What usually happens when Carson Palmer throws an incomplete on first down? Rudi Johnson gets the handoff, has to run around one unblocked defender in the backfield and hopefully get to the line of scrimmage. Not that it happens every time, but it's happened enough that you start facing trends. If you watched each Bengals game from preseason game #1 to this exact moment, you have to admit, you can predict with a decent amount of certainty whether the Bengals will run or pass. I guess you can relate that with many NFL teams. Perhaps the NFL game has become predictable so much than running the ball on third-and-five is a shocking surprise.
"As far as knowing if we're predictable, the only way to figure that out is from opposing D-coordinators or opposing D-players. I know guys on other teams and nobody has ever said anything that made me think we're predictable. Nobody wants to give that away, obviously, but I haven't felt or come across anybody who has said that, and I don't feel that we're predictable."
Even so, Palmer has struggled. He's only five picks away from breaking even on his touchdown/interception ratio. He hasn't "thrown a TD to Chad Johnson or T.J. Houshmandzadeh in almost a month" and "in six of the last seven games — the exception being a 35-6 victory over Tennessee on Nov. 25 — the Bengals offense has accounted for only seven TDs."
Against the Browns, the Bengals will be reminded of the young talent let go. The argument against Eric Steinbach's departure wasn't so much the contracts dueled for Willie Anderson and Levi Jones. It was that the Bengals didn't see the justification of paying a guard $49 million and therefore didn't really put down a serious offer. The team values tackles much more than Pro Bowl guards. In the past calendar year, the Bengals also let Shaun Smith go while failing to protect Matt Toeaina for, I suppose, Frostee Rucker.
Trends. If you take Chris Henry's six games and pace it out to a 16-game schedule, Henry would have 50 receptions for 853 yards receiving and five scores.