BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is hit by defender Jarret Johnson #95 of the Baltimore Ravens after releasing the ball during second half of the season opener at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
+ According to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, the agent of "retired" Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer made an appearance during the game on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Though the visit actually didn't have much to do with Carson Palmer, tempers Hobson, writing that David Dunn "had a bunch of clients in the game, such as (Thomas) Howard and (Colt) McCoy.
Though one would wonder how this works out now with quarterback Andy Dalton suffering an injury Sunday afternoon that required a supposed MRI Sunday night. But then the Bengals would like Carson Palmer to return; it's the quarterback that doesn't want to. So as the media-initiated headline that keeps promoting a possible return, with Dalton possible out against the Denver Broncos, I'd expect the Bengals to sign Zac Robinson off the team's practice squad before Palmer returns.
But we have to admit a certain fascination on Dunn's possible conversation with Palmer. "So they didn't even need my golden rocket arm?" "Nope. They did it with a rookie and a journeyman with 20 career starts. Not bad, eh?" "Shut up David."
+ Speaking of Howard, the Bengals outside linebacker signed to substitute for an injured Keith Rivers, posted eight tackles (two for loss) against the Cleveland Browns. Rey Maualuga, during his debut as the team's starting middle linebacker, posted six tackles, tied with defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene, who also had two tackles for loss.
However it was Reggie Nelson's nine tackles that led the team. Save for a 56-yard second quarter reception by Mohamed Massaquoi, Nelson has to be considered as the team's defensive MVP.
One tackle for loss recorded by Nelson was a quarterback sack on third down, while Cleveland threatened at Cincinnati's 36-yard line with a 17-13 lead. That possession could have resulted with points, at least a field goal, if not for Nelson dropping Colt McCoy for an eight-yard loss with just under six minutes remaining in the third quarter. If the Browns convert a field goal, they take a 20-13 lead and the game could dramatically change. Instead the Browns punt and the Bengals start winning the field position game.
+ Interesting article on Cold Hard Football Facts that headlines "Cam Newton 1, Hater 0." Would we be haters to point out that even 422 yards passing, setting a world record for most yards passing during a rookie's debut, the Panthers still lost, throwing a "1" in the most important statistical column in football?
Honestly, my irritation with Newton actually doesn't have anything to do with the quarterback himself. It's just that DeAngelo Williams is one of my fantasy football running backs... moving on.
Their impressions of Cincinnati's win:
The Bengals needed both of their quarterbacks – and a jail cell-to-end zone performance by Cedric Benson (25 carries for 121 yards) – to beat Cleveland, and the Bengals’ defense looked like the unit we saw in 2009. They held Cleveland to 4.2 yards a play, and could at least stay even with teams this year if they continue to do so.
"I think a lot of people haven’t given us much credit. But we are just using it as fuel to go out and prove to everybody that this is a good team and we are going to be able to do good things."
To me, the biggest surprise might have been the Cincinnati Bengals. Many people believed that Cleveland was bound to turn it around this season and was poised to compete for a playoff spot. Cincinnati had a rookie quarterback and little shot to win. Lo and behold, the Bengals pulled off what to me was the biggest surprise of the weekend.
+ Former Bengals quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (you thought I was going to say Palmer, didn't you?) posted four touchdown passes against the Kansas City Chiefs on what could be considered one of the more lopsided surprises already. That is if you're not paying attention to the Ravens 35-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
+ Because we can: