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Thread: Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @ PBS

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    Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @ PBS

    Bengals Been There Before
    By: Geoff Hobson

    The days have grown as short as the fuses.

    There is one day left to the opener now and when the Bengals and Ravens tee it up in front of the nation Monday night it will be exactly 253 days since Santonio Holmes and the Steelers ran off with the Bengals' playoff berth.

    "I know the guys that have been here with me and been here before me are getting sick of the trend," said defensive lineman Bryan Robinson. "Fed up and tired of that trend; not winning the games that count."

    That's how long it seems when you lose those last three. But remember. The Bengals won a Very Big Boy Game not all that long ago.

    In fact, it was the last time they played the Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium and it was by 13-7 last Nov. 30, and, yes, that was on national TV because it was beamed by NFL Network.

    Which is a mere four games ago. That is like dog years in the feed-the-beast world of the NFL offseason.

    "That was a pretty big win. Baltimore had the second best record in football last year," said wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

    But the Bengals know those victories over winning teams were few and far between last year. They were only 3-6 against them.

    "It's not about the defense playing well, or our offense vs. their defense," said defensive tackle John Thornton. "It's not time for one group to shine. It's time for this team to really grow up, and play well on a big stage."

    So when even head coach Marvin Lewis says this is a big game instead of the standard issue "They're all big," you know it's big.

    "Yes, it's important that out best players play well in big games and this is a big game," said Lewis with a smile, so ready to agree because he has been pounding this theme since Holmes celebrated in the PBS end zone in overtime.

    And that's why it may seem so long ago. During this offseason, Lewis jumped on some pretty big names about performing in the clutch this offseason (read Chad Johnson) and this may be why Lewis believes, "I think we're poised to do so. I think our guys are excited and anxious to play."

    And Lewis should know. The Bengals haven't lost a game in September since, well, Sept. 26, 2004, when the Ravens beat them at PBS, 23-9, in Palmer's third NFL start.

    Certainly Johnson is ready. He's been grousing and praising the criticism all at the same time since training camp started, saying he can't wait to prove the critics in his own nest wrong.

    Certainly they seem anxious to blow away some of the national perceptions, which has some of it right about the defense. But not all. Last year this defense gave up exactly nine touchdowns in six division games and just two in two games to this Ravens team that won the AFC North at 13-3.

    But Peyton Manning lit up the Bengals defense for all to see on a Monday night and two weeks later Holmes walked through it in overtime and now the defense is back to where it always is.

    Under siege. Beleaguered. Not as bad as people think and trying to prove they're good enough so their team can win some big games.

    "We had a hand in some wins last year," said defensive end Justin Smith, and certainly at least half the wins (Kansas City, Carolina, New Orleans, Baltimore) can be directly attributed to the defense.

    "It's like in '05,' Thornton said. "We had a good year. We went 11-5. But we lost to Indy (on Sunday night) and in the playoffs, the games that everybody watches, and that's how people remember you.

    "Yeah, it's a national game. We've got to win it. But when you say 'Beat an elite team,' I consider Baltimore in our class. We're in the same class. They haven't won a Super Bowl in awhile."

    Yet you can still sense a bad taste in the mouth from wins against good teams that got away last season. The Falcons were 4-2 when the Bengals lost by two. The Ravens were 5-2 when the Bengals gave Baltimore 14 points in the game's first four minutes of a 26-20 loss. The Chargers were 6-2 when the Bengals blew the 28-7 halftime lead, and the Broncos were 8-6 at home when Cincinnati outgained Denver by 56 yards and lost by one.

    "That's it," Houshmandzadeh said. "It's those games that you think might not be that important that you don't get and when you get to the end of the year you wish you had them."

    Thornton's fellow captain, Carson Palmer believes his team has crossed the threshold.

    "A mature player comes into the game plan knowing the game plan and how he needs to execute his job," he said. "A lot of times, young guys aren't quite sure on some plays, you're not quite sure about the 2-4 defense, the 4-3, the nickel 3-3 that they sub to. I think we have guys that have played against these guys and have the experience from year after year after year, and we're just more mature. Just a year more mature than last year."

    Big stage? Remember how this offense stunned a very good Denver defense, 23-10, in the first Monday night game in Cincinnati 15 years back in 2004? Palmer was the quarterback. Johnson was the wide receiver who rocked Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey on his heels.

    But that was three years ago.

    Dog years in the NFL.

    "We've been here before," Thornton said. "We've had a lot of success early in the season the past couple of years, which is good. We don't have to prove anything to anybody. We've got to play for ourselves and make sure this team comes out of this with a win. If we play great defense and lose, that's not going to mean anything."

    http://www.bengals.com/news/news.asp?story_id=6262
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
    "Cheering for Kentucky is like watching Star Wars and hoping Darth Vader chokes an ewok"


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    Re: Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @

    This could potentially be such a HUGE "statement game" for both our offense AND our defense.

