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Gameday: Bengals vs. Chargers

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GAME: Chargers vs. Bengals
LOCATION: Paul Brown Stadium
WHEN: Sunday, November 12th, 2006
BROADCAST: CBS with Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf. Sirius 119 (Cincinnati), 130 (SD)

PERSONNEL UPDATE: Rudi Johnson will not start for missing the start of a team meeting. Chris Perry will start today in his place. This isn't the first time he's missed a start due to "team rules violation". Also, Brian Simmons, Kevin Kaesviharn, A.J. Nicholson and Reggie McNeal, are inactive.

NFL Gameday

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Comment here for your game thoughts (i.e. open thread)

4:35: Biggest comeback in Chargers history. Just sad display of defense. I need a shower after that crap.

4:34: Palmer drops back with three receivers to the right. Incomplete. Game over. Attempting to Glenn Holt? Are you kidding me?

4:33: OK, it's 4th-and-9 with :49 left in the game at the SD 15.

4:32: Palmer drops back, 2nd and 10 with 1:05 left, rolls out to the right and throws to Henry who just drops it. It just falls to the ground. Likely he felt the defender as Jammer was going to hit him leading with his helmet.

4:31 Palmer drops back and finds Chad to the right running up the middle and then in for a 22-yard pick up. Palmer, on the next play, drops back and throws a short no gain pass to Reggie Kelly to the right. On the next play, Palmer drops back and throws to his right as Chad runs a slant. He's got 260 yards receiving.

4:29: Cleveland can beat the Falcons, but the Bengals can't? Damn it.

4:27: On first down, Palmer looked to his left and then saw Henry sitting over the middle for an 11-yard pick up. Two minute warning. T.J. is sitting on the bench. He's likely out after slimeball cheap shot him. I would still like to see Jeremi Johnson purposely look for him during the pass in route and blow him up. But that'll probably be a penalty and at this time, that would be bad. Bengals are first-and-ten at their own 49-yard line with two minutes left in the game.

4:25: Update, Bengals defense has given up 42 points in the second half.

4:24: Chargers touchdown. Rivers in shotgun, steps up in the pocket and rolls out to the left. He saw Manumaleuna breaking free and Rivres shovels it to him for the touchdown. Chargers lead 49-41. Williams and Joseph blew up Rivers just as he released the ball.

4:23: After a false start putting the Chargers back to the seven-yard line on second and goal, LT gets the handoff up the middle and Peko makes a nice play at LTs feet. O'Neal is back in the game.

4:22: LT gets to the one yard line with less than four minutes left in the game on second and goal. Think LT will pick up his fifth rushing touchdown. Embarrassing.

4:20: Rivers, in shotgun, with mad blitzing, throws to Gates over the middle not only picking up the first down, but takes the ball inside the ten yard line.

4:19: O.K. Third-and-eight.

4:18: Guess what, play stands.

4:17: Challenge? Not sure if that's a good idea. It looked like Floyd caugth the pass. He had both feet in bounds and the football was in control. I didn't see any reason to challenge that. Why waste a timeout? Where's the people in the booth?

4:15: Third-and-eight, Rivers in shotgun, steps up into the pocket and throws to Floyd (I HATE FLOYD) for the first down.

4:14: Man, if the Bengals don't win this game, the defense will be strung up alive and Marvin Lewis best just stay away for a week. We're a passionate group of fans. And it won't be pretty this week.

4:14: Chargers have third-and-nine at the Cincinnati 49 yard line and... timeout.

4:13: Pitch to the right and LT reminds Geathers why he's a defensive end. First down.

4:11: After an incomplete and a nine-yard pass to Gates, the Chargers are stuck with a third-and-one as San Diego calls their first time out of the second half.

4:10: Well, T.J. is being listed as doubtful on his return. I believe he got a concussion and if that's the case, he should stay out. I'll detail that more this week in response to an eye-opening ESPN piece in their magazine about concussions in the NFL.

4:08: Bengals kick a field goal and the score goes to 42-41, Chargers.

4:07: OK, third and six, what do you do? How close is shovel pass on your play-list? It's on Bob's.

4:04: Cheap shot on McCree. This guy is slime. T.J. on the left, ran across the middle and McCree, about 2-3 seconds before the ball got there, led with his helmet and knocked T.J. to the ground. It was called interference but this bastard should be out of the game. It's totally uncalled for. T.J. was definitely stunned. These refs should have called a personal foul. Horrible.

