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Friday morning links and notes -- Odom likely returning by regular season game #1

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A quick note on links. I've removed some sites that aren't updating themselves, or don't link back to this site, like MVN and Fanhouse related sites. I included Bengal Nation Daily (who I've read, but never thought about linking). Also, if there's links that you think should be included, send me an email. They don't have to be all Bengals-related either. If there's a good sports site out there you really like and think should be included, bring it.

David has a great write-up asking if you can draw any trends on how your team may perform during the regular season. Roger Goodell has been playing with the idea of keeping the same number of games (20) for entire season (excluding playoffs), exchanging "seasons". Instead of 16 regular season games and four pre-season games, he's toying with the idea of 17-3 or even 18-2. I honestly don't care one way or the other, there's benefits to both (additional money for the league by increasing television contracts with networks possibly increasing the salary cap as the positive, losing opportunities for players trying to break into the league as the con).

I would say your best bet of this argument would be drawn in the first half of the team's third pre-season game where typically teams play their dress rehearsal. So we'll chart the Bengals half-time score in the third game of the pre-season, the final score and the team's regular season record that season. The team in parentheses either won the game or is leading at half-time.

Season Opp. Half Score Record
2007 Atlanta 13-14 (Falcons) 19-24 (Falcons) 7-9
2006 Green Bay 24-7 (Bengals) 48-17 (Bengals) 8-8
2005 Philadelphia 3-27 (Eagles) 17-27 (Eagles) 11-5
2004 Atlanta 7-27 (Falcons) 10-37 (Falcons) 8-8
2003 Tennessee 7-13 (Titans) 15-23 (Titans) 8-8
2002 New Orleans 9-21 (Saints) 23-31 (Saints) 2-14
2001 Buffalo 10-12 (Bills) 10-20 (Bills) 6-10

So, what does that all boil down to? Not a damn thing -- other than the Bengals have won one pre-season game #3 game since 2001.

Moving on...

Deltha O'Neal is accepting of his role as the team's punt returner since he's listed as the fourth cornerback now behind the starters and David Jones.

Chick Ludwig has a way with crying babies. And we thought it was coincidence that Chad Johnson has been quiet this whole time.

Probably out against the Green Bay Packers will be Rudi Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Ethan Kilmer, Herana-Daze Jones, Rashad Jeanty, Antwan Odom and Chinedum Ndukwe. Jeanty could miss several preseason games because of "an undetermined ailment".

Jay Haynes on Jason Shirley: "When he stays down, he's scary. There are times when he's a killer. And there are other times, well ... he's just not ready."

John Thornton was nominated for this year's Forty Under 40 class that awards people under the age of 40 motivated by their professions and involved in their communities.

Willie Anderson praises Robert Geathers: "I think Robert is in a position, now, where he can be a consistent 8-10-12-sack guy a year."

Antwan Odom's target date appears to be the week of the first regular season game.

The Ravens beat the New England Patriots Thursday night, 16-15. Kyle Boller performed well, but Joe Flacco (likely the starter before the end of the season) had an interception and fumble on this first two snaps.

The Jets beat the Browns 24-20 after a 14-point fourth quarter led by Brett Ratliff's two touchdowns.

The Steelers prepare for their first game this season against in-state rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles.