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Bengals Banter: Is concern about the Bengals passing game justified?

A LASTING DEBATE INTO THE OFFSEASON. Dayton Daily News' Greg Billing writes that people should give Carson Palmer a break by giving the quarterback a few more weapons. On principle, it's hard to disagree. Aside from the fact that Chad Ochocinco, compared to his other Pro Bowl seasons, had a down year, no one took advantage of the vacuum left after T.J. Houshmandzadeh's departure.

On the other hand, of the four seasons he didn't make the Pro Bowl, Palmer's passer rating dips to 81.8. Including his two career playoff losses, Palmer has a career starting record of 42-41. And no, he hasn't led the Bengals into a playoff win to date and his 2009 cap value was a team leading $14.3 million; a number that's expected to increase each season. You expect more -- help or not.

But I do agree with Billing when he writes that "the blame for the NFL’s 24th-ranked offense shouldn’t fall on Palmer’s shoulders only." Considering the Bengals rushing offense ranked ninth (which theoretically should help a passing offense), Palmer's weapons were as powerful as pellets from a B.B. gun with only two pumps.

WHAT ARE WE WATCHING HERE? C Trent's daily Thinking Out Loud is one of those posts that I actually sit and wait for, twiddling my thumbs, checking Tweet updates. Yesterday's post included an interesting study by the Wall Street Journal that dissects National Football League broadcasts.

In other words, if you tally up everything that happens between the time the ball is snapped and the play is whistled dead by the officials, there's barely enough time to prepare a hard-boiled egg. In fact, the average telecast devotes 56% more time to showing replays.

So what do the networks do with the other 174 minutes in a typical broadcast? Not surprisingly, commercials take up about an hour. As many as 75 minutes, or about 60% of the total air time, excluding commercials, is spent on shots of players huddling, standing at the line of scrimmage or just generally milling about between snaps. In the four broadcasts The Journal studied, injured players got six more seconds of camera time than celebrating players. While the network announcers showed up on screen for just 30 seconds, shots of the head coaches and referees took up about 7% of the average show.

David Biderman continues:

During last week's Wild Card games, Mr. Crippen, the football researcher, dissected the broadcasts and found about 13 minutes, 30 seconds of action

So now blowouts take on a completely different meaning. Not only is there little action on the field, but the action is damned near meaningless. Go "exciting" NFL playoffs!

DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE DRAFT SCHEDULE. I nearly forgot about this year's new NFL Draft schedule. On Thursday, April 22 at 7:30 PM, the first round will be held. Friday, April 23 at 6:30 PM, it's the second and third rounds. The rest of the draft (rounds four through seven) begins at 10 AM on Saturday, April 24.

Does this go down as the worst decision by the NFL? There was nothing better than packing Saturday and Sunday with draft gossip, waking up early Sunday morning only to resume our charts, analysis and desperate You Tube searches of the new players we picked up.