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I'll take Palmer over Orton


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The big wrinkle in the latest love fest for the Ravens and their over-rated Defense is the fact that blitzed more against the Broncos. Whoopty-Doo. Palmer is 10 times the QB Orton is and he'll light them up when they do blitz. Enjoy!

It looks like the players are saying the same thing about being underdogs...I like it.

Another underdog day


Posted Nov 5, 2009

Palmer led the Bengals to a last-minute victory over the Ravens on Oct. 11.

Posted: 5:50 a.m.

Just another day at The Office.

Here are the Bengals, undefeated in the AFC North with a win over the Ravens on the road just 25 days ago and one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL with seven wins against Baltimore who is still cool enough with his teammates to roll up his shirt sleeves like Dwight Schrute.

And they are still underdogs at home against said Ravens in Sundays 1 p.m. game at Paul Brown Stadium.

Yeah. Im a little surprised. I didnt know it, but I dont care, either, Carson Palmer said at his Wednesday news conference.

Here is Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, with an average of nearly five catches per game for 15.3 yards per catch against these Ravens in 17 games, saying and doing all the right things in a week he dropped in on offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski during his Tuesday night off to discuss the game plan. And yet the Ravens are favored by three in most circles even though their best receiver didnt have a catch against the Bengals last month.

I like it. I like flying under the radar, The Ocho said. We have to earn our respect. Weve won some late games. That might be the reason were still the underdog right now because were not putting up 40 a game.

Here is Rey Maualuga, the exciting rookie linebacker who helped the Bengals hold Baltimores high-flying offense to one touchdown last month and is now preparing for a game in which each team is expected to go back to its X-and-O roots.

And hes talking about how much he admires Ray Lewis and his Ravens linebackers, the linchpins of a defense that throttled Denver last week in a game that is probably the main reason the oddsmakers are going with Baltimore.

Nobody knows about us, said Maualuga of his own linebackers that have been a big part of the Bengals quiet No. 5 rank against the run. This is a perfect game to make a name for ourselves.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis couldnt have asked for better odds. He has painstakingly pounded into his players that they are overlooked and under loved and the us-against-them mentality has struck a chord on a roster where a miniseries cast of players has either been injured (Palmer), ignored (Maualuga), or in exile (Cedric Benson).

Now that the Bengals are 5-2 and in first place and still not favored fits right into Lewis scenario.

It doesnt bother me. I prefer it. I think a lot of people dont believe in us yet. They dont think were over that hump yet, said wide receiver Andre Caldwell, who got his team over it in Baltimore with a touchdown catch with 22 seconds left. They think we just won a couple of games late and its a fluke.

But what weve got here is 53 guys in the locker room that know we can do it. I know it because of how hard we work. I always remember what Coach (Urban) Meyer taught me (at Florida): Make practice so hard during the week that the game is easier than the practice.

Setting the tone for it all is Palmer with his aw-shucks confidence on and off the field. No one really wants to try and explain his success against one of the NFLs perennial top defenses.

Bratkowski shook his head after Wednesdays practice and said, Listen, every inch you gain against Baltimore is hard. They are a good defense. You have to fight, scrap, dig, claw for everything you get. And Carson plays with a lot of confidence against them. He understands what theyre trying to do.

The numbers are there. Palmer is 7-3 against Baltimore with three of those wins coming in fourth-quarter rallies. Hes got an 87.9 career mark against a defense where passer ratings go to die.

I actually wasnt aware of that, Palmer said of the success. Weve always had good game plans against them. Weve matched up pretty favorably against them. I think because Marvin was there and he won a Super Bowl, Baltimore week is always a real big deal. We have so much respect for them. We look at them as one of the best teams in the league and definitely one of the best defenses in the league. We know we have to be on our A game. We know weve got to play great. We know one little mistake can lose a game in an instant, because they capitalize so well on mistakes.

Its probably those factors, but mainly the respect for the organization. Its one of the best in all of sports, the way they draft and the way they take care of their players, and their coaching is always great. So youve got to play really well to beat these guys.

Palmer doesnt exactly lead a romper room locker room, but they know when to cut up and when to go back to business. The quarterbacks highly competitive game of throwing accuracy during Fridays practices have led to some outrageous scenes.

For instance, after Palmers brother Jordan lost a game, he had to dress for a road trip like a fool recently. Which meant he made the trip to Baltimore wearing skin-tight sky blue pants complete with a grade-school suit coat. He also had to show up once dressed like 340-pound right guard Bobbie Williams for a walkthrough, right down to the big shoes and hiked-up shorts.

No one is immune. Not even Carson.

When he lost a game, he had to go on the Cleveland trip dressed like Dwight Schrute, the social skill-less salesman on the TV show The Office. But Jordan complained that Carson could rarely be seen in the