4:01: RATLIFF - YOU SUCK! On the punt, Ratliff got underneath and the ball just bounces off his shoulders. Thank god for Johnathan Joseph who picked up the ball and advanced it another seven yards. Ratliff, YOU SUCK! OK, I don't mean that. You just piss us off on punt return.

4:00: After John Thornton sacked Rivers for a six yard loss, the Chargers were left with a third-and-15. Rivers, in the end-zone, rolls out to the right and throws to LT who goes out of bounds for a boring 5 yard gain.

3:57: How badly does our defense suck? Take away the one play before half-time and the Chargers have scored touchdowns on six straight drives. I understand the Bengals are playing a great offense in the Chargers, but if the Bengals lose today, it's because of our defense.

3:55: Then on second-and-12, Palmer throws to his right to T.J. Jammer made a great play. Then on third down, Palmer drops back and throws to T.J. who was wide open. He just drops the ball. Jesus. Great pass. Great blocking. Horrible effort during crunch time. I won't rip T.J. too much for that -- he's done far more better than worse. But damn. We really needed that. Bengals punt.

3:53: Talk about not panicing. Rudi runs three times for 15, 5 and 13 yards. Then he gets dropped like 2-3 yards before the line of scrimmage. Anyway, at least he's being used still with the score still within reach.

3:51: Hello, my name is defense. Have WE EVER met before? I tell you what, we've had four years of Marvin Lewis and our defense just sucks. It gets worse every season (it seems). In fact, our defense statisically was better in the few seasons leading up to Lewis' arrival. No, defense, we haven't spoken to you in over five years.

3:49: Wow, LT has four touchdowns today on only 79 yards rushing. Of his 17 carries, four are touchdowns. Shesh.

3:48: S.Phillips came off the edge was blocked by Jeremi Johnson. He didn't do much. Phillips came off and hit Palmer, causing a fumble. Chargers have the ball. Then on the first play, LT gets the pitch to the left and walks into the end-zone. Chargers now lead 42-38.

3:46: Well, that penalty did a whole lot. It was kicked like 20 yards past the end-zone.

3:43: LT gets the handoff and runs to the left, to the edge. Williams grabbed his facemask and it wasn't enough as LT goes into the end-zone. The 15-yard penalty will be assessed on the kickoff. Chargers, again, cut the score to within three -- 38-35.

3:41: Deltha O'Neal is back on the field on the sidelines cheering his boys. I doubt he returns.

3:40: We're just now ending the third quarter? Good lord. Anyway, on the last play before the end of the quarter, Rivers dropped back and was pressured by Jumpy. Rivers moved up the pocket and tried to pick up some yards. He was dropped at about the two yard line. It's a good thing too -- Dexter Jackson was coming with a full head of steam.

3:39: Great play by Justin Smith. He sheds of the offensive tackle then sheds off the fullback and stops LT up the middle.

3:38: The Chargers' center, Hardwick, got rolled into and he's badly hurt. He needs major help off the field. You never want to see that. Now we'll blitz up the middle with monster Brooks.

3:36: I hate Malcom Floyd. Coming into the game, Floyd had 8 catches for 90 yards. Today, he's caught four passes for 97 yards. Chargers are at the Cincinnati eight yard line.

3:34: What the hell? Can we freaking stop them on kickoff return. Big gapping hole to the left on the return and only Graham slowed up Michael Turner enough so John Busing could push him out of bounds. The Chargers start at the Bengals 40 yard line. Landon Johnson is getting my tough guy award today. He's been helped off the field twice with ankle problems and stops LT after a small three yard gain.

3:31: It's a 74-yard touchdown pass. Palmer drops back, play-action and looks to his left and no one is covering. #25 was the closest and had Cinco's jersey but Chad just shrugged him off. Chad Johnson, nine catches for 226 yards and two touchdowns -- the 226 yard is a franchise record. Palmer is 25/31 for 398 yards and three touchdowns.

3:30: BENGALS TOUCHDOWN. Play-action, Chad runs a streak down the left sideline and NO ONE IS COVERING OCHO MUTHA F$#%ING CINCO BABY.

3:29: I suppose if the Bengals lose, they'll call it monumental breakdown. There's a feeling of "uh-oh" right now. My nervous factor is gone because now I'm freaking out that we're going to lose. I can't wait. Headline: Bengals 28-7 half-time lead turns into monumental comeback by the Chargers.

