"We played well at times, did good things."
- Marvin Lewis
Based on parts per million, there were like three. Though, they were hardly on offense.
On the first drive, the Bengals went three-and-out; Ben Utecht had his chest caved in, Perry rushed for three yards and Palmer threw a pass for a one-yard loss when he needed seven for a first down. Bengals punt. Nope, nothing good there.
On the second drive, Perry rushes on four straight plays, gains 18 yards, and fumbled the ball twice; once out of bounds, another recovered by Levi Jones. Luckily, Palmer had the ball tipped at the line of scrimmage on third-and-three, converting the first down with Antonio Chatman thankfully in the area. Then, Watson runs for a minimal gain on back-to-back runs and Palmer throws an incomplete to Chad. Bengals punt. Nope, nothing gained there. Even though we recorded two first downs, one was by accident! Jesus.
Here's an odd breakdown of the Bengals' first five plays on their third possession. Penalty yards committed by Tony Brown on two offsides: ten yards. Yards gained by the "potent" offense on the other three plays: one yard. So the Bengals pick up 11 yards on third-and-13 and, (drumroll... tetetete) Bengals punt.
Did you know: Larson has 13 punts through the first two games. T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson have 11 receptions (com-freaking-bined).
Did you know on the Bengals 11-play touchdown drive, that the offense called eight running plays? Palmer completed two of three passes, for 18 yards while Perry ran seven times for 30 yards. This was about the time that we figured the play-calling skills of Bob Bratkowski was getting it (or dare I saw adapting to the conditions?). Forcing Palmer to pass, in a game that was painfully growing a deficit, would be disastrous in these conditions. As a side note, the yards gained on this touchdown drive by Perry, was four yards short of half of his 64 total rushing yards.
Palmer and DeDe Dorsey hooked up twice for 49 yards to close out the first half. Take away those two plays, and Palmer records 85 yards passing for the game. It's just the wind, baby. Not even god himself could have battle-charged through this wind.
On the first drive of the second half, the Bengals were given the ball at Tennessee's 36-yard line after Chris Hentrich fumbled the snap. It was gift wrapped with a Leprechaun singing, "I have a dear present fo 'ou, laddie" wrapping such a beautiful gift, he was. After an incomplete and a no-gain by Chris Perry (who didn't fumble the ball), the Bengals picked up seven yards on a Kenny Watson draw, and nine yards on a short pass to Houshmandzadeh (on fourth down). Then Perry picked up six yards on two rushes. Like the Orcs during the battle of Helms Deep, The offense stands up, and starts pounding their chests like warriors on the battlefield; thus committing a foul for having 12-men on the field. Palmer throws an incomplete and Shayne Graham missed a 37-yard slider. My Orc warriors.
So, then. On the next possession, the Bengals go three and out. On the possession after that, Palmer throws three times (two incomplete) and the Bengals punt, have punt blocked, and have other team recover blocked punt in the endzone. Sweet. Back on schedule, the Bengals go three and out after that.
Later, Palmer throws a pick on a deep pass for T.J. Houshmandzadeh. It's not that I had a problem with this; we were already down by 17, needed a quick score, and (apparently) put in some work on our accuracy during Hurricane-force winds for our final push. It's just that we had hoped that the other guy caught it. Palmer was sacked and then threw a pick on subsequent plays. "Game Over."
"We just need to try to find a way to stay positive."
- Carson Palmer
Latest report: Kirkendall should be released from mental institution by Monday morning.