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One Quarter In The Books: Comparing The 2010 Bengals To Previous Squads

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Now that a day has passed to let you simmer, stew and bake away your disappointment, how do you feel about the Bengals right now? Four games down, a quarter of the season in the books. And those four games are a roller coaster unlike anything experienced at Kings Island. A blowout by the Patriots was followed up with a 15-point effort by place kicker Mike Nugent in a win over Baltimore. A monstrous defensive effort in a win over Carolina was followed up with a mega-disappointing loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Record of Teams Cincinnati has beaten: 3-5
Record of Teams Cincinnati has lost to: 3-4
New England is set to play on Monday Night Football

Let's take a look at the first four games this year and how they've compared to previous seasons during the Marvin Lewis era.

Carson Palmer, the same guy that's been beaten to a bloody pulp over the past week or so, is on pace to record a career-high 4,312 yards passing, yet a career-low (excluding shortened seasons in 2008 and 2004) 20 touchdowns. Here's a look at how Palmer has performed through the first four games of the season since 2004.

COMP ATT Comp% Yards TDs INTs Rating
2010 94 158 59% 1,078 5 3 82.7
2009 79 137 58% 845 6 5 75.2
2008 52 90 58% 514 1 3 63.8
2007 101 160 63% 1,171 10 6 90.4
2006 75 120 63% 917 6 4 88.8
2005 94 131 72% 1,062 9 2 112.2
2004 84 154 55% 875 3 7 58.8

In truth, it's hard to compare any defensive unit through the first four games in the season if you compare it to the 2005 squad. Dating back to 2003, the Marvin Lewis era, Cincinnati's 299.25 yards allowed through the first four games is the second-best start to any season. Except for that 2005 squad that only allowed 38 points and an average 296.5 yards/game. Thanks to nine quarterback sacks, compared to three this year, the 2005 squad was an opportunistic bunch, recording an amazing 12 interceptions -- an average of three interceptions per game.

Points Avg. Yards Avg. Passing Avg. Rushing INTs Sacks
2010 78 299.25 191.75 107.5 6 3
2009 76 345.25 242.25 103.0 2 10
2008 87 330.0 165.75 164.25 1 2
2007 129 403.0 251.0 152.0 6 4
2006 85 344.75 200.75 144.0 7 10
2005 38 296.5 195.5 101.0 12 9
2004 95 344.25 178.5 165.75 2 6
2003 84 311.25 180.0 131.25 5 4

While Cincinnati is fantasizing themselves as a rushing offense, the truth is they're struggling. Through the first four games this year, Cincinnati's 3.3 yard/rush average is their lowest since 2003, when a disgruntled Corey Dillon kicked off the season recording 164 yards rushing through the first four games -- mostly as a result of an injury that just wouldn't heal.

Yards Rushing Yards/Game Runs Avg.
2010 368 92.0 111 3.3
2009 491 122.75 110 4.5
2008 329 82.25 95 3.5
2007 333 83.25 94 3.5
2006 434 108.5 108 4.0
2005 496 124.0 130 3.8
2004 453 113.25 110 4.1
2003 317 79.25 106 3.0

In the end, all of my hard work is meaningless because the only thing that matters is that the Bengals are 2-2 heading into the second quarter of the season.