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If We Only Had Friggin' Sharks With Friggin' Lasers: Bengals Lose To The Miami Dolphins, 22-14

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The Sunday morning drive began with uh-oh's and worries, ingesting reports surface that Roy Williams, Chinedum Ndukwe and Johnathan Joseph would sit out against the Miami Dolphins. Leon Hall and Morgan Trent, the team's starting cornerbacks, dealt with their own injuries forcing each player to miss two practices this week. Reggie Nelson, who didn't record a single defensive snap last week, starts for Ndukwe, who has been starting for Roy Williams, while Tom Nelson played in only his second game of the season. It wasn't a surprise that Miami would throw the football 37 times as a perceived rushing offense. Yet, this is the fifth time Chad Henne passed the football 35 times or more.

Fearful, we decided to change the HD channel for the more blurry regular Channel 12, believing that the Dolphins passing game would do to the Bengals secondary as Brett Favre did to anonymity.

All of that being said, the Bengals secondary held Dolphins starting quarterback Chad Henne to 95 yards passing, an interception and a 55.2 passer rating in the first half. Brandon Marshall was held to one reception and Davone Bess only recorded 33 yards receiving on six receptions during the game's first 30 minutes. Neither had more than seven receptions and Marshall would become the Dolphins leading receiver with 64 yards receiving. Also in the first half, Morgan Trent led the team with seven combined tackles, an interception and a pass defensed in the first half, finishing with a team leading 11 tackles for the game. Reggie Nelson, a first-time starter with the Cincinnati Bengals, made five stops in the first half. On one hand, it's nice that backup players on the defense stepped up. On the other hand, it's never nice to have backup secondary players finishing as two of the team's top three leading tacklers.

The secondary continued being the defense's most stable component all afternoon, allowing more yards in the second half, but no touchdowns. It wasn't until early in the fourth quarter when the secondary stumbled, giving up two passes of 24 yards or more on Miami's lone touchdown drive, scoring with 11:23 left in the game giving the Dolphins a 22-14 lead. Though at this point, it becomes rather hard to specifically blame the secondary more than any unit when the defense was on the field for over 11 minutes in the third quarter alone.

It's also rather hard to blame the secondary when a relatively healthy front seven embarrassingly hit the quarterback one time, according to's Game Book. One time. Henne had an amazing amount of time, dropping back, reading War and Peace, calling his family (because they are on the same network), finally releasing passes. And while the secondary was stable, they weren't particularly good, considering that many of Henne's passes were simply dropped by Brian Hartline and Anthony Fasano. While one optimistic fan could simply state that it was the fearsome Bengals secondary that caused many of those drops, the reality is that Miami's struggles on offense looked much like Cincinnati's struggles.

Yet, when giving the secondary some level of benefit, we're only introducing them as the unit that played better than the team's other units. This isn't an honor; it's just that everyone else played worse, deserving of occupancy with those friggin' sharks with friggin' lasers in that friggin' pool.

The offense. What do you really want me to say? That the theme is that the team is really only able to put together one decent quarter? After winning the coin toss, the Bengals drove the football 86 yards on 15 plays for a game-opening touchdown drive that included three Carson Palmer first down passes on third down. Palmer also converted a third down on a quarterback sneak. With 7:24 left in the first quarter, Terrell Owens and Jordan Shipley lined up right, both running a slant. Owens ran deeper into the endzone, catching Palmer's pass for the Bengals first points in the game.

That's it. That's Cincinnati's positive offensive influence on Sunday. A mixture of runs by Cedric Benson and Bernard Scott led to 52 yards rushing in the same first quarter that Palmer recorded a 140.1 passer rating. You could list Owens' second touchdown as a positive, and why not. A touchdown is a touchdown. Yet, the truth is Cincinnati's second touchdown was a treat, when Miami safety Chris Clemons juggled a sure-interception with Owens tricking the world by snatching the football out of the air for the unlikely touchdown.

No, take away Cincinnati's touchdown drives and this is how the afternoon went: nine punts, six three-and-outs (five in a row), ten straight failed third down conversions and an interception. Because of the offense's shockingly ineptitude, which was far worse than the accuracy of Darth Vader's Stormtroopers with a blaster, the defense spent 21 of 30 minutes on the field between the second and third quarters. We're not excusing the defense, but it makes sense that most of Miami's offensive production happens later in the game when defenses are worn out because their offensive teammates are an awful combined unit led by a visionless jockey of children born from Gomer Pyles' idiot brother.

I would love to be the optimistic crystal of awesome life, declaring that the Bengals have a chance to make the playoffs. Even if the team wins out, they'd have 11 wins. They just won't win 11 games. If you can't beat the Browns, the Buccaneers, the Falcons or the Dolphins (as good as these teams may be this year), you're sure as hell not going on a streak to beat the Colts, Steelers (twice), Jets, Ravens or the Chargers. Not that it would matter anyway, the Bengals this year is a team with an erotic fantasy of hurting themselves. And they've done that.