Post Game Open Thread: Cincinnati Bengals 20 (2-1) at Carolina Panthers 7 (0-3)

You guys! You guys! You guys are awesome. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Sure is a lot of whining around here for a team that's 2-1. It's not 2005. The defense is really good. Carson Palmer looks off - for a number of reasons from coaching, to the offensive line, to his arm - and Shayne Graham isn't around to miss important kicks. 

If you're judging by penalties, it's still very much 2009. This team lacks discipline. The two personal foul flags at the end of the game were unnecessary, terrible calls. But in the end, they didn't really matter as Jimmy Clausen's last throw fell incomplete in the end zone. A win is a win is a win. At the end of the season, it doesn't matter how you got there. 

This one was ugly. The Bengals had 4 takeaways, but gave the ball up twice on Carson Palmer interceptions. There were dropped passes, bad throws, bad blocking, bad penalties, missed opportunities. But hey, they're taking care of business, and it's so early in the season that I'm not getting too worked up about any of it yet. If the offense picks up even a little bit, with the way the defense is playing, the Bengals will be a very tough team to beat. 

Real tests don't start until after the bye week. Cleveland and Tampa Bay are the next two opponents. Anything less than 4-1 going into the tough stretch of this season will not be good enough. Luckily, it shouldn't be that hard to get to.

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