Sunday, September 13, 2009

Played some in the main game this weekend at the Hollywood. Loser $1 after 6 hours. Didn't play very well -- felt like I was the soft spot which was disconcerting. Maybe cause it was all old guy nits. Took a runner-runner beat early, but fought back to even, so no harm, no foul. Looking forward to playing again.

Anyway, after the Bengals magnificent loss today, I thought I'd share a local sportswriter's view on this:


Bengals find newest way to lose

By Paul Daugherty

A man could spend a lifetime in the Cincinnati Bengals gulag and never see a Siberia like the one that visited Paul Brown Stadium Sunday.

Over the decades, the Bengals have discovered any number of new and interesting ways to lose. Never like this.

It was so over. The Denver Broncos faced second-and-game from their 17-yard line. Twenty-eight seconds remained. The Bengals led, 7-6. Broncos QB Kyle Orton could accomplish some things in 28 seconds: Throw a pick, take a sack, bounce one off the shoes of Brandon Marshall.

Just Sunday morning, the New York Times had called Denver’s quarterback “non threatening.’’

In 28 seconds, Orton might threaten himself, but not the Bengals win.

It was so over. The Bengals had just driven 91 yards in six minutes to take the lead.

A day’s worth of ineptitude had yielded to the strange alchemy of talent and desperation. Carson Palmer rediscovered brilliance, Ced Benson barreled in from the 1.

Seventy-five percent of the 62,831 in attendance spilled onto concourse and into the street, offering happy ‘’whews’’ to their buddies and trying to beat the traffic.

It was so over, players on both sidelines weren’t even watching. “Did you think it was over?’’ someone asked Cedric Benson.

“Of course,’’ Benson said. “Everybody did.’’

It was so, so over, a certain columnist was writing in his notebook, “The win wasn’t impressive. The loss would have been disastrous.’’

And then. . .

Orton threw to Marshall, near the left sideline at the Denver 35. Bengals cornerback Leon Hall tipped the ball high into the air. Brandon Stokley caught the tip at the Broncos 45. And then he ran.

“I heard them tip the ball,’’ said Bengals defensive end Antwan Odom. “I seen Stokley sitting right there. I said, ‘No.’ He caught it and that was that.’’

And you thought Hard Knocks was a cable show.

Stokley even had the presence of mind to stop just short of the goal line and tightrope the visible plane, jogging left to right along the line, so as to eat up as much time as possible. It took the nearest Bengal three seconds to make him scoot into the endzone.

Broncos, 12-7.

This only happens in video games and volleyball. And here. It happens here. A black cloud lingers, on the bluest of days. The Bengals are a shrink’s life’s work, their fans make Sisyphus look like a girly-man. What happened Sunday amounted to cruel and unusual, though. Even here.

“We didn’t do enough things correct to win the game,’’ Marvin Lewis judged afterward.

Point taken. This week, please spend more time with the defense, working on the knock-the-ball-down-instead-of-tipping-it-with 28 seconds-left-and-the-ball-83-yards-from-the-endzone play.

Actually, what the coach meant was that somebody had to be close enough to tackle Stokley. Do that and you’re still looking good. Denver had one timeout and less than 20 seconds to get another 20 yards at least, for a legitimate field goal try.

“You’re two tackles from winning the football game,’’ said Lewis.

Now, the Bengals are six days from trying to must-win at Green Bay. They don’t want to come home 0-2 with Pittsburgh barging in. Sunday was a huge loss for a team that wants to be good, but maybe doesn’t know how. The spirit is more willing than it has been in years. The flesh lags.

The defense played very well, but give that an asterisk, given the opposition. Orton has won lots of games like this one, by staying out of his own way. Fret for the offense, which Carson Palmer called “embarrassing’’ and which straddled the line between ineffective and inept until the late TD drive.

Its 307 yards should have produced more than six points, but it’s hard to score when you’re shooting off your toes, one by one.

Palmer had his moments, but the greatness of ’05 and ’06 is still a snapshot in the scrapbook.

A fluke loss is still a loss. The Bengals can take some comfort in knowing they’ll never lose like this again. Then again. . .

All Content Copyright Iggy 2003-2007
Information on this site is intended for news and entertainment purposes only.

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