro Football Focus, Sims is listed as the third most productive defensive lineman on the roster behind Rucker and Geno Atkins. Additionally, Sims ranks third amongst defensive linemen with 22 tackles; more stops than Michael Johnson, Carlos Dunlap, Atkins, Rucker, Tank Johnson and Clinton McDonald.
Mike Zimmer, while pointing out that Sims screwed up, stood behind his young defensive tackle saying that "it happens, guys mess up. That play didn't lose the game. I can pull out six other plays. That one stands out in front of everyone." Let's help Mike out here, shall we?
|#8 Clint Stitser Missed Extra Point|
This isn't so much a reason that the Bengals lost. But does it get any more embarrassing for a place kicker to miss an extra point? Though Stitser nicely redeemed himself with a 47-yard field goal that gave Cincinnati a three-point lead with less than five minutes left in the game.
|#7 Brandon Johnson Runs Into The Punter|
With 8:57 left in the first quarter, punter Thomas Morstead punted the football 35 yards into the endzone during New Orleans' opening drive of the game. Flag. Brandon Johnson is called for running into the kicker. Instead, Garrett Hartley converts a 48-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.
|#6 Illegal Formation On Third-And-One|
The Bengals are driving, lining up third-and-one on New Orleans' nine-yard line with 14:19 left in the second quarter. Anthony Collins is called for illegal formation because no one lined up outside of him, pushing the Bengals back another five yards (Note: that's not Collins' fault). Are you serious? When a team is 2-9, driving inside the opponents 10-yard line, making sure you line up correctly would seem like an early topic covered in "God, we need a win" 101.
Carson Palmer throws a short pass underneath to Terrell Owens, who is pushed out of bounds, stalling the drive for only a 29-yard field goal. Apparently the offense didn't pay attention to "if you need five yards for a first down, make sure you pick a play that will gain five yards or more" 101.
Not only did the penalty push the Bengals offense back, but the passing offense elected to pick up two yards on a pass that had no chance of picking up a first down. Penalty. Play-calling. How else could you possibly define Cincinnati's season with less words?
|#5 Chinedum Ndukwe Picks The Wrong Hole|
Don't snicker. We're super-serious here. With 12:11 left in the second quarter, Roy Williams blitzed off the left edge and Chinedum Ndukwe, likely just blitzed, came up on a Chris Ivory run up the middle. Ndukwe picked one hole, Ivory picked another. The Saints took a 10-3 lead on the 55-yard touchdown run. A called dive, right up the middle and no one on defense can make the stop.
|#4 Cedric Benson Picks The Wrong... Ummm... Hole.|
With 3:33 left in the first half, the Bengals elect to go for it on fourth-and-one from New Orleans five-yard line. Domata Peko lined up at fullback and charged forward, as only defensive tackles playing fullback can, behind Kyle Cook and Nate Livings. Only a thundering sword Awesomehitous wielded by Conan, or Peter Venkman, could cause the titanic plates to shift more violently. Except Benson bounced it outside for whatever reason, dropped for a one-yard loss by Jonathan Vilma and Roman Harper.
Bengals turnover the football and the Saints would score a field goal to end the first half.
|#3 Reggie Nelson Badly Beaten By A Rookie Tight End|
With the Saints driving inside two minutes, rookie tight end Jimmy Graham runs a seem route up the middle, blowing past the heavy feet of safety Reggie Nelson, whose body had the reaction of "Oh flip, that's my guy".
Graham picked up 52 yards on the pass that brought the Saints to the Bengals 12-yard line. The Saints would score a field goal after starting the drive on their own six-yard line with 3:28 left in the first half.
|#2 Jonathan Wade Learns That Meachem Has A Double Move|
With the Bengals down 20-19 and 12:21 left in the fourth quarter, Drew Brees fakes a handoff to Ivory off the left side and looks downfield. Protection, immaculate. Then again, we're talking about the statistically worse pass rushing team in the world right now.
Robert Meachem runs 10 yards up-field, does this shimmy move, forcing Jonathan Wade to lean forward momentarily, allowing Meachem to run upfield with no Bengals defender within seven yards of the receiver on the 52-yard touchdown reception.
|#1 Johnathan Joseph Forgets That End Zones Bad... MMMKay.|
And lets not let Johnathan Joseph off the hook so easy either. After Sims was called for the most well-known offsides of the year, Marques Colston lined up at the Bengals three-yard line. Apparently, Joseph thought playing off the receiver was the most brilliant idea of brilliant ideas. When Brees threw the pass, Joseph didn't have a chance at Colston's easy touchdown reception.
Sims might be the butt of jokes throughout the league and he did make a big mistake that shouldn't have happened. Yet, if you're going to make a ridiculously short-sighted list, you have to make a list like ours that totally points out a bunch of faults with the Bengals during Sunday's loss to the Saints. Wait. That would kind of make us bigger jerks, wouldn't it?