The 1 and 1 Bengals travel to Carolina today to take on a struggling Panthers team with a rookie QB making his debut start today in Jimmy Clausen. Bengal’s D coordinator, Mike Zimmer is looking to feast and should confuse the rookie early and often with a plethora of different defensive schemes. Look for the Bengal’s offense to wake up as well in a big way today.
My esteemed guests this week are Mr. David Huber, or “Hubes,” Mr. Chris Nesbitt, or “Nez,” and Mr. Grift Krehnbrink, or “Queen City Kid.” They will provide their thoughts at the end of each quarter.
Weird is the best way to describe this quarter. The Bengals throw an INT on their first drive only to have Jimmy Clausen mishandle a snap and give it right back. Late in the quarter, Carson tosses up a horribly underthrown ball to TO that gets picked. The rookie, Clausen, on the next play, makes a horrible throw to Steve Smith to give the ball right back to Cincy. Talk about an erratic, back and forth 1st quarter. The quarterback play has been god awful. The only adjective I have for this quarter is “weird.” I feel like I am watching a lower tier high school football game. Nonetheless, Cincy leads 7 to 0 and has the ball. In addition, it was nice to see Brian Leonard back out there running hard.
Hubes: “Carson’s best days are behind him. Long behind him.”
Nez: “Despite a lot of sloppy play, the Bengals are in a good spot, as long as Clausen is under center for the Panthers.”
Queen City Kid: “Carson just looks abysmal. He has not been the same for years now.”
I am absolutely speechless. Carson has a 22.2 QB Rating with two horrendous interceptions. Minus the play of Maualuga, Gresham, and Shipley, I am not sure what team I am watching. The offense is horrendous in every facet. Thank god we have reliable special teams play in our punter Kevin Huber and kicker Mike Nugent. Not to mention we are lucky that Jimmy Clausen is the starter for the Panthers on this day. Also, the clock management for the last 45 seconds was absolutely unacceptable. Dennis Roland should be ashamed of himself. I am happy to be up 10 to 0, but just because a team is winning does not mean they are playing well. This Bengal’s team better play smarter and better in the 2nd half, or they could be on their way to blowing a very winnable game on the road.
Hubes: “Kevin Huber, MVP of the first half.”
Nez: “This is not quality football.”
Queen City Kid: “To the Carolina Panthers, get me a new quarterback, or get me a cheddarwurst.”
Boring and dry. Other than one extended touchdown drive from Carolina, not too much to say. The Bengals continue to dominate time of possession and are doing all they can to hold on. Cedric is carrying the load as Carson’s struggles mount. Will Carson ever live up the hype?
Hubes: “Bengals better cover the spread.”
Nez: “This game is too close for comfort.”
Queen City Kid: “Clausen is showing signs of life. Probably had a nice halftime.”
They did what they had to do. Got crucial stops. Nugent continues to make both short and long field goals. And Cedric Benson came up with some big plays offensively. Kudos to the defense on a great game even though they were going up against an overmatched rookie QB.
Hubes: “Boring game.”
Nez: “I will take the W. But it was not pretty.”
Queen City Kid: “I got nothing. I am speechless.”
My MVPs in this one are Mike Nugent, Kevin Huber, and Cedric Benson. Though the Bengal’s D as a whole played great, they were not exactly going up against a juggernaut of an offense. Still, a very solid game though, holding the Panthers to under 270 total yards. The Bengals have now won 5 of their last 6 against the NFC. The NFL is not about looking good or winning pretty. And today was a prime example of winning ugly.
The Bengals get to head to Cleveland next week. Hopefully they can move to 3 and 1 before a Week 5 showdown against the formerly undefeated Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Carson if you are out there, please get it together. This team will live and die on Palmer, especially against quality opponents.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.