Ox Posted December 11, 2007 Report Share Posted December 11, 2007 What I liked, what I didn't, Rams editionI got back to my hotel in lovely downtown Cincinnati and channel-flipped most of the night. Funny thing, whenever I stopped at SportsCenter, I never seemed to find the Bengals-Rams highlights. Saw a lot of the Patriots-Steelers, Cowboys-Lions, etc. Did they even show the Bengals game, or was the game such an afterthought they didn’t even bother?I can’t blame ESPN if they didn’t. This was a lackluster game involving two teams going nowhere. If anything it was a testament to the hardiness of the Bengals fans who chose to brave the cold and rain to watch their team.Here’s what I liked and didn’t:What I liked:DeDe Dorsey. He’s probably too small ever to be a workhorse running back, but he can do some serious damage with 8-12 touches a game. He has often said he runs as if he doesn’t want to get hit, and as Marvin Lewis would say, that’s a good thing. He has exceptional quickness. Give him a sliver of space and he’ll find it.Rudi Johnson at the end. He gained more than half of his 92 yards on Cincinnati’s final drive. Finally, he didn’t dance in the hole or spin upon contact. He saw a hole and hit it. No messing around, just the old Rudi. Where’s that been all year?The defensive line. Dexter Jackson said after the game that the Bengals knew they had to gang-tackle Steven Jackson, that one man wouldn’t be enough to bring him down consistently. The Bengals did that. I thought defensive end Justin Smith, whatever his stats, did a superb job holding the edge and not letting Jackson get outside. I liked the hustle of players like tackle Domata Peko, who should be a solid player for years to come.Dexter Jackson. Jackson too often has been more bark than bite for the Bengals. He embraces his role as a defensive leader, but he’s also had his share of missed tackles and blown coverages. Yesterday, he was everything the Bengals needed him to be, particularly with Madieu Williams out with a thigh bruise. Yes, he got blown up by Steven Jackson on a long run, but that was as much the fault of his teammates for not providing run support. The rest of the game, he was lights out. He had a knack for timing the Rams’ snap count and forced a fumble one time when he crushed Steven Jackson before he had a chance to secure the ball. He even stayed step-for-step with Pro Bowler Torry Holt on a deep incompletion.What I didn’t:Carson Palmer. This is the first true slump of his Bengals career. Three out of his last four games, he has looked quite ordinary. Sure, the weather had something to do with it, but it seems opponents are sensing what’s coming. That was certainly the case on the interception returned for a touchdown. Palmer’s first interception was the fault of the ball bouncing off T.J. Houshmandzadeh to a Rams defender. But if he gets a free pass for that one, he got lucky when St. Louis dropped an easy interception in the end zone.Houshmandzadeh: In addition to the interception, he also allowed the ball to be stripped from him for a fumble. On the plus side, he later made a nice run after the catch for a key first down. But for a guy who has been the Bengals’ MVP and had a disappointing game last week, it wasn’t the bounce-back he was looking for.Rudi until the last drive: See dancing and spinning comment up top.Marvin Lewis’ distribution of carries: Yes, Johnson’s production on the last drive gives him some ammo, but I still don’t understand how a coach can watch DeDe Dorsey run three times for 78 yards in the first half and then give him one touch in the second half. I understand that different plays are divvied up for different runners, but Dorsey provided the primary spark in a game low on wattage. He’s been with the team for months. Surely, he has more than four plays he’s capable of running. Also, I found it telling that Rudi Johnson said afterward that in the end that the Bengals decided to pound the ball even though that’s what the Rams expected at that point. Even Lewis alluded to the commitment of “Rudi” runs. (He wouldn’t clarify exactly what that meant). My question is, shouldn’t the Bengals have been running “Rudi” runs for Rudi all along?Oh well. A win’s a win, even against a team quarterbacked by Brock Berlin.Posted by Bill Rabinowitz on December 10, 2007 11:52 AMhttp://blog.dispatch.com/brabinowitz_bengals/ Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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