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Bengals Week in Review (Chiefs week): Plus Congress and the NFL.

Even though Rudi Johnson is listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Chiefs, says that Marvin Lewis will decide around gametime if he plays or not. Typical cloak and dagger stuff. And with Kenny Watson preparing the week like he's going to be the starter, the Bengals desperately need a big rushing game if they're going to get back on track this season. As a team, they've recorded rushing yards of 55 (Baltimore), 137 (Cleveland), 84 (Seattle) and 57 (New England). For comparison's sake, the opponents have gone 107 (Bal), 226 (Cle), 102 (Sea) and 173 (NE). The Bengals haven't scored more than six rushing first downs yet while three opponents have had seven or more rushing first downs.

Who won't play this weekend is Cincy Jungle favorite Willie Anderson. The four-time Pro Bowl right tackle will see his 116 games started snapped against the Chiefs. Stacy Andrews, the guy replacing Anderson, was only 18 years old when Anderson last missed a start in a 24-7 defeat against Jacksonville (week 17) in 1999. In that game, Jeff Blake completed 13 passes for 23 yards without a score but two picks. Darney Scott and Carl Pickens combined for five receptions for 52 yards receiving. Michael Basnight rushed for 86 yards on 10 carries. For the Jaguars, Jay Fiedler completed 28 of 39 passes for 317 yards and a touchdown. Jimmy Smith recorded 14 receptions for 165 yards with Keenan McCardell picking up nine passes for 108 yards and a touchdown.

Fourth Quarter: The Bengals defense has allowed 10 points in each of the first four games this season in the fourth quarter. For comparison's sake, the Bengals offense has scored a total 27 points. However, the second quarter is the worst for the defense having given up 45 points.

The only quarter the Bengals have an advantage is the third quarter (29 points scored, 21 points allowed).

Quarterbacks and touchdowns: The Bengals, in three straight games, have allowed the opposing quarterback to throw for three touchdowns or more.

Interceptions: Hey, positive here. The Bengals defense has scored at least one interception in each of the first four games.

100-yard receivers: The Bengals defense has allowed three 100-yard receivers this season: Braylon Edwards (146 yards), Kellen Winslow (100 yards) and Randy Moss (102 yards).

Disabling Injuries: Ahmad Brooks have been listed as doubtful since Seattle-week and has been very limited in practice, if at all. Caleb Miller's back has bothered him since injurying it against Seattle. He's been listed as doubtful ever since with no practices under his cap. Both injuries suffered by both linebackers have taken other players out for the season.

Would it be outside the realm to suggest that we won't see either player again this season? Who knows.

Keeping Frostee Rucker and Jonathan Fanene around seems pointless. Chick Ludwig, while questioning the team's decision to use roster spots for Rashad Jeanty and Ethan Kilmer, says of Rucker, "Frostee can't melt soon enough" questioning his durability and constant benching by way of injury.

Combine injury and the perception of the Bengals having a soft defense, it could give Larry Johnson his first break-out game of the season.

Opposing rushers: The Bengals have allowed the opposing team's feature back (the one with the most carries in respective games) to rush for 509 yards with two touchdowns. In the last three games, the Bengals have allowed 432 yards rushing to the feature back for a 6.2 yard per carry average.

The Chancellor's Reich In Full Throttle: Clearly, I'm not impressed with Chancellor Roger Goodell's process of suspending players. That came to the front this week when the Chancellor suspended Bengals cornerback Johnathon Joesph one game. Reader, Tom Blogical points out Odell Thurman's fight on his NFL ban.

...Thurman, 24, is at the center of an unusual case that could challenge the sweeping powers the league has to discipline players with substance-abuse problems.

He has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, asserting that the N.F.L. declined to reinstate him because officials believe he is an alcoholic. That, his complaint says, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, which categorizes people as disabled if they have a record of alcoholism and have received treatment.

Chancellor Goodell in September: "We looked at everything," he said. "Is he doing things that are part of the program? He wasn’t, in some cases." Really?

NFL Spokesman, Greg Aiello about the league's policy in conjunction with federal law: "We have operated our program successfully for almost two decades and are fully confident that our policies are consistent with the law," he said. Yet, here you are.

The difference is between the abuse of alcohol and the act of receiving treatment -- which falls under the disabilities act which the NFL could be violating.

The fight against Odell Thurman isn't the only issue that the feds are involved with the league. In mid-September, Chancellor Goodell and NFLPA puppet, Gene Upshaw sat in front of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation regarding the treatment of retired NFL players. Why?

As Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), who lead the hearings, recently said, "Many players say the NFL's retirement system seeks to delay, or avoid altogether, paying disability payments to players with long term injuries. The NFL says those complaints are overstated. The committee wants the facts."

(note: careful reading the above article, however. It's very unbalanced against the retire players claim)

Two years ago, the NFL was grilled by Congress over the issue of steroids.

Setting the stage for Kansas City

Chatting with Arrowhead Pride
Arrowhead chatting with Cincy Jungle
Fantastic Four and all-time record against Chiefs
Analyzing the first quarter of the season
Examining the remaining three quarters of the season.