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Primer for Sunday's game against the Chiefs

Tuesday starts a new page in 2006; it's the first day of a routine week preparing for a Sunday afternoon game. The team took off today and will resume practice tomorrow.

I wanted to take the time to finalize pre-season thoughts.

  • The Bengals' Quincy Wilson tied for the NFL lead with 217 rushing yards this pre-season.
  • Bengals great, Shayne Graham lead the NFL with 39 points scored.
  • As a team, the Bengals scored the most points (131), threw the most touchdowns (10), and allowed only 54 points per game (best in the AFC).
  • Both the Giants and Bengals scored 4-0 pre-season records. Ironically, both have the toughest schedule this season.
While admittedly pre-season is nothing more than an audition for youth and noobs (that's new guys for you non-computer people), it's hard to deny that teams that make the playoffs have successful pre-seasons.
The past 10 Super Bowl champions had a combined 30-12 (.714) preseason record in the year they won the Super Bowl. Nine of those 10 teams posted .500 or better preseason records. Last summer, the eventual Super Bowl teams -- New England and Carolina -- were unbeaten (8-0) in the preseason...

 Preseason success has translated to Super Bowl victories throughout NFL history. Of the 38 Super Bowl champions, 30 (78.9 percent) posted a preseason winning percentage of .500 or higher. Overall, the 38 Super Bowl winners have a combined 115-65-2 (.637) preseason record.

Since 1995, the final four playoff teams (AFC and NFC Championship Game participants) have combined for a preseason record of 95-53 (.642).

If you watched NBC's depressing coverage of the Sony HD 500 at California Speedway, you'll probably notice the amount of commercials.

Total number of commercials: 151

Total number of companies or entities advertised: 81

Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:54 P.M.
End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:58 P.M.

Total minutes: 244

Minutes of race broadcast: 171
Minutes of commercials: 73

This is like saying you'll miss at least a full quarter (15 minutes) of an NFL game. If you read some of the comments, most suggest TIVO and fast-forward through the commercials. I wonder if that's what advertisers and NBC had in mind saturating their live sporting event with commercials. Hey, but as long as the networks, the sport, and the advertisers have their money, what are we to them?

I think the other comedic value in this is the Labor Day race was traditionally at Darlington, South Carolina - a deeply traditional racetrack on a deeply traditional day. Now, the racing in California is boring, the broadcast is so bad I just don't watch, and if you watched the race, you'll note the stands hardly looked full. And this is what NASCAR calls progress.

Here are some primers for you to munch on.

  • Sunday's game will be shown on CBS at 1 p.m. at Arrowhead Stadium. The TV guys will be Gus Johnson and Randy Cross.
  • Courtesy of, here's a graphic of the Bengals/Chiefs regular season history since 1978.

Head over to Arrowhead Pride, the Kansas City equivalent to Cincy Jungle for see just who we're getting ready for Sunday.

I picked up a copy of Football Prospectus 2006 and one of their biggest points of the Chiefs failures in recent seasons wasn't the lack of a defense; it was Dick Vermeil's loyalty to his veteran players -- to a fault. They made the point that Larry Johnson's DVOA (defensive-adjusted value over average) was better than Priest Holmes' since 2004. But it was Vermeil's unflinching loyalty that's kept Johnson on the bench.

Another point is the defense. With Herm Edwards as head coach, the chances of playing younger guys over slowing and aging veterans increase ten-fold. Edwards tends to use the cover two while Gunther Cunningham uses a more blitz oriented package. What will be used this season? A cover two or blitz. From a Bengals perspective, if you blitz, you open yourself up for our characteristic deep passes.

I'm a fan of offensive linemen. Other than Bengals games, I used to love watching the Cowboys in the early 90s because of their offensive line. My favorite Bengal player is Willie Anderson.

I bring this up because of the retirement of Willie Roaf. I thought it was sad to see him retire simply because linemen are the unsung heroes of the league that receive little -- if no -- recognition. Roaf will be missed from this fan of offensive linemen.