+ During Mike and Mike in the morning on Friday, Mike Greenburg said to Ron Jaworski, Monday Night Football analyst, that the Bengals offense isn't as explosive as expected. The question was more geared towards saying that Carson Palmer is the cause. Jaworski believes that Palmer's problem is two-fold. He doesn't have chemistry with his star receivers, saying that Chad doesn't workout with the team during the offseason and Terrell Owens showed up late. Jaworski also claims that he hasn't seen Palmer be as inaccurate this season in his career.
So here's the running tally of things used for excuses as to why the Bengals offense isn't explosive right now.
- Injured elbow reduced his overall velocity
- Mechanics are out of whack, causing him to lose accuracy
- Chemistry with the wide receivers
- Offensive line isn't built to pass protect
Carlos Holmes called Sunday's game against the Browns a pivotal game for Palmer.
Palmer appeared lethargic (against the Panthers) and could never get into a rhythm throwing the ball. He made a number of ill-advised throws that could have proven costly. The Bengals had nearly 50 plays in Panthers’ territory resulting in only 20 points. Execution of the offense left much to be desired. Luckily, Carolina couldn’t make plays, either.
Along with Palmer's struggles, Holmes writes that a "contributing to the cause is a breakdown in protection along the offensive line."
(Roland) did a poor job holding his ground at the point of attack against Carolina. He was driven off the ball into the quarterback’s lap on one play. Palmer was unable to step up in the pocket, forcing his second interception of the game.
There is only one person to blame for any failures of protection on the right side of the line, and that’s Andre Smith. It must be extremely frustrating for the Bengals to see another first-round pick fall by the wayside. Smith has been a major disappointment thus far in his career. He’s in his second-year with the team and is probably not going to contribute much again this season.
While saying he doesn't see anything physically wrong, former Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason says:
“That’s not the Carson Palmer I know,” Esiason said. “He looks like he’s lacking confidence back there in the pocket. I’m not there every day, so I don’t know why that is. I don’t know if it’s the new receivers, or the protection, or what, but you wonder what is going on.”
Either way, Marvin Lewis, Bob Bratkowski and Carson Palmer are saying the same thing. It's just a matter of having a bunch of new guys.
"There's new guys, so that's part of the deal," Palmer said. "That's going to happen, especially when two of the new guys are rookies and it's their first three games of the season. They're going to make mistakes just like anybody. That's part of the growing pains of having rookies that are starters and having new guys on your team that haven't been here before."
+ Sports Illustrated's Peter King predicts the Browns will beat Cincinnati 24-16, while CBS Sports' Pete Prisco predicts a 24-14 Bengals win. Clark Judge is calling this game the "Upset of the week", with Cleveland taking the win.
I'm taking a leap here, but I'm doing it for the right reasons: Cleveland is not as bad as its record, and Cincinnati is not as good. Now, put the Browns at home, where they should have beaten Kansas City two weeks ago, and maybe they get something started. I say they do.
+ Geoff Hobson talks about the incredible turn around this defense has made in recent years.
+ SB Nation's Jon Bois tries to think of alternatives for watching Out-Of-Market NFL games.
+ Sunday's game could be another rainy one.