3:27: Second and Goal and Manumaleuna (cut and paste) went uncovered and unnoticed into the flats and the Chargers cut the Bengals lead to 31-28. In the third quarter, the Chargers have beaten the Bengals 21-3.

3:26: Then on first down, the Chargers ran to the left on a misdirection and picked up 17 yards. Two Bengal defenders were at the line of scrimmage, on the ground, watching LT go away. Then on the next play, Justin Smith made a great play on LT for "no gain".

3:25: Nevermind. Shows you what I know.

3:24: The play is under review. What happened was McCardell caught the pass and it was called incomplete because he didn't get his right foot in. However, replay shows that his right foot could have dragged. But I'm not convinced. You see nothing coming up from the grass until AFTER you see white come up. In other words, I'm not convinced there's enough.

3:20: Nice play by Landon. After the Chargers picked up the first down, Landon, at the line of scrimmage, brought down LT. If he didn't, I think it could have gone for a bunch of yards. Then on second, Gates at the first down marker, picks up a first down. I swear, we've played some All-Star tight-ends in recent weeks

3:18: Nice play by Madieu. In shotgun, Rivers tossed to his right to LT. Williams meet LT at the same time as the ball arrived and the ball fell to the ground. Then nice play by Johnathan Joseph. On a tight end screen to the right, and lots of blockers, Joseph found a hole and brought down big Gates.

3:16: No go. Palmer dropped back as he tried to hit Tony Stewart in the end-zone. The ball was batted down at the line of scrimmage. Shayne Graham kicked the 21-yard field goal as Kyle Larson struggled with the snap. It came in to close to his body. Phillip Rivers is smiling and having a good time on the sideline. Where's Geathers? He usually puts a stop to that. Bengals lead 31-21.

3:15: Third and goal at the three-yard line.

3:14: Chris Perry is a stud. He ran to the left, did some shifting and made about three different Chargers miss. He picked up about 18 yards.

3:13: First play by the Bengals offense: play-action pass to Chad Johnson. Chad, lined up to the left, went about 15 yards and then cut in in front of the zone. After a kick-ass stiff arm, Chad picked up 35 total yards. GREAT PLAY for the offense to get back.

3:11: Nice return by Perry. O.K., now it's time to get the momentum back. He nearly broke the return.

3:09: Deltha O'Neal is heading back to the locker-room with a shoulder problem(?) Could it be broken collar bone? It looks pretty serious. Back to the game for a moment. Talk about a complete breakdown -- and reversal. The Bengals offense, in the first half, puts up 28 points. In the second half, they've run six plays on back-to-back three-and-out possessions.

3:07: On the first play of the game, Floyd goes deep down the right side line with Deltha O'Neal in his trails. Then O'Neal feel to the ground and hasn't gotten back up yet. After the PAT, the Bengals lead is cut to 28-21.

3:06: Twice now have penalties killed the Bengals. The first, Eric G. took a converted first down to third-and-11 -- pass went incomplete. Then on kickoff return, Reggie Kelly was called for a hold putting the Bengals back to the nine yard line.

3:04: Bengals go three-and-out again. This could get ugly... nervous factor gone up. Then Larson kicks a crappy punt (33 yards). We need a turnover now. The Chargers offense clearly has momentum and the Bengals defense is either just being beat or playing some prevent style of defense. We need a turnover... now.

3:03: CBS just replayed the defensive holding call on Dexter Jackson. Yea, we got jobbed. What happened was Antonio Gates started blocking Dexter Jackson and Jackson threw Gates to the ground. Rivers threw it into the ground and the refs called a defensive holding on the Jackson. Bad call.

3:00: After Chris Perry returned the ball to the 27, Reggie Kelly was called for a holding putting the Bengals back to their own nine-yard line to start the drive. The offense MUST answer. I admit, I'm getting slightly nervous.

2:58: Just a little side note, take away the one play before half-time, and the Chargers last two possessions have gone for touchdowns.. quickly. The first touchdown was on a six-play, 59-yard drive. The second touchdown went six plays for 69 yards.

2:55: Chargers are moving the ball. Floyd catches the ball after an eight yard catch and spins around forcing Justin Smith and Tory James to look like fools. They go to the four-yard line then L.T. runs to the left into the end-zone. Bengals still leading 28-14.

