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Cutting Through The Chuckles: Week 11 @ Arizona

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Despite the Bengals coming back from their first loss of the season, Lewis remained stoic at his weekly presser.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We head into Week 11 against the Cardinals, we take a look at Marvin Lewis' Wednesday afternoon press conference and decode it as we typically do to make the coach-speak more understandable.

Opening Comments:

"We look forward to playing the Cardinals. Obviously, they are leading the league in offense, running for about 127 yards a game, and 4.4 yards a snap, and throwing for almost 300. They're doing a really good job on being effective in both areas. It's going to be one of those days where you're going to have to play good defense, against a good quarterback, and a talented group of receivers. We know they have a good runner in Chris Johnson, and (Andre) Ellington is back and playing now, and even the rookies get an opportunity. They are put together well on offense. Jermaine (Gresham) is getting involved in the pass game. He's getting more comfortable when you watch him each and every week.

"We're going to have to play sound defensively, and do things correctly. On defense, I've been impressed with them getting after the quarterback and after the football. They're doing a good job of creating turnovers. They're doing a good job on third down. Their guys in the secondary play the ball well off the hand. I think up front, Calais Campbell is one of the top up-front guys in the NFL. They've got Frostee (Rucker), who's really doing a good job. These guys are well coached, you can tell in watching them play. They do a good job in the running game and converting in the pass game."

Translation: We actually paid some attention to the Cardinals, unlike what we did last week. I can prove it by all of these stats I can recite. While their quarterback and receivers are probably the most talented people on that side of the ball, I am going to mention Jermaine Gresham because who knows why. Oh wait yeah, because we can never cover tight ends and, he was a Bengals player, one some coaches didn't really like. Hopefully, we can count on him to drop as many passes and commit as many penalties as he used to for us.

As I continue to talk about their strengths, I will again say how good they are in a spot where they actually aren't that good: rushing the passer. If I had looked up the stats, I'd see that they're ranked 26th in sacks. But hey, I want to mention former players not named Carson Palmer, so uh... Frostee Rucker. Yep, that's a guy I know. Also, they force a lot of turnovers.

For your defense, three straight games holding teams to 10 points. What has been the key to the consistency?

"Each and every week you're striving to get off the field. That's the key to playing good defense, when you're sitting on the bench and the offense is out there. We just have to keep being consistent, be assignment sound, winning first down and going on to second, and then winning third down and getting off the field. We have to keep that up. It's important this week."

Translation: The ultimate motivating factor for these guys to work hard is that the better they play on defense, the less they have to play defense. Everyone likes time off, and that includes football players. If they get off of the field quickly enough, Domata may start preparing his turkey for next Thursday. I also wanted to let you know that second down is what comes after first down and also right before third down. Crazy.

Vontaze (Burfict) has played some snaps, not as many as he used to. How have you judged his impact?

"It's a huge impact. His impact playing and his knowledge of the game. I think he brings his physicality, his playing ability, and his mental ability impact the football team."

Translation: Basically, he's our best and smartest linebacker. It doesn't take a rocket geologist to figure out that he makes us better.

Have you noticed a different energy when he's out there?

"I don't know if I notice a difference. I think he brings it. He's one of our leaders out there and he's obviously a very good player."

Translation: I didn't notice it, except I did notice that he brings it. I'm not really wanting to make a whole lot of sense here. In fact, I'd like to see if I can literally make your head spin with my nonsensical syntax.

Did you know that you guys and (Mike) Zimmer have the top two defenses in the NFL in points allowed?

(nods)

Translation: I cannot express how much I do not care about this tidbit.

Is that a coincidence?

"The key to it is the next seven weeks, and then go from there."

Translation: I didn't even dignify your last question with a verbal response. What makes you think that I'm going to expand on it here? If I could just tell you to f*** off without getting fined, I would.

Coming off a loss, what are you looking for in your team in a tough environment on Sunday night?

"We've got to play better. Plain and simple."

Translation: As Josh Kirkendall says, the key is to score more points than the other team. If we do that, we will win.

How do you limit the penalties?

"We've got to do things right all the time. We have to make sure our hands and everything are in the right spots. Sometimes things that are flagged aren't quite penalties, and sometimes they are. We just have to make sure we stay out of that gray area, make it more difficult for mistakes to be made, and that we're not fouling"

Translation: We have to not even put the thought of a penalty in the minds of referees. The NFL isn't really sure what constitutes a penalty at this point, so if it's even close, they're going to be flinging those flags because it's just fun to do. The more flags thrown, the more they get to talk on national television. If we can stay out of the grey area, you'll get to see less of their stupid white and black shirts on television.