Californeya has the internet gold rush. So the Bengals have broken several trends this year. They've swept the Steelers for the first time since 1998. Dating back to last year, they've won five straight road games for the first time in franchise history. With a win over the Cleveland Browns, the Bengals will go undefeated in the division for the first time in franchise history -- they've won five divisional games in only six seasons (2009, 2005, 1996, 1990, 1989, 1984).
Another trend remains. Games on the West Coast. Specifically, in California. The Bengals have lost 26 of 35 regular season games in California. Dating back to 1992, they've won only one of ten games. The Bengals history in California is terrible enough that if you take the Bengals all-time record and remove regular season games played in California, the Bengals all-time winning percentage jumps ten points. (Note: I'm a South Park junkie).
Larry Johnson could play Sunday. C Trent Rosecrans writes that Larry Johnson "said his first practice as a Bengal on Wednesday went smoothly, and he's just happy to be practicing." This is important because it's believed that Cedric Benson will miss Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders. Joe Reedy writes that "Benson did not practice for a second straight day, meaning that it is unlikely he will play on Sunday at Oakland." To be honest, I'm interested to see what Johnson can do behind this offensive line.
Great piece by Hobson, detailing the defense on third down.
Charles Robinson writes that Larry Johnson created enough of a disruption with the Chiefs, that he forced his way off the team and joined the 7-2 Bengals.
Don Banks lists Mike Zimmer as a potential head coaching candidate.
The job Zimmer has done with the Bengals defense this season speaks for itself, and if Cincy rides its magic carpet all the way to Miami, who knows how far it might advance a Zimmer candidacy? Strange as it sounds, Zimmer's time in front of the HBO cameras on "Hard Knocks'' probably raised his visibility level significantly within league circles, even though he was known as a quality teacher of the game long before last summer.
Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bernard Scott rushed the football 13 times. Geoff Hobson writes that the Bengals don't want to give Scott "that many touches any time soon."
Sad news: Chris Spielman's wife Stephanie passed away Thursday night.
How great has Kyle Cook been this year?
CNati's Scott Priestle takes a look at Dhani Jones.
Notes regarding the Bengals games in California.
|Games in California||9||26||0||.257|
|All-Time Record w/o California||270||330||2||.450|
Games played in California since 1968.
|2007||San Francisco||L, 13-20|
|2003||San Diego||W, 34-27|
|2001||San Diego||L, 14-28|
|1996||San Francisco||L, 21-28|
|1996||San Diego||L, 14-27|
|1994||San Diego||L, 10-27|
|1993||San Francisco||L, 8-21|
|1992||San Diego||L, 10-27|
|1990*||Los Angeles||L, 10-20|
|1990||San Diego||W, 21-16|
|1990||Los Angeles (Rams)||W, 34-31|
|1990||Los Angeles||L, 7-24|
|1989||Los Angeles||L, 7-28|
|1988||Los Angeles||W, 45-21|
|1985||Los Angeles||L, 6-13|
|1984||San Francisco||L, 17-23|
|1982||San Diego||L, 34-50|
|1981||San Diego||W, 40-17|
|1978||Los Angeles (Rams)||W, 20-19|
|1978||San Francisco||L, 12-28|
|1978||San Diego||L, 13-22|
|1977||San Diego||L, 3-24|
|1974||San Francisco||W, 21-3|
|1973||San Diego||W, 20-13|
|1972||Los Angeles (Rams)||L, 12-15|
|1970||San Diego||W, 17-14|
|1969||San Diego||L, 14-21|
|1968||San Diego||L, 13-29|
|* Playoff game.|