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Monday afternoon links and notes -- Lewis looking at benching Perry?

While there's plenty of ammunition to slam Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski, you have to also assume that the Bengals offense just isn't that good. Sure, we're stuck with third and long on multiple occasions, with most not being converted, but the Bengals can't pick up 4-5 yards on a run on first down. Running the football is one of the oldest forms of football; good teams run the ball well.

It's easy to blame Bratkowski; we all do it because it's easy to point the finger. But 55 times this season the Bengals have run the ball on first and 10. They are averaging less than three yards per rush. It's not like they're running every time on first down either; to date, the Bengals have passed on 58.6% of the time on first down. Good teams run the ball well. In 2005, the Bengals averaged 4.19 yards-per-rush on first down; they rushed 52.55% of the time on first and ten.

One has to wonder if the Bengals offense would be this bad no matter what offensive coordinator the team has. At some point, the players have to get it done, and they're not.

Stats.

The Bengals rushing offense has run behind Andrew Whitworth's outside shoulder 44 times for 72 yards rushing. One has to wonder when Levi Jones, Andrew Whitworth and outside (if applicable) are going to improve their league worst 1.6 yards-per-rush when running behind them.

Alternatively, the Bengals have rushed from Bobbie Williams out, 55 times for 204 yards rushing (3.7 yards-per-rush).

Chick Ludwig hits a homerun saying:

What’s incredible is that team president Mike Brown actually thinks he’s done a good job building this team — or should we say tearing it down — and his subjects think the positives outweigh the negatives for the future.

People in the front offices at Paul Brown Stadium walk around like they’re 10-time Super Bowl champions instead of a franchise that’s made one measly postseason appearance in 18 years.

Defensive backs Jamar Fletcher and Herana-Daze Jones "injured hamstrings in the first half and didn't return" against the Jets.

Marvin Lewis is "looking at benching Perry for Benson, Watson."

David reflects on the Bengals sixth loss, calling the remainder of 2008 the 2009 preseason.

Paul Daugherty wonders if you're ready to switch your loyalties from the Cincinnati Bengals to the Cincinnati Bearcats (possibly a BCS contender with Big East Championship).

I adamantly agree with Daugherty's assessment:

The Bengals' defense is nothing special. But like a starting pitcher with a .500 record, it has been good enough to keep the team in games. The defense did so again Sunday, starting with the sack by Antwan Odom that caused the fumble that Chinedum Ndukwe grabbed and turned into six points.

Concluding...

Meantime, the offense put the defense in bad situations. The Jets' average drive started at their 46-yard line. Just in the first half, the Jets started on the Bengals' 46-, 34- and 24-yard lines. They had the ball for more than 12 minutes in the first quarter, when the Bengals ran just three plays and had no first downs.

For the game, the Bengals' defense spent 35 minutes on the field versus 25 for the offense.

Bob Bratkowski:

"The fact that we can't run the ball right now is absolutely killing us," Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski said as he walked through the corridors inside the Meadowlands toward the team bus after the loss. "Right now, we're struggling (as an offense). We've got to find an identity. That's what we'll be working on this week.

Peter King talks about the similarities between Paul Brown and Bill Belichick.

I haven't talked about the Cincinnati Bearcats in a while. So let's get that back on track (after all, are you sure you only want to talk about the Bengals?).

The Bearcats won their fifth game of the season after sneaking past 1-5 Rutgers, 13-10 with freshman quarterback Chazz Anderson; their first Big East game of the season. Their next three games could define their entire season; and chances to winning the conference and earning a BCS Bowl game. UC's only loss came at the hands of Oklahoma -- a game in which the Bearcats were within 10 points in the third quarter.

Benefiting with an upcoming bye week, the Bearcats head to 5-1 UConn, 5-1 South Florida (at home), and 4-2 West Virginia.

Tony Pike (the second quarterback this season to go down to injury), should be back for the game against UConn.

Tony Pike has started two games this season (played in four... mop up against Eastern Kentucky and replaced Dustin Grutza injury against OU). In those two starts, Pike has completed 43 of 58 passes (74%) for 561 yards passing, five touchdowns and no picks against Miami University and Akron.

Of the eight Big East schools, six have winning records. Here's the standings.

Standings Conference Overall
Pittsburgh 2-0 4-1
West Virginia 2-0 4-2
Connecticut 1-0 5-1
Cincinnati 1-0 5-1
South Florida 0-1 5-1
Louisville 0-1 3-2
Rutgers 0-2 1-5
Syracuse 0-2 1-5

UC still has a problem with penalties.

With Pike returning against UConn, Dustin Grutza's broken leg could be healed within two or three more weeks.