Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Flag Waving In Cincinnati?
Cincinnati Bengals visiting the Indianapolis Colts had all the makings for a great MNF game this year. Maybe one of the best MNF games of the year. The Bengals come into the RCA dome winning their last 4 games, two of them being against Baltimore and New Orleans. Only 33 points allowed in those 4 games, defense looks up to par and looks to be setting up for a good playoff run. The Colts on the other hand, drop 3 of their last 4 losing to the Cowboys (How bout them Cowboys!), Titans and the Jaguars. Is Monday night the best time for Manning to wake up and light up on one of the biggest stages in Professional Football? Without a doubt.
Manning throws for 4TD's, 3 to his #1 target Marvin Harrison, and the other TD to his equally favourite receiver Reggie Wayne. Game Over!
Where was the Bengals defense? Was having a rookie Corner Back covering Harrison the best decision? Well he has to learn sometime to play in the league. The Bengals switch and throw Deltha O'Neal on to Harrison but it didn't change anything. The secondary just couldn't do anything to stop Peyton and the Colts. Shame really. Now the defensive line was not bad, infact they were solid holding Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes to just over 100Yds.
Yes Addai went down with a high ankle injury, and he did have a 35+ yard run but 100Yds for two backs is not bad.
The bottom line is that the Defense was ok at best, and the offense just could not find anything against the Colts secondary, nor could Palmer get away from Dwight Freeney.
Freeney has 5.5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles this season through 14 games. Freeney had 3 sacks and 3 forced fumbles last night against the Bengals alone. Genetic Freak? I think so. Was there not a warning to the Bengals let alone the NFL saying 'do not wake the sleeping beast.' I think he is awake now and ready to take on the rest of the AFC and on to SBXLI.
The Bengals are left facing Denver and Pittsburgh. Palmer and the Bengals definitely need 1 win but they have all the tools to win both games. The hardest of these games is against Denver as they are in the mile high city. Both teams are 8-6 and trying to hold onto a wild card spot in the AFC. If Cincinnati loses both of these games they become 8-8 and the mathematicians have their field day deciding who gets the wild card spots in the AFC.
There was a quesiton mark with Palmer at the beginning of the season with him coming off his knee surgery. But what happened to Chad Johnson and Houshmenzadeh? Not as dominate as they were a season ago. And there is a hole in the defense that is noticeable to the upper tier quarterbacks in the NFL.
Is it time to panic in Bengals land? Are they back to being the Bungals? Just look at them as being the New England Patriots. Always around and always ready to fight in the games they need to win.