The Bengals went all the way out to Seattle to play the Seahawks coming off of their Week 7 bye and, based on the team's history under Marvin Lewis, the odds were stacked against them. Their record in the weeks following their bye under Marvin Lewis was 2-5-1. Their record on the West Coast under Lewis was 1-5 (1-7 if you count Denver) and they hadn't won in Seattle since 1994.
This was a game many were worried about and with good reason.
However, for the fourth week in a row, the Bengals emerged victorious and continue to keep pace with the Steelers and Ravens in the AFC North. Here are the seven biggest things I noticed from the Bengals Week 8 win over the Seahawks.
|Point 1: We Can Partly Thank Pete Carroll|
In my opinion, Carroll made two mistakes during game and the first mistake was who started at quarterback. Even though Tarvaris Jackson practiced fully on Friday and warmed up with the team before the game, Carroll opted to go with Charlie Whitehurst instead. After the Bengals beat up on Whitehurst and jumped out to a sizable lead, Carroll decided to put Jackson in. Jackson played much better and helped the Seahawks move the ball down the field. If he had been in the whole game, the score would have probably been much closer. If Jackson was healthy enough to come in the game at some point, why not start him?
Another reason we should have thanked him was at the end of the first half. The Seahawks had the ball in a fourth-and-two situation on the Bengals' three-yard line. Instead of getting the three guaranteed points, Carroll decided to go for it and try for the touchdown. Marshawn Lynch came close but didn't make it and time ran out. The Seahawks got nothing.
So, thanks Carroll.
|Point 2: What's the Point of Cedric Peerman Being on the Team?|
If there was a game in which I figured Cedric Peerman would play, it would have been this one. With Cedric Benson's suspension, you would think that Peerman would get a few carries even if those carries were just to give Bernard Scott a break. Peerman didn't even make an appearance. Scott carried the ball 22 times, Leonard carried it twice and even Andrew Hawkins carried the ball once, but Peerman never touched it.
Why is he on the roster?
It makes me wonder if he'll be cut when the Bengals' two-game exemption for Benson is over.
|Point 3: A.J. Green Passes Calvin Johnson's Rookie Touchdown Total|
Calvin Johnson, who is arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, has had a freakishly awesome season so far. He has 11 touchdowns so far this season and he's already racked up 11 touchdowns and over 800 yards. A.J. Green isn't to that point yet but with his performance in the Bengals game on Sunday (four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown), Green surpassed Johnson's rookie stats.
As a rookie, Johnson only caught four touchdown passes and had 756 total receiving yards. I don't think there's any question that Green will have the better rookie season between the two wide receivers.
Maybe there was a reason scouts said that Green was the best wide receiver to come out of the draft since Johnson.
|Point 4: Having Lynch Didn't Help Much|
Having Marshawn Lynch back in the lineup seemed to be a big deal to the Seahawks. When we talked to Joseph Okabe from 12ManRising.com on our podcast last week, he told us that he felt the Seahawks could win if both Jackson and Lynch played against the Bengals.
However, Seahawks fans and Marshawn Lynch got introduced the Bengals front seven, who held Lynch to 24 yards on 16 carries. That's an average of 1.5 yards per carry and hardly anything to write home about.
|Point 5: Bernard Scott Can, and Should, Do More|
Against the Colts the Bengals coaches decided to give the team's top-two running backs, Benson and Bernard Scott, almost an equal amount of carries. Benson got 16 and Scott got 11.
Bernard Scott carried the ball 22 times for 76 yards against a very tough Seahawks running defense. Jay Gruden did what he could to get Scott around the edge and get him the ball in space so he could make a play or two and even though the Bengals didn't score a touchdown on the ground in Week 8, Scott looked pretty good.
From this point on, I hope that Scott and Benson split carries right down the middle. Also it would be nice to see Scott more involved in the passing game.
|Point 6: LOUD NOISES!|
I knew that Seahawks fans had a reputation for being loud, but holy crap it was loud. When the TV announcers are getting somewhat drowned out by the sound of the crowd yelling, you know it's loud.
It must have been almost deafening on the field.
|Extra Point: Bengals Could Take Advantage of Flex Scheduling|
Flex scheduling doesn't start until Week 11, according to the NFL's flex scheduling rules. In Week 11 the Bengals play the Ravens and then they play the Steelers in Week 13. If the Bengals win in Tennessee and then they win their first game against the Steelers, it is likely that the NFL could flex the Bengals to a Sunday night game in their second game against the Steelers or the Ravens.
Who would have thought that the Bengals would even have a chance to play in a primetime game in 2011?