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Random defensive thoughts..

I think it's accurate to say that NFL press conferences in Cincinnati are pretty useless to the average fan. After a 42-point loss Sunday, we demand answers with the "what are you going to do about it" attitude. At the same time, we knew we wouldn't get any answers or words of encouragement for the remaining seven games.

I think Tory James being sat for Johnathan Joseph was cryptically emphasized Monday.

Q: You mentioned subtle lineup changes; do you care to elaborate?
ML: Well, subtle playing time changes.

Q: Will it be on third downs?
ML: It could be any down.

Q: Will it be in the starting lineup?
ML: We’ll see on Sunday.

The veterans are taking the blame though.

"On one play on the defensive line, they were in an over formation and we lined up wrong," (Justin) Smith said. "That’s what they told us. We knew what to do. We just got lined up wrong."
- Justin Smith

"Discipline, plain and simple," said Adams, when referring to preparation. "We have to carry ourselves better than how we carry ourselves on the field. What you get done off the field goes back to on the field."
- Sam Adams

"We’ve underachieved. We’ve played well in spurts, but both sides haven’t done it together. That’s why we’re 4-5."
- John Thornton

The defensive break-down this season:

Opponent Yards Allowed Rushing Passing Points Allowed 3rd Downs
San Diego 430 107 323 49 9-14-64%
Baltimore 374 129 245 26 6-15-40%
Atlanta 420 143 277 29 7-13-54%
Carolina 277 60 217 14 2-11-18%
Tampa Bay 300 126 174 14 6-16-38%
New England 424 236 188 38 6-13-46%
Pittsburgh 365 170 195 20 7-16-44%
Cleveland 301 57 244 17 8-15-53%
Kansas City 289 113 176 10 5-15-33%
per game (NFL rank) 353.4 (28th) 126.8 (23rd) 226.7 (28th) 24.1 (25th) 40.7% (23rd)

Marvin Lewis press conference [Bengals.com]
Veterans: Blame players [Bengals.com]