As a Bengals fan, kickoff weekend means something different. It means the Bengals have a chance to fix what was cheated out of them last January. But it also means Carson Palmer is truly back providing the final bit of evidence for the Bengals undefeated Super Bowl season -- homer-alert!
BREAKING: MORE STARTING ROSTER CHANGES.. UPDATED 12:40: Bengals.com reports that Johnathon Joseph will start over Deltha O'Neal and Rashad Jeanty will start over David Pollack (both are active and available to play). Inactive today are Eric Ghiaciuc, Scott Kooistra, Ahmad Brooks, A.J. Nicholson, Greg Brooks, and Frostee Rucker.
The Bengals play the Chiefs, which is covered by the talented "Chris" at Arrowhead Pride. You can comment on their open thread here.
Finally, the Reds are making me age way before my time. On August 24th, the Reds were tied for first place of the NL Central and 1.5 games ahead in the Wild Card race. Sixteen days later, the Reds -- under self-destruct mode -- have fallen to third place 5.5 games out in the Central and sixth in the Wild Card, 3.5 games back. Stick with Reds Reporter to see if they have a chance to make a late-season run.
Comment here for game-day thoughts.
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4:00: On the Chiefs final possession, Robinson knocks down a pass, Geathers RIPPED Huard (unblocked) for a sack, completed to Larry Johnson for 13-yards and then completes a pass to Gonzalez for a first. GAME OVER, BENGALS WIN 23-10, AND START THE SEASON 1-0. WHO-DEY BABY!
3:56: On third-and-seven, Rudi gains three yards with Stacey Andrews in at tight-end. After an intentional five-yard delay of game, Graham, the best FG kicker in the NFL, gives the Bengals a 23-10 lead with 1:09 left in the game.
3:52: Before the two-minute warning, Rudi Johnson gains one and two setting up a third-and-seven with 1:59 to play in the game.
3:51: Chiefs offense goes incomplete, 4-yard complete to Gonzalez, incomplete and sacked by Justin Smith -- 2.5 sacks at least by Smith. Bengals get the ball back.
3:48: Chiefs have the ball, first-and-10, at their own 20 yard line with 3:25 left in the game.
3:47: On second-and-seven, Rudi gets the hand-off setting up a third down. The refs called Rudi down and only his hand touches the ground. Watson gets the pitch to the left and doesn't gain a yard. Bengals punt.
3:44: Chiefs on-side again. Washington slaps the ball (unintentional?) out of bounds as the offense sets up on the Chiefs 47. Rudi runs middle/right for about four-yards and the Chiefs call a timeout.
3:41: Chiefs set up for on-side kick and the Bengals call timeout.
3:40: Touchdown by the Chiefs. Huard on the 15-yard line, throws it up to Gonzalez and the hall-of-fame tight end just jumped up and hauled it in. Gonzalez had four receptions that drive. Bengals lead 20-10
3:37: GREAT PLAY by Williams. On a pass to Gonzalez that would have been a touchdown over the middle, Williams breaks up the pass. Williams has played great today. It's a toss-up between Smith and Williams for defensive player of the game.
3:35: The Chiefs are finally moving the ball. On second-and-nine at their own 29, Gonzalez goes up for a nice pass over Landon Johnson. On the next play, Huard dumps off the pass to LJ and Simmons completely missed the tackle which went 23-yards.
3:31: The illegal block on the back penalty on Walls (#35) was definitely a ticky-tac call. Chiefs have a first-and-ten on their own 10-yard line with 6:21 to go in the game.
3:30: The Bengals offense is now trying to milk the clock. On third down, Palmer is forced out the pocket and picks up the first down. "Not so fast my friend." Kenny Watson is called for a chop block and now the Bengals are forced into a third-and-21. Palmer, under pressure by another horrible job by Levi Jones, rips it to the left for an incomplete (near interception).
3:25: FUMBLE. Huard drops back with four-receivers in shotgun. Smith gets around the tackle and slaps the ball out (I think accidentally). Thornton falls on top of the ball and it squirts lose. Smith, the guy with the biggest motor on this team, drops on the ball. Great job by Justin Smith -- what a game by #90!
3:21: How in the world do you not anticipate a fake punt in this situation?
3:18: Latest word, unconfirmed, is that Green has full use of extremities. He should have a nasty headache, but nothing more. That's good news and I hope this doesn't affect the rest of the Chiefs' season.
3:15: Kelly Washington, on third down, gets hit before the ball gets to him but no call was made. Horrible no-call. Graham, the best field goal kicker in the NFL, finishes the drive with a 42-yard field goal. Bengals lead 20-3
3:12: Tab Perry is such a hidden talent on this team. He does great on kick-off return and out of the backfield on shotgun. So far, he's got receptions of 30-yards and -- his most recent -- 14 yards. Then on a 5-yard loss by Rudi Johnson, the Chiefs are called for too many men on the field.
3:08: Third quarter concludes.
