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After Further Review: Bengals Offense is Coming Along

Making the most obvious statement, Chris Perry's fumble cost the Bengals; especially true when you consider his fumble, a handful of plays after the team's successful onside kick, was like an accelerated kick in the gut. Then, a play later, and a defense that covered a deep zone with a nice whiff by one of our safeties, Terrell Owens put the Cowboys up 24-16.

Exhausted, and foul-mouthed as I was, not even a 57-yard touchdown pass by the Cowboys discouraged the Bengals offense. In fact, in seven plays and seven minutes later, the Bengals were a two-point conversion away from tying the game.

The lesson here is that the Bengals offense responded; like they did opening the second half with an 11 play, 72-yard touchdown drive with two converted third down scenarios. Doomed from the onset, the Cowboys took their final drive 11 plays, 80 yards and killed 5:47 off the clock. By the time the Bengals got the ball back, there was 1:48 left in the game, and a prevent-as-hell defense that disrupted the Bengals momentum.

The Bengals Second Half. In the second half, Carson Palmer completed 16 of 22 passes for 155 yards passing and two touchdowns (no picks) calculating to a 122.3 passer rating. Also in the second half, T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught five passes for 68 yards receiving; also on the receiving end of both of Palmer's two touchdown throws.

On the other hand, the Bengals rushing offense in the second half blew. On 11 attempts, Perry and Cedric Benson combined for 16 yards rushing (1.5 yards-per-rush).

On dear Ben Utecht, where are you? Even though he nearly caught an amazing sideline grab, the fact remains; Utecht isn't providing much for this offense. In four games played (though we should really call it three since he suffered his chest injury early against the Titans), Utecht has five total receptions for 23 yards; very Reggie Kelly like numbers.

Game Rec. Yards TDs
@ Baltimore 2 10 0
Tennessee * 0 0 0
Cleveland 2 10 0
@ Dallas 1 3 0
Total 5 23 0

* hurt early against the Titans; missed game against Giants.

Dhani Jones still producing. We wrote last week that Dhani Jones is leading the NFL, after four weeks, with 41 tackles. On Sunday, he led the team with 10 tackles. With Jones, Rashad Jeanty, Marvin White, Leon Hall and Chinedum Ndukwe have been our most consistent producers this season.

Even though Rivers picked off Romo, he was limited to three tackles. Against the Ravens, Titans and Browns, Rivers recorded eight tackles or more. Against the Giants and the Cowboys, he had a grand total of five.

The Holt Factor. Glenn Holt had another quality kickoff return day. After starting with returns of 20, 22 and 24 yards, Holt ripped off a 46-yard return and a 60-yard return. Holt recorded 174 yards on kickoff returns against the Cowboys. With 623 yards on kickoff return through five weeks, Glenn Holt is on pace for 1,993 yards on the season.

Chatman is finally who we thought we were getting. After an injury-filled 2006 season, and not-so-much participation in 2007, Chatman is coming along this season. Take out the Palmer-less Browns game, Chatman is gaining Palmer's confidence, with 13 receptions for 125 yards receiving against the Giants and Cowboys.

Chatman hauled down seven passes against the Cowboys, which is, believe it or not, a career-high as a Cincinnati Bengal. His 70 yards receiving against the Giants in week #3 was also a career-high as a Cincinnati Bengal. Also, Chatman has recorded 10 receptions that went for first downs; his most as a Cincinnati Bengal in any given season.

Oh, and let's not forget his career-high 10.1 yards-per-return average on punt returns.

Defense by the Quarters. In the first quarter, the Cowboys started three drives that scored 17 points. In the fourth quarter, the Cowboys started two drives that recorded 14 points.

However, in between, the Bengals were as shutdown as shutdown gets. Combined in the second and third quarter, the Cowboys ran 14 plays for 71 yards. All six drives ended with three punts, two turnovers (fumble, interception), and an end of the half draw play (aka, white flag play).

Three and Out. How many three-and-outs have the Bengals offense recorded?

@ Baltimore Ravens 7
Tennessee Titans 4
@ New York Giants 3
Cleveland Browns 2
@ Dallas Cowboys 2

How many three-and-outs have the Bengals defense forced?

@ Baltimore Ravens 5
Tennessee Titans 2
@ New York Giants 2
Cleveland Browns 1
@ Dallas Cowboys 1