…if Rudi Johnson makes a trip to Wal-Mart to pick up a watch and alarm clock.
…if we’ll see passion out of this team this week, especially from head coach Marvin Lewis. I wonder if Lewis expects us to accept that 42 points in the second half is a breakdown of technique here or a guy out of place there. Sorry, this week, that explanation of our dumpy defense won’t work.
…if the potential of animosity exists between the offense and defense after the offense put up record numbers and the defense making that all for naught. How could there not be? Carson Palmer throws for 440 yards and Chad Johnson has 260 yards receiving. And we’re a touchdown and two-point conversion away from tying the game.
…if you will take the injury factor to the grave. Yes, David Pollack and Odell Thurman (non-injury) are out for the season. Brian Simmons’ has missed action and Kevin Kaesviharn was out Sunday. I don’t believe that losing Pollack and Thurman for the season is suddenly an excuse as to why our defense is horrible. Other injuries include Rashad Bauman, Anthony Mitchell, Frostee Rucker and Greg Brooks. Do you believe those guys really made a difference and would have prevented a 42-point second half? We still have Justin Smith, Madieu Williams, Deltha O’Neal, Johnathan Joseph, Robert Geathers, Sam Adams, John Thornton and Dexter Jackson playing.
We’ve heard all pre-season how strong our depth is. We had stud and freak Ahmad Brooks playing the middle that most people said would be a great replacement for Odell Thurman. Caleb Miller and Landon Johnson played but neither did anything to slow or stop the Chargers offense in the second half. Yes, Landon played with guts after having problems with his ankles all game (received medical attention twice) and played well in the first half.
What about the secondary? Williams, the excuse last season for having a bad defense, is back and has done his part. Dexter Jackson has played the run really well. Tory James? Well, let’s move on. Then Deltha O’Neal is helped off the field by the entire medical staff after suffering a shoulder injury. But he made a stud-man like play on a third down pass slapping the ball on a hook right with perfect timing.
With all that known, the remaining starters and the guys backing up the injured players, really played awful. If you want to use injury as a factor for the team’s abysmal failure then go for it. Personally, I’d like to believe "defensive-guru" Marvin Lewis is decent enough scouting talent for the entire team; not just the starters. However, that belief is quickly degrading.
BY THE NUMBERS
1 – Amount of times the Bengals offense started on San Diego’s side of the field.
3 – Number of Touchdowns scored by the Chargers offense in the third and fourth quarters… each.
4 – Number of one play drives that went for a touchdown (51-yard pass to Chad, 46-yard pass to Floyd, 74-yard pass to Chad, 9-yard run by LaDainian Tomlinson after Palmer fumbled).
4 – Amount of times the Chargers offense started on Cincinnati’s side of the field.
6 – If you take out the drive that went one play right before half-time, the Chargers scored on six straight touchdown drives.
13 – Number of first downs picked up by the Chargers offense in the third quarter.
16 – The jersey number of wide receiver Glenn Holt – the guy Palmer threw incomplete to on fourth down to end the game.
31.3 – Average yards by Michael Turner on kickoff return (188 yards on six returns).
:46 – Time left in the first half when the Bengals converted their final third down
64% - Percentage the Chargers picked up a first down on third down. Five of six were converted in the fourth quarter.
260 – I know you know this number; its Chad Johnson’s yards receiving. I’m putting it up there, not for your information (like you didn’t know), but because it’s just an amazing number.
After the Bengals converted scored the fourth touchdown with sixteen seconds left in the first half, they went punt, punt, field goal, touchdown, fumble, punt, field goal then downs.