2:52: Landon Johnson is back in the game, but struggling.

2:51: The Bengals went three-and-out. After Rudi picked up 4 yards on an off-tackle to the left, Palmer threw to an open T.J. who made a great catch jumping catch setting up a third-and-one. Rudi picked up the first down on a five yard run but was called back after Eric G. was called for tripping (I hate that penalty). You can blow someone up causing a spleen to be removed, but you can't trip. On third down, Palmer threw deep down the right side-line to Chris Henry who actually made an effort to catch the pass. Incomplete. Larson comes in and punts 41 yards on his first punt of the game.

2:44: Second-half should be starting here in a bit.

More half-time stuff: The Bengals have picked up 20 first downs in the first half, converted 5 of 6 third down conversion chances. The Chargers only picked up six first downs and converted only one of five third down chances. The Bengals have 336 total net yards and scored three touchdowns on three red-zone attempts. The Bengals are picking up 8.4 yards per play. The Bengals had the ball for 18:03 to the Chargers 11:57.

Here are the half time stats.

PLAYER Com/Att YARDS TDs
Palmer 20/23 282 yards 2 TDs
Rivers 8/14 98 yards  

PLAYER CARRIES YARDS TD
Rudi 9 41 1
C.Perry 3 13 0
Jeremi 2 9 1
LT 8 26 1

PLAYER CATCHES YARDS TD
Chad 7 117 1
TJ 6 83 0
Henry 1 7 1
Bengals TEs 3 57 0

2:32: Half is over. The Bengals lead 28-7.

2:31: Palmer has 282 yards passing in the first half.

2:29: The Bengals got the ball on this drive with 5:20 left in the first half. The Bengals went 14 plays, 74 yards with :16 left in the first half. Ha! LT just became irrelevant in this game.

2:28: TOUCHDOWN BENGALS! Chris Henry! Bengals lead 28-7.

2:25: BIG PLAY. Palmer was in the pocket and stepped up with pressure. He looked and looked and found T.J. wide open. This was a third-and-19 that was converted on a 22-yard pass.

2:23: Chad just went over 100 yards for the first time this season. He has seven receptions in the first half.

2:20: We're in the two minute warning. The Bengals offense is nickel and diming the Chargers defense. On the drive, the Bengals had third-and-four (4 yard pass to Perry) and a third-and-three (5 yard pass to Watson). Both running backs came out of the backfield and ran to the first down marker and turned around. Nice job by both Perry and Watson. Likely, if these completions continue, it'll open up the intermediate routes with linebackers covering the backs.

2:16: UPDATE. Landon Johnson is questionable with a bum ankle.

2:13: Landon Johnson was helped off the field and into the locker-room by, what appeared, the entire medical staff.

2:12: From the nine-yard line, L.T. took the handoff -- with a massive hole to the the left after Jeanty and Smith were pushed inside (either by block or stunt) -- and dove into the end-zone for a Touchdown. Landon is struggling off the field again. The Chargers should complete the extra point here in a second to cut their deficit to 21-7. On the six play drive that covered 59 yards, three went for 10 yards or more.

2:07: On first down, the Rivers passed to Parker for 14 yards to the left. It was a zone with two Bengals underneath and one over top. On the next play, Rivers passed 21 yards to McCardell. On the play, Ahmad Brooks came in blitzing but picked up by L.Neal. After the completion, Deltha O'Neal missed the tackle and Brooks came up from behind to make the tackle. Nice effort and speed.

2:02: The Bengals offense is rolling again. On the Bengals second third down of the game, third-and-ten at the Bengals own 42 yard line, Palmer threw it over the middle and was blown up by Donnie Edwards. The pass was nearly knocked down by T.J. fought for the ball and his awesome focus brought the pass in. Nice gain. However, the drive stalled after that first down. Jeremi Johnson bowled for six yards and Rudi lost three yards. Then on third down, the Bengals called a screen to the left and Palmer was forced to throw it early. Incomplete. Then, on the 51-yard field goal try, Kyle Larson fumbled the snap a little throwing the timing off. Shayne Graham kicked it wide left. Bengals come away with nothing, but the offense is still rolling.

1:55: DEFENSE BABY! On first down, the Chargers ran a screen to the left for six yards. Then on second down, Rivers trips and falls down. Sam Adams touched him down and actually gets the sack. Then on third down, Robert Geathers drops Rivers! Two sacks on a three-and-out drive. Chargers punting for the fourth time in the game -- second three-and-out drive.