3:05: Robinson hits the quarterback who's trying to find a crease on the line to step up into. Robinson just slaps the ball out creating a fumble and the Chiefs pick the ball up. On a 51-yard field goal attempt, the field goal kicker hits it wide to the right. Bengals still leading 17-3.
3:04: On two straight running plays, Madieu Williams and Caleb Miller dropped LJ on or before the LOS bringing up third down. Great job. 3:04: Bengals' radio guys are saying Green had a concussion.
3:02: Joseph blitzes and forces Huard to dump it off to LJ. Tory James makes a sad attempt at a tackle -- if he makes it, that would have brought up fourth down.
3:00: Damon Huard comes in for Green.
2:56: Green is still knocked out. I initially thought Geathers should get the blame on that one. But like I said a second ago, I just think this turned out to be a bad deal -- like Kimo falling into Palmer's knee. Kennison was off his feet trying to block Geathers in the back and was falling down right into Green. Green's head snapped back violently into the ground. I really hope Chiefs' fans don't think it was a cheap shot but I can understand the anger they may feel.
2:50: Brian Simmons hurdles the blocker and forces Green to rollout left. As he rolls out, Geathers lays out Green who gives him self up sliding down. I hope Green is ok. The CBS guys -- as are the Bengals radio guys -- are saying Kennison blocked Geathers in the back into Green. I don't think blame should go around. This is just a bad deal. Geathers was falling down after being hit in the back as Green was going down. Geathers just couldn't have stopped himself.
2:46: Sammy Parker gets called for his second pass interference. So far, he's been called for 20-yards in penalties and a pass that went through his hands resulting in an interception.
2:43: The Bengals go third-and-10 on the KC 42 in shotgun and Reggie Kelly just drops it. Jones again gets blown up and Palmer gets dropped by #69. Bengals go three-and-out and punt the ball into the end-zone. At this point in time, the Bengals need to secure the ball and run some clock.
2:41: Carson Palmer drops on a fumbled snap. The football is a little wet now with crazy rain down pour.
2:39: Madieu Williams INTERCEPTION. Sammy Parker lets the pass go through his hands and Williams picks it off. Good job by Williams (as always) to see that and pick off the pass. Horrible job by Parker letting his team down twice on this drive.
2:38: Chiefs called for OFFENSIVE pass interference by Sammy Parker. How many times is that actually called? It's like traveling in the NBA; non-existent. It killed a 9-yard reception to Kennison. Right after that penalty, Kyle Turley jumps. 2:34: Fumble. Palmer gets sacked by #69 and he lost the ball. Levi Jones was just beat. He was a split-second (unaware of the snap count or looking inside at blitzing linebacker) getting out of stance and by the time Jones reacted, #69 was by him. Horrible job by Levi.
2:32: Bengals start again in no-huddle. On third and short, Bengals are in shotgun with Tab Perry flanked to his left. On the snap, Tab runs into the flats, uncovered, and picks 30 yards. Great call.
2:29: Bengals back on offense after the kick-off to begin the second half.
FIRST HALF ANALYSIS:
On the first two drives to start the game, the Bengals offense combined eight plays for 17-yards. On the following three drives, the Bengals offense went no-huddle and ended with a field goal and two touchdowns.
Carson Palmer in the first half is 10/13 for 75 yards. Rudi has rushed 12 times for 66 yards and a touchdown. Chad leads the receiving corps. with five receptions for 45 yards.
The Bengals pass rushing started after the second quarter as Geathers, Thornton, and Justin Smith all have sacks.
Larry Johnson only touched the ball one time in the second quarter.
On five Chiefs' possession, four have ended in punt. On the last two possessions, the Chiefs have gone three-and-out and combined for -9 yards.
2:16: What a panic the Chiefs showed in their hurry up before the end of the half. After a 6-yard pass, Deltha O'Neal and John Thornton were in position for interceptions. After a quick three and out, they punted and the Bengals put the knee down to end the half. GREAT job by the Bengals after two unsuccessful drives.
2:11: After the two-minute warning, Rudi gained 3-yards (Willie blew up #90) and Kenny Watson picked up 8-yards for a first down. But with Jeremi Johnson still in the huddle, Cincy gets called for 12-men in the huddle. That means it's a first-and-eight with 1:11 on the clock. Pass? In shotgun, Watson gets the toss to the left for a TOUCHDOWN. Bengals lead 17-3. Great great call by Bengals offensive coordinator, Bob Bratkowski.
2:05: On the Bengals fourth drive, Palmer dropped off a 7-yard pass to Rudi. On the next play, Rudi picks up 16-yards on the ground after a GREAT block by Kelly Washington. He got and turned #23 giving Rudi an extra chunk of yards. Two-minute warning
2:02: Sack-city baby. After John Thornton bull-rushed his man for a 7-yard sack, Justin Smith ran down a rolling out Green (to the right) for an 8-yard sack. Three and out. Then the Chiefs punter shanks it out to the 37-yard line. Great field position for the Bengals. And Arrowhead is quiet.
