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Monday afternoon links and notes -- More faith in the Bengals defense?

Pragmatic is correct to have more faith in our defense than our offense. I'm the same way. It's ridiculous, but look at it this way; our offense is an expensively group that's expected to win ball games. Our defense is built with a lot of youth that are simply expected to keep us in the ball game; not to win them, but not lose them either. In back-to-back weeks, the defense held up their obligation keeping the Bengals in games while the offense actually expects to receive 70% of the team's payroll. AFTER that?!

Notes: The Bengals have rushed on the left side of the line (between the left guard to outside the left tackle, or tight end) 21 times. They've rushed on the right side of the line 19 times. They've rushed up the gut 12 times. They're greatest success is behind Stacy Andrews with a 4.50 yards-per-attempt average.

I'll be bold enough to say that I believe that the Bengals defense could win us games based on a majority of their performances. However, it's all mute until they minimize (hopefully, eliminate) the big plays.

So, when Ben Utecht went down it "disrupted" the offensive gameplan. Now, actually adjusting the gameplan because of circumstances (such as injury, or Hurricane-gusts) is... well... it just doesn't happen.

Notes II: The Bengals have attempted just seven passes deep -- five of them down the middle; one down the left sidelines, one down the right sidelines.

Palmer on the crowd booing the Bengals offense: "It doesn't feel good. You just can't let it distract you. You can't let it affect your focus." Why not let it motivate you?

Aren't we any more clever than having "blown" out jokes about Sunday's game in relation to the wind?

Notes III: The Bengals haven't scored in the first or third quarters this season. For the past two seasons, the Bengals always struggling scoring at the opening quarter of either half.

Season 1st Q 2nd Q 3rd Q 4th Q
2008 0 10 0 7
2007 78 109 90 103
2006 86 111 58 118
2005 84 147 98 92
2004 69 108 96 101
2003 83 115 49 99

Kyries Hebert had a Beasty ride with a fair catch interference foul (that led to a Tennessee touchdown), got a hand on a Craig Hentrich punt (that led to the Bengals' lone touchdown), then recovered a fumbled snap on punt.

Houshmandzadeh weights in and says it's not the receivers fault as to why the offense is struggling: "It's not because we're not getting separation," Houshmandzadeh said of the receivers. "If I'm covered, I tell you I'm getting covered. If I think Chad is getting covered, he'll tell you he's not getting open. I don't think that's the case. Some coaches or whoever might not think that. I don't think that's the case. I couldn't explain to you why we're not scoring points and not moving the ball. I'm as confused as everybody else is."

Notes IV: The Bengals are pace for 152 first downs this season. They've averaged 325 over the course of the past three seasons.

The 51-yard Chris Johnson run could be labeled the game-changer. The Bengals were close to getting the ball back before the half, and elected to stop the clock. Instead, the Titans scored a touchdown. "Obviously I gave up the big play with the big run," safety Chinedum Ndukwe reflected," I have to try to make that play the next time. Overall I felt pretty good. I have to get down and make that play. That's what I get paid to do."

Hopefully Ndukwe doesn't beat himself too much about it. Ten other Bengals defenders weren't even close; at least he was in position.

Last week, James Walker listed Carson Palmer and Chris Perry on his "who's not" (hot). This week, it's the entire Bengals offense.

Michael Lombardi after giving the Bengals offense a "D" (and he addresses good points):

The Cincinnati Bengals offense. I feel bad for quarterback Carson Palmer. In Palmer's last 10 games played, his quarterback rating is 77 and is averaging only 6.57 yards per pass attempt. Last week against the Ravens, Palmer and the Bengals offense mustered only 99 yards passing and yesterday against the Titans, they added just 137. Palmer is throwing for less than a 50 percent completion ratio and has no touchdowns passes and three interceptions in two games. And people want to call this an explosive offense?

What has gone wrong? Well for one, opposing defenses no longer respect their run game. They are willing to play a seven-man front on the Bengals and live with running back Chris Perry trying to beat them. Perry, who has fumbled three times in two games (losing one), has averaged under 3 yards a carry and his longest run is only 13 yards.

For this spread type of offense to be successful, it has to have the ability to run teams out of cover 2 and force the defense to add the eighth man to the box for run support. As long as defenses can play pass coverage and jam the wide receiver formerly known as Chad Johnson at the line, this offense will keep producing pathetic numbers.

Dave doesn't mind the aggressive approach that Lewis had Sunday against the Titans.