Practice is back in full session as the Bengals prepare to travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens this weekend. In what should be a premier game in the NFL this week, first-place AFC North titans will clash in an intriguing matchup on both sides of the ball. Hopefully Bobby Brat watched New England exploit Baltimore's defense: a healthy committment to the run helped keep Tom Brady on his feet and opened up the passing game. I don't think the Cincy Jungle favored approach of "passing to set up the run" will be particularly useful against a Baltimore defense that really only has one hole: Dawan Landry in coverage. Ed Reed and the front 7 do a pretty good job of disguising that, but maybe Palmer can pick on Landry enough early to back the Ravens off. Only time will tell!
Enough of my opinion, here's what the internets say:
- J.P. Foschi is reveling in the glory of his big catches against Cleveland, and Tony Stewart is impressed. Bratkowski likes the big guy's soft hands, and we maybe in for more of the same from Foschi.
- Geoff Hobson wrote an excellent piece on the Cincinnati Bengals and community: both in the locker room and in the literal community. This team seems much more cohesive than what we've seen in the past, from starters to back ups. That's good to see for a club that was long-reputed in media circles for divas and thugs. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is still running his mouth in Seattle - could his departure have helped strengthen the familial bonds between Bengal players?
- Staying on the "helping out in the community" vein, John Eradi wrote about a group of Bengals that helped build a playground near the Price Hill Community Center. 40 guys showed up at 10:00 AM to plant grass and help build, in Daniel Coats' words "a sweet park."
- Eradi also wrote a piece highlighting the resurgence of Jeremi Johnson, who exemplifies the "do your job" mantra.
Joe Reedy's weekly 3-and-out column, which highlights 3 key factors for the Bengals in upcoming games is out. Reedy emphasizes the Ravens' passing game, injuries to starters for both teams (the Ravens might be without left tackle Jared Gaither and LB Brendon Ayanbadejo), and the Ravens' apparently soft pass-D. Maybe I was wrong about running to open up the pass - but it sure worked for Brady last week.