The Enquirer's Joe Reedy posted his weekly report card after the Bengals 38-24 (but really felt like 100-24) loss to the New England Patriots over the weekend. He rated every position, save for receivers, as a "C" or worse. And quite frankly, I have to agree on every grade. You could make an argument that Jermaine Gresham's six receptions and a touchdown earned the position some love, but we can't argue his point that the "blocking by all three was subpar."
And in truth, most of Reedy's grades surrounded the first half, when the game mattered the most. You could argue that Carson Palmer's 345 yards passing, most since passing for 401 yards passing against the Browns on September 16, 2007, and two touchdowns deserved a better grade. The truth is, the New England defense largely contained the Bengals offense when the game mattered the most in the first half.
Not including a first half interception that was returned for a touchdown, Palmer's third down passing left a lot to be desired in the game's first thirty minutes. Sure, he completed three of five passes, three of which were intended for Terrell Owens. However, he recorded only 11 yards passing for a 81.9 passer rating. No, we're not digging into Palmer here. That would be short-sighted. It's not like Cedric Benson's 2.8 yard/rush average helped.
Things did start coming together in the second half for Palmer and the offense, in what Dave Lapham would call garbage/junk time. With the Baltimore Ravens taking out the New York Jets on Monday Night Football (looking far better than what the score showed), the Bengals better have it together much earlier than they did against the Patriots.