The Bengals completed a season sweep of the Ravens today and moved a half game ahead of the rival Pittsburgh Steelers atop the AFC North. For 2 weeks, the Bengals have played from ahead and spared the fans of Cincinnati the cardiac trauma they have inflicted for the majority of this season. Today’s game with the Ravens was full of storylines. Lets look into a few of them..
Carson Palmer looked awesome in the first half and played steady throughout just holding on in the end there. Carson’s legs and guts continue to wow me every week. He is looking like the Carson of 05 at times, with the addition of scrambling ability, leading this team to victories. Cedric Benson once again rushed for over a 100 yards against a Raven’s D that simply does not give up 100 yard rushers. So Benson’s storybook year continues.
Chad OchoCinco looked awesome at times making amazing circus catches. Once again though, he got a little too flashy with 8 minutes left in the 4th and had a crucial fumble that really could of put the game in jeopardy had the Ravens kicker sunk the 38 yard field goal attempt soon thereafter. I will state though that he is having a great year and the hard work he put in this offseason is really showing. Chad not only looks very happy to be playing football, but he looks happy to be playing football in Cincinnati. Winning can really make a difference.
Brian Leonard once again looked great on 3rd downs and really has come up with some big plays for this team quietly this season. Ed Reed, sporting the look of Kimbo Slice, looked out of sync for most of the game but did come up with a big play in stripping Chad OchoCinco in the 4th. Though Reed missed some tackles which is very unusual for him, he has a knack for coming up with big plays and did in the 4th today.
Ray Lewis was all over the field as usual looking like he is still under 30 out there. Also, Chris Henry went down with a broken forearm today. This will hurt the Bengals. Though Chad, Coles, and Caldwell all look solid, Henry is a great big play threat off the bench and seems to be coming into his own when he gets PT. Henry will be missed and I hope that he can come back before the end of the year. Finally, lets give a shout out to Mr. Joseph and Leon Hall. The former 1st round draft picks of the Bengals seem to finally be reaching their potential with 4 interceptions apiece this season. They really are turning into some lock down corners.
So the Bengals are 6 and 2 for the first time since 1988. They are for real with a 4 and 0 record against the rugged AFC North. This division has to be in the argument as possibly the toughest division in football. They have 3 legitimate playoff contenders. One of these 3 probably will not get into the playoffs, but they are all 3 tough football teams. Should be very interesting to see what happens down the stretch in the AFC North.
For the Bengals though, it is now Steeler week as they get ready to take on their hated rivals. If the Bengals can take this one on the road they will have swept both the Steelers and Ravens and really have the inside track to the AFC North title..Who Dey Nation feels pretty good at this time..
Stay tuned for Edition 57.