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'Bungles' No More

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http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-b...ov=ap&type=lgns

The 'Bungles' are finally history

By JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer

December 5, 2005

CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Bungles are buried. Finally.

For 14 years, they were one of the NFL's constants -- a constant source of losses and material for late-night comedians.

Their pratfalls and pathos endured through two stadiums, four head coaches and a dozen quarterbacks. They lost so often that they made history -- one of only three teams since 1950 to go 14 years without even one measly winning record.

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A 38-31 victory Sunday in Pittsburgh changed everything. Instead of making history, their run of futile football is now relegated to history.

Bye-bye Bungles. Hello, Bengals.

"My dream has always been that this organization would be one that year-in and year-out would be in this position, and no more talking about what happened 14 years ago, that that was your last winning season," 10th-year offensive tackle Willie Anderson said Monday.

The victory over the Steelers left the Bengals at 9-3, assured of their first winning record since 1990 and on track for their first playoff appearance since that same season. They've got a two-game lead over the Steelers and, with a victory over Cleveland on Sunday, would own the tiebreaker, too.

As a result, a win over the Browns at Paul Brown Stadium coupled with a Steelers' loss to the Bears on Sunday would clinch the division title.

Instead of making comic monologues, they would make the playoffs.

"We have an opportunity to have a home playoff game in Cincinnati," coach Marvin Lewis said. "We still have a lot of football to play, but it's time to stop hiding from it. It's time to go sit in the front row."

Until the latest victory, the third-year head coach had never mentioned the playoffs, preferring to take a nearsighted approach with his young team. When the season started, only 12 players remained from the 2-14 team that Lewis assumed.

The win in Pittsburgh evidently convinced him that this group won't get caught up in its success story. Win nine games? Many of them did that in college.

"I don't know that they've had any success yet," Lewis said. "We're so young, it really doesn't matter to them. They come out of successful programs in college, so they don't know any different. You've only got 12 guys that don't know what success is."

For that downtrodden dozen and their fans, win No. 9 was as significant as they get.

"Times have changed, like black-and-white TV and then color TV," receiver Chad Johnson said.

And the man with his hand on the dial, er, remote is quarterback Carson Palmer, having a season that surpasses all expectations. He threw three touchdown passes without an interception in Pittsburgh, running a no-huddle offense smoothly in the Steelers' home-field maelstrom.

Palmer is one of the few Bengals who has never known losing. He won the Heisman Trophy at Southern Cal, leading the Trojans to an 11-2 record and an Orange Bowl win in his final season. The Bengals then went 8-8 in his first two seasons in Cincinnati.

The only losing record attached to him was an 0-3 mark after his first three games against the Steelers. His performance on Sunday shattered that brief stretch of futility.

The Bengals tried a dozen different passing hands during their 14-year run, including a pair of first-round draft picks -- David Klingler and Akili Smith. None ever came close to doing what Palmer has done in only his second season as a starter.

He leads the league with 26 touchdowns, ranks second to Tom Brady with 3,149 yards and is second to Peyton Manning with a passer rating of 106.6. He has thrown only seven interceptions in 399 attempts and has completed 68.7 percent of his passes, best in the NFL.

"He's playing at a serious high level right now," Anderson said. "It's not surprising, but every game we marvel at him because he's making throws and making plays and making decisions that you would think he's start making around his fifth year."

Now that Palmer has gotten his personal breakthrough, the Bengals are in position to make a different sort of history. Bungling has been replaced by winning.

"It's a situation this organization hasn't been in for quite a while," Palmer said.

How long?

The last time the Bengals had a winning record, Sam Wyche was the coach, Boomer Esiason was the quarterback and Ickey Woods was doing the touchdown celebrations -- the Ickey Shuffle, in his case.

And franchise founder Paul Brown was still around to pass along stories about his early years of coaching, when fans were becoming enthralled with watching games on television.

In black and white, of course.

And the congregation says, AMEN!!

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"We have an opportunity to have a home playoff game in Cincinnati," coach Marvin Lewis said. "We still have a lot of football to play, but it's time to stop hiding from it. It's time to go sit in the front row."

:cheers:

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Both of those articles were certainly good reads. Palmer is getting more and more huge praise as the weeks progress, and as the offesne evolves into the juggernaut it already is, the media starts to see their playoff potential. We're the Colts of old with a better defense and no Patriots standing in our way (well the Colts themselves will certainly pose a challenge!).

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I dont know about you, but at the end of the Pittsburgh game I felt such joy I started to cry a little bit. This is my first winning season that I am able to experience in my all my 18 years. The other ones I was too young to remember.

It has been a really long wait for all of us, now lets enjoy it.

Thank god the days of Dave Shula, Bruce Coslet and Dick LeBeau are over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank You Marvin and Co.!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :cheers:

WHO- MOTHER f**kIN -DEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:bengal:

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How does Manning have a higher rating? carson did better last sunday and he was higher going in to the game

This same question was posed in a recent thread. Here ya go.

LINK

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im f**kin pumped too. 15 f**kin years man, 15 f**kin years.

WHO f**kIN DEY!!!!!

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A loss to the Clowns on Sunday and Kay will be the first blowing his Bungles horn.

Right at the top he'd have the loss in 2003 in the season finale, also known for the game Corey Dillon threw all his junk in the PBS stands, which he would no doubt have right up there too. That loss didn't cost them a playoff shot as it turned out but it could have and they should have never lost to that team.

Just like the Bengals should beat the Clowns on Sunday...but the 2005 Bengals are a light years better than the team 2 years ago and should beat the Clowns convincingly.

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I dont know about you, but at the end of the Pittsburgh game I felt such joy I started to cry a little bit. This is my first winning season that I am able to experience in my all my 18 years. The other ones I was too young to remember.

It has been a really long wait for all of us, now lets enjoy it.

Thank god the days of Dave Shula, Bruce Coslet and Dick LeBeau are over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank You Marvin and Co.!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :cheers:

WHO- MOTHER f**kIN -DEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:bengal:

As good as those past winning seasons and playoff appearances felt, they were still bittersweet. To get to the Super Bowl only to leave empty handed hurts and leaves you feeling horribly empty. My orange and black striped heart still bears the scars from it. I have a good feeling about this Bengals team though. I bengalbelievers9cd.gif that they will help heal the scars in all Bengals fans hearts in Motown!

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i am 30 years old . i watched the bengals play the niners in the superbowl. i thought sometimes this time would never come . a winning season a great coach and a very very good young team . i am very excited about the future of this team . marvin will lead us to a championship . can i get a big WHO DEY FROM ALL

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