1:50: End of the first quarter. Carson Palmer is perfect (passer rating and completion %). In the first quarter, Palmer went 8/8 for 163 yards and a touchdown. Rudi, Jeremi and Chris Perry are a combined nine rushes for 39 yards. Three JOHNSON's have touchdowns today.

1:47: Chad Johnson, on the right side was never covered. He was wide open. Willie Anderson and Marvin Lewis gave Chad a big hug as he walked to the sideline. It was a three-wide set with Chad on the right. Palmer drops back as Chad ran a fade to the outside. No one covered him. Looks like someone thought man and they ran zone, or vice versa. No celebration. He just flipped the ball to the ref and walked back to the sidelines! Who-Dey! Bengals lead 21-0.

1:46: TOUCHDOWN CHAD JOHNSON....

1:45: NO CATCH BABY! The calls are going our way today boys. Fourth down and the Chargers are punting out of the End-Zone.

1:44: After Rivers threw to Neal (since when was Neal a primary receiver, he's been thrown to a lot!) for an incomplete, the Chargers had a third-and-11. Rivers dropped back and threw to the left sideline and McCardell brought in the 31-yard pass. However, Lewis is challenging the call. He didn't look like he had possession and it's not even certain he got both feet in.

1:40: NICE PLAY. On first down, Dexter Jackson and Rashad Jeanty blitzed from the right side and LT was dropped for a one-yard loss.

1:37: BENGALS TOUCHDOWN, leading 14-0. Rudi got a pitch left with Eric Steinbach and Andrew Whitworth leading -- Whitworth buried his guy (#42) deep into the end-zone, HA! The Bengals offense is playing AWESOME. After two drives, Palmer is 7/7 for 112 yards. They've already picked up 10 first downs and only had one third down to convert (3rd-and-inches). Rudi Johnson and Chris Perry have rushed for a combined 7 times for 33 yards and a touchdown.

1:32: GREAT PLAY. Tony Stewart, down the right side-line, got the pass high and Tony slapped it, brought it in and dropped one foot down (didn't get the second foot in). The Bengals sprinted up to the line and ran a play. No challenge - it would have been overturned. So far this game, Perry and Rudi have a combined six rushes. Palmer has passed six times. Balanced.

1:25: With Keiwan Ratliff on Antonio Gates, Rivers completes a 17 yard pass to Gates for the first down. Yes, Keiwan. Then on first down, Rivers fakes the hand-off and throws to Floyd who ran to the first down marker and turned around. Deltha O'Neal, came up and slapped the ball down. GREAT PLAY, perfect timing. After a six-yard pick up by LT, Rivers throws in third down and the ball was slapped at the line of scrimmage. GREAT! Chargers punt. O'Neal calls fair catch at the 10.

1:21: Landon is back in the game. After Lorenzo Neal picked up a first down on a screen to the left, Dexter Jackson came crashing in on first down (blitz) and helped stop L.T. from picking up any yards. Then, Rivers throws to the left to Neal. POTENTIAL BIG PLAY -- James hits Neal at the line of scrimmage and Landon came in and strips the ball out. The football fell out of bounds setting up a 3rd-and-12. Chargers called a timeout. Phillip Rivers and the Chargers offense is a little confused with the Bengals up-tempo defense.

1:13: Jeremi Johnson, TOUCHDOWN. Bengals lead the game 7-0. Nice start for everyone involved. The Bengals pass protection is tremendous right now. Palmer went 2/2 for 46 yards. Jeremi and Chris Perry combined for four rushes for 14 yards and a touchdown. Seems like the Chargers are running a zone defense -- which Palmer will eat alive.

1:12: Big PLAY. Palmer drops back on play-action on first down, and throws over the middle to Reggie Kelly for a 27 yard gain. The Chargers safety tried to jump the pass but missed giving Kelly more yards to the five.

1:11: On the team's first two first down plays, the Bengals ran. Then on second down, Palmer and Perry collided, which plays like a draw I suppose and picks up seven yards. Nice .

1:08: After the Bengals pushed the Chargers back after a personal foul on Olivea, the Bengals defense played a preventive defense. Landon Johnson came off the field very injured it looks like. The BIG PLAY on the drive was Olivea's unnecessary roughness and Byran Robinson not responding.

12:59: Getting ready for kickoff.