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Daily Banter: The AFC North Crown And NL Central Crown Both Reside In Cincinnati

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After Chad Ochocinco exploded during the season opener, recording 12 receptions for 159 yards receiving and a touchdown, the veteran star receiver went on to recorded eight receptions for 78 yards receiving against the Ravens and Panthers combined. The reasons for the struggling offense has been knocked around with serious debate. But Chad says the debate ends right now, taking the blame for the team's 15th ranked offense that was expected to be slightly more explosive.

“It’s me. No, I’m serious, everything is me,” he said. “A lot of media from outside is pointing the finger. When things don’t go right with us offensively, it’s on me. It’s my fault when everything goes wrong. I like the pressure.”

It's hard to tell if Chad is frustrated with the questions, or has felt the heat from the media or fans for the general lack of production against two teams that Cincinnati was generally expected to have more success than they produced in the past two weeks. Whether it's being spoiled with the 2005 offensive line that's largely degraded into a serviceable (debatable word, I'm sure), though not elite, unit of pass protectors, or Carson Palmer's direct relation to the phrase, struggling like a mofo, is completely debatable.

But in the end, Chad says that the blame begins with him. While it's nice that the receiver takes up the mantle of protector against the ravenous (not really) media and fans, the only thing fans care about at this point is resolving it; not whining on how poorly the offense has played during back-to-back victories. We can't be that spoiled of a fanbase, right? Sure, if we lose, we'll bring it back up. But until then, do whatever must be done to fix the problem and don't be a liability. We'll be perfectly fine with that. After all, everything else after a win is just background noise.

Marvin Lewis: “Not too many teams have to make excuses for winning. I guess we do. I’ll say little, our players will say less, and that’s the way it will be.”

+ Dayton Daily News does it again. Marc Pendleton of the Dayton Daily News writes a commentary on Tuesday that basically rips into Carson Palmer saying brilliant things like Palmer's "QB rating resembles a grade-point average" (you really don't have to click on the link). The cause of Palmer's problems? Pendleton writes:

Here’s what he won’t admit as long as he’s in the league: Jan. 6, 2006. Unfortunately, that’s when Palmer’s NFL career was punctuated by a nasty knee injury. That was followed by a right — throwing — elbow injury sometime early in the 2008 season.

We've pointed out several subjective issues that we've conjectured about Palmer's struggles. Using his injury as a crutch hasn't been one of them. Even though he suffered a nasty knee injury against the Steelers during the 2005 Wild Card game, Palmer largely recovered recording back-to-back seasons of 4,000 yards passing or more since the injury, along with 54 total passing touchdowns. Knee injury? Whatever. In his second game back after the injury in 2006 against the Cleveland Browns, Palmer recorded 352 yards passing and two touchdowns. That was followed up by a four touchdown performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Let's go with old trusty. The passing offense, not just Palmer, is struggling. Yet we're 2-1.

+ At least James Walker is a bit more investigative in his thinking. "What is going on with Cincinnati's passing game? Is it the quarterback, the receivers or the offensive line?"

Want to know the answer? Want to know the truth behind all of this? To answer Walker's question: Yes.

Though you have to admire John Thornton who writes: "Everyone is pointing to QB Carson Palmer. I say that is the easy way out. Yes he needs to play better, but it’s more than just him."

+ Big Congratulations to the Cincinnati Reds, clinching the National League Central by Jay Bruce's sweet swing in the bottom of the ninth to break to 2-2 tie. As of this moment, Cincinnati is the proud city of two championship teams. The Reds and last year's AFC North champions, YOUR Cincinnati Bengals. How does that feel?

If you're a Reds fan, make sure you pop in with Red Reporter.

+ The Battle for Ohio isn't the rivalry it used to be, mostly because the last time both teams were in the playoff hunt was in 1988.

+ Cedric Benson wants to know what this team's offensive identity is. Bob Bratkowski confirmed what we've mostly known, this is mostly a running team. “The identity is run the ball. Really physically run the ball. And at the same time be productive in our pass game and we will be,”

Fine by me. Moving on.