    ::fingers crossed::

    P.S. What about the Browns today?? How are our resident Browns fans dealing with today's "performance?" Do you want the coach fired? Brady starting? Players benched? All of the above??
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
    "Cheering for Kentucky is like watching Star Wars and hoping Darth Vader chokes an ewok"


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    Re: Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @

    If anybody heard Chad during the UC game, he said that if we win this game we win the division. I sure hope he is right.
    If you can't build a winning team with that core a fire-sale isn't the solution. Selling the franchise, moving them to Nashville and converting GABP into a used car lot is.
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    Re: Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @

    The thing that worries me most about this game is the state of the offensive line. The Bengals have been pretty successful against the Ravens in the past IMO because the offensive line has been able to handle their pass rush and blitzes. I guess Willie and Levi are both ready to go but who knows how effective they will be. The Bengals have a new starter in Stacy Andrews at guard and it looks like they will be without starting center Eric Ghicauc. If this unit can gel quick tomorrow, I think the Bengals win. But if Willie or Levi can't go and/or Stepanovich can't handle the pressure, I fear for Carson's health...
    "In our sundown perambulations of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing 'base', a certain game of ball. Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms, the game of ball is glorious"
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    Re: Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @

    Quote Originally Posted by WilyMoROCKS View Post
    This could potentially be such a HUGE "statement game" for both our offense AND our defense.

    ::fingers crossed::

    P.S. What about the Browns today?? How are our resident Browns fans dealing with today's "performance?" Do you want the coach fired? Brady starting? Players benched? All of the above??
    I'm nervous about tomorrow night's game. I have no idea what to expect. I just hope they show up strong and win on national TV. They seem to do well on the national stage the past two years. I just hope they keep it up.

    If I were a Browns fan, I would definitely want Brady Quinn on the bench right now. They have a lot of new pieces-parts on the OL and it's going to take some time for them to gel into a cohesive unit. It looked like they were getting shoved around pretty good by the Pittsburgh DL. If they do indeed bring in Brady Quinn this season, I'd wait until the halfway mark in the season, when the OL has more experience working together, and pick a low pressure match-up against a non-division rival.
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    Re: Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @

    I'm excited for this game Bengals football is finally here.
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    Re: Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @

    I know the Sunday night game is now considered the weekly "showcase" game, but for the Bengals to open up at home on MNF and have their first two home games on MNF is big. That's pretty good after going from 1992 to 2004 (I think that's correct) without having a MNF game.

    As for tonight's game, I never thought the Ravens were as good as their record last year. They were one of the softest 4-0 teams in recent memory. Their record will drop off this year, and they'll finish second or maybe even third.
    Last edited by macro; 09-10-2007 at 09:44 AM.

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    Re: Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @

    Im not too worried about this team. I just dont see how the upgraded the team from last year to this year. Last year they had a good season but the bengals and their d made the Ravens look very average. McGahee was supposed to be the difference maker but he isn't they back that he was his last year at Miami. McNair is old as is Mason. Lewis is good but isn't the player he was a few years ago. I take the bengals wr's over the ravens db's any day of the week. I don't see the Ravens defense frustrating Palmer and shutting them down. I also don't see McNair beating the team. I will take my chances when any team's top offensive weapon is a TE not named Gates.

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    Re: Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @

    My prediction:

    Bengals 16

    Ravens 13

    An ugly game with turnovers and special teams being the difference.
    "We know we're better than this, but we can't prove it." - Tony Gwynn

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    Re: Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @

    Bengals 38, Ravens 35 in a slugfest.

    Yes I know the Bengals have no D and the Ravens have great D, but this matchup will take on a life not like the teams usual MO.

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    Re: Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @

    Open week, reasonably nice weather -- neither plays to the strength of the Ravens offesnse, which will be to pound, pound, pound, and pound.

    My prediction:

    Bengals 27
    Ravens 17

    Not that I'm happy about this. If I had my way, I'd want everyone in town to be as miserable as I was after watching the Bucs have their lattes handed to them by Seattle.
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    Re: Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @

    Go Ravens

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    Re: Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @

    My prediction
    Bengals- 31
    Ravens- 28
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    Re: Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @

    You guys really think it's gonna be high scoring game?

    I know it sounds strange, but I think the Bengals will be pretty good at stopping the run this season, the Ravens have never had any threats at WR, and their offensive line is banged up.

    The Bengals will get one or two big plays, but I don't think they'll be able to run consistanly.

    I just can't see anything but a defensive/special teams battle.
    "We know we're better than this, but we can't prove it." - Tony Gwynn

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    Re: Bengals vs. Diseased Bird Flu Avians (Ravens) - Monday Night Football! 09/10/07 @

    Because I'm usually wrong:

    Ravens 24, Bengals 17

    Palmer isn't going to have enough time to get anything deep and Rudi is gonna constantly face 8 in the box. Lots of blitzes will mean the passing game will need to consist of quick slants and screens if it's going to be successful. Bengals D is really the X factor in my mind. If they can stop the big play and give the offense decent field position, it should be a good game.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 09-10-2007 at 06:11 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.


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