When I looked at the Bengals schedule about a month ago I noticed a big difference between their upcoming home games and road games. The home games didn’t have any powerhouses listed on there but the road schedule was full of them. And then there was
When the game started it looked like my worrying was for not. The Bengals took the opening kickoff and went on a 14 play, 9 ½ minute drive that resulted in their first touchdown. The defense came in and did their job forcing the Raiders to punt shortly after getting the ball. After a Carson Palmer fumble and a Raiders missed field goal the Bengals marched right down the field again and scored. They seemed to be in charge.
The Bengals offense wasn’t able to get much going in the second half. The Raiders defense came out in full force and put big time pressure on Carson and company.
Fortunately for the Bengals they weren’t the only team in their division who had a bad weekend. The Steelers lost to less than impressive Chiefs team to remain a game behind the Bengals while the Ravens blew a chance to knock off the undefeated Colts. They remain two games backs. A win by the Bengals would have given them a good lead in the division and taken a little pressure off for the tough schedule ahead.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s game it doesn’t look so tough with the 1-9 Cleveland Browns coming to town for the second annual Battle Of Ohio. But losing to the Raiders last week should be a good indication that there are no easy games in the NFL. In the Bengals first meeting with the Browns it took them until 14:56 into overtime to finish off the then winless Browns. When these two teams play you can throw out the records because they know each other so well.
The Browns will have a little bit of a different look than when they meet in Week 4. Brady Quinn has replaced quarterback Derek Anderson as the starting quarterback, who had actually replaced Quinn back in week 4. Quinn had a big game last week against the lowly Lions but it wasn’t enough to win the game as
The Bengals look to be in pretty good shape coming into this game. Marvin Lewis is feeling confident that Cedric Benson will be able to play this week. If not, Bernard Scott will get the call again – Scott had an impressive 119 yards in his debut as starter last week. The only other significant injury looks to Domata Peko who strained his knee last week but he is hopeful to play as well.
The Bengals come in as 14 point favorites. I believe the Bengals can win by that amount but with way they have getting conservative on offense when they have the lead I don’t know that they will extend it that far. I would hope that last week's result will change that mentality. I do expect the Browns to put up a good fight but the Bengals will not have back to back let downs. I’ll take the Bengals 31-24.
After two consecutive road games the tailgate crew finally gets to do it up again at Longworth Hall. The Browns game is always one of my favorites. It has to be because there are always a bunch of Browns fans there and I have about 8 songs on the playlist that bash the Browns. We’ll have to get there a few minutes early so I can play them a couple extra times. Anyone coming to the game is welcome to stop by and get harassed!