Bengals Tailgate Report: Week 11

Bengals Tailgate Report: In Control of the AFC North

11/17/09 in NFL   |   Aceraison   |   183 respect

It wasn’t pretty but it was effective.  The Bengals went into Heinz Field Sunday as 7.5 point underdogs against the defending Super Bowl champions and they proved the critics wrong….again.  They did it without a big day from Carson Palmer and without Cedric Benson on the field.  They won the game by playing the way the Steelers have always played, with hard nosed defense.  It was a ‘slobberknocker’.   Marvin Lewis stated after the game that this was the most physical game he had ever seen.
 

The tone of the game was set early by each team’s secondary.  The Steelers’ corners William Gay and Ike Taylor were all over the Bengals receivers.  The Bengals did manage to drive the ball to the Steelers 33 yard line where they set up for a field goal.  This move surprised me, not only because there have only been two field goals of 50 yards or more ever made in Heinz Field but because the Bengals rarely give Graham the opportunity to kick from that distance.  His kick had plenty of distance but bounced off the right upright for a failed attempt.  That setup Ben Roethisberger and company with good field position on their opening drive.  They managed to take the ball to the Bengals 10 yard line but were held to field goal.

On the following kick off Bernard Scott fielded the ball at the four yard line at returned it for the games only touchdown.  Earlier in the week the Bengals special teams coach Darrin Simmons had decided to make Scott the primary kickoff returner after Andre Caldwell had do it in the first eight games.  It paid off big with Scott scoring the touchdown and averaging 41 yards per return on five returns.

 

But Scott’s day wasn’t limited to special teams.  He had to step in for Cedric Benson when he hurt his hip in the second quarter.  It was a tough debut for Scott as the featured back as he was going against the number one rush defense in the league.  He only ran for 33 yards but he gained some good experience in tough ball game.

 
T
he Bengals defense came up big just like they had all season long.  Not only did Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall do a great job of shutting down receivers but backups Trent Morgan and David Jones did a great job as well.   In fact they did such a good job in the first half that the Bengals were able to sack Roethlisberger three times on plays where he seemed to have all day to throw the ball.  By the end of the first half the defensive line appeared to overpower the Steelers offensive line and was able to sack him a fourth time.  That would be more times they had sacked him in the previous four meetings.

 

Any time the Bengals can go into Pittsburgh and win the game it is big.  But this particular win is huge. The Bengals are now in sole possession of first place with a one game lead over Pittsburgh.  Being that they swept the Steelers it is virtually a two game lead.  The season is long from being over and the Bengals have a much tougher schedule remaining compared to the Steelers.  But with a 5-0 record in the division and only Cleveland remaining you have to like the Bengals chances.  I can easily see these two teams meeting up again before the season is over.

 

Looking ahead to next week the Bengals travel to Oakland to take on the Raiders.  Oakland has historically been a tough place to play but recently the Raiders fortunes have not been good.  The Raiders come into this game with a 2-7 record fresh off a home loss to the equally pathetic Kansas City Chiefs.  The Bengals come in as 9.5 point favorites but this game makes me cautious of a trap.  The Bengals have not had many good games on the west coast but I’m sure Marvin Lewis will have his guys ready to play.  The Raider have the 24th ranked defense and their franchise quarterback JaMarcus Russell looks like the second coming of Akili Smith.  The Raiders did, however, get a big game out of second year running back Michael Bush last week.  The former Louisville Cardinal had 14 carries for 119 yards including a long run of 60 yards.

 

The Bengals had a little bit of a scare last week when Cedric Benson went down with a sore hip and it is questionable if he’ll play this week.  The Bengals weren’t waiting around to see if he would be able to go and they went out and signed former Kansas City star back Larry Johnson.  Johnson was considered one of the best backs in the league a few years ago but times got tough in Kansas City and his attitude went bad quick.  The Chiefs had had enough of his whining and released him last week.  Hopefully a change of scenery is enough to get him straightened out.  Surely Marvin won’t let him become a distraction.  It is uncertain at this point if Johnson will be active for the Raiders game.

 
The scariest part of playing in Oakland is facing the dreaded Black Hole.  The Raiders are known for having some of the meanest, roughest fans in the NFL and they sport some of the wildest costumes this side of a Kiss concert.  But the fans there have grown tired of the teams losing ways and are growing impatient with owner Al Davis.  Bengals fans can surely sympathize with them but it will have to wait until next week.  I am predicting the Bengals will win this game 31-13.
 

As far as the tailgating crew goes it will be another week before we get to do it up for another home game but with the way the Bengals are playing I expect a fired up crowd to be at Longworth Hall next Sunday.

Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

11/22/09   |   rogercarver1960   |   126 respect

As long as the Bengals play the Raiders like they the Steelers, they will win.  If they look at their history on the west coast, the Bengals will lose there again.

11/22/09   |   steeler7rulz   |   8 respect

good luck to the bengals  AFC North POWER

11/22/09   |   steeler7rulz   |   8 respect

oh it will my friend ,,,hell Bengals might think they are all that today and let the Raiders beat them ,,i wouldnt strap on that chin strap so loose Raiders will come out to play ,,,,,so wont the Chiefs ,,2 games and noone is safe

11/22/09   |   Aceraison   |   183 respect

steeler7rulz wrote:
Cincy v/s steelers 1st round wild card ,,,Bungholes go home ,,,looks like another 2005 playoff road trip for the STEELERS

Wait now, you guys don't have Kimo Voncheapshot anymore.  Might not work out for you.

11/22/09   |   steeler7rulz   |   8 respect

Cincy v/s steelers 1st round wild card ,,,Bungholes go home ,,,looks like another 2005 playoff road trip for the STEELERS

11/18/09   |   zballa07   |   44 respect

wow your really giving the raiders to much credit you actually predict they will score 13.

11/17/09   |   THE_Smoot   |   70 respect

100%InjuryRate wrote:
Ah, the Bengals are coming to the Black Hole. I predict..........they walk all over my Raiders.

I'd rather them be your Raiders than Al Davis' Raiders.

11/17/09   |   guylake   |   321 respect

Nice pics of the denizens of the Black Hole, avoiding the typical Darth Raider shots.

11/17/09   |   mk_donley   |   2554 respect

Expect the Bengal defense to intercept the Artist Formerly Known As Jemarcus Russell 7 times.

11/17/09   |   BengalsFan1288   |   204 respect

The Bengals SWEPT the Steelers for the first time since 1998 - It IS sweet!

The game was a defensive battle. Both GREAT offenses were stymied by even GREATER defenses.

I look forward to the Steelers-Bengals rematch in the AFC Championship!

11/17/09   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

Ah, the Bengals are coming to the Black Hole. I predict..........they walk all over my Raiders.