1:56: TOUCHDOWN Rudi Johnson. Rudi sidesteps Sammy Knight in the back-field and runs up the middle for a BEAUTIFUL 22-yard touchdown. The Bengals no-huddle offense really pressured the Chiefs defense and wore them out. 11-plays, 88-yards. The no-huddle went 8-yard Chad catch, three runs (1, 5, 5 yards) by Rudi, a 10-yard catch by Washington, 15-yard catch by Chad, 4-yard run by Rudi, two 9-yard catches by Chad, no-gain run by Rudi followed by a 22-yard touchdown run. Bengals lead, 10-3.
1:52: Bengals at the start of the third possession, go no-huddle. Cincinnati starts moving the ball. Before this series, the offense gained only one first down. So far on this drive, they've picked up four first downs. The Chiefs called a time out unable to withstand this terrorizing no-huddle Bengals offense.
1:44: Finally some pressure. Both Geathers and Justin Smith pushed the offensive tackles back into Green and sacked him. Geathers will get the credit. Starting to rain.
1:43: Chiefs are passing on the Bengals defense. The Bengals secondary is playing very soft right now -- it seems.
1:39: Larry Johnson's six yard run up the middle, Sam Adams was pushed back 3-4 yards by three linemen. Are the Bengals frustrated? Justin Smith went out in coverage and Tory James tackled Parker. Smith and James have words. Palmer and Chad had words earlier. Are the Bengals already frustrated?
1:34: Bad pass. Chad Johnson, on the left, breaks free into the end-zone on a flat post but Palmer tosses the pass into Chad's feet. It was a sure touchdown but Palmer looks a little off and the 9-85 combo aren't in synch yet. Bengals score 3 and the game is tied with 14:53 left in the second quarter.
1:31: What a series of events. Chad Johnson gets the hand-off for end-around with a great block by Reggie Kelly. Another Anderson penalty (false start) puts the Bengals behind schedule. On 3rd and 4, Palmer drops back and expects Chad to run an out and up but #85 goes out. Palmer is ticked and is chatting at Chad on the way back to the sidelines. On the punt, Dante Hall "muffs" it and the Bengals recover.
The first quarter is over and the Bengals are stuck with a 3rd-and-15 after a no-gain by Rudi Johnson and a 5-yard loss after a Chris Henry completion. On the snap, Henry in the slot, Palmer throws (what looks like either a quick pass or double-pass) and Ty Law drops #15 for a five yard loss.
1:24: Good return by Tab Perry bringing the ball out to the 33-yard line. This guy has done nothing but perform on kick-off returns. Looks like NFL.com's game center is on the fritz.
1:22: With a combination of good rush defense and questionable Chiefs play calling, Kansas City entered the Red-Zone and ran twice -- both stopped by the Bengals defense. Kansas City was forced to a field goal. Good job by the defense to force a field goal in the red-zone.
1:18: Trent Green completed a third down pass to Eddie Kennison. ZERO PRESSURE on the QB.
1:17: On a fake end-around, Larry Johnson takes a run up the middle for a good run. John Thornton was at the point of attack but #54 had him completely turned around. On the next L.J. run, Thornton on the back-side, made a nice pursuit and tackled Johnson on the L.O.S.
1:12: The Bengals first possession went off schedule. After a 4-yard Rudi Johnson that gained a first down, an 11-yard pass to Chad Johnson was negated by a holding call on Willie Anderson. After that, Rudi gained 3-yards on a run to the left, a blitz forced a quick pass to Chad Johnson (7 yards), and a forced incomplete pass to Henry with a billion guys around #15 forced the Bengals to punt.
1:06: After the Chiefs called an end-around with Kennison that gained nine yards, Larry Johnson dropped a bad pitch (a little behind him) and Hall caught a pass one-yard short of the first. Deltha O'Neal came in on nickel on third down.
1:03: Bengals are sporting black shirts and white pants. The Bengals lost the coin toss. Just a reminder, the Bengals lost every coin toss in the pre-season.. and went 4-0. Big chance of a lot of rain.
12:58: Just a reminder. I will not be commenting on every play -- only after a series of events or things that stand out to me. I expect you to do the same in the comments section. And if I mis-spell any names or words, it's because I'm doing this insanely fast (it doesn't help the Bengals run a no-huddle offense at times either.. during the slower moments, I usually revise most of it)
12:55: Oh, I have to mention the future National Champs, the Ohio State Buckeyes, played like we expect them to. Perfect.
12:52: NASCAR's version of the regular season concluded last night. The biggest shocker? Tony Stewart being shutout of the chase. This should be a great "playoff" season in the Cup series. I was a bit saddened to see him knocked out simply because I believe he's the best driver in the sport. But he and his team just didn't get it done. Matt Kenseth, my fav., will win it this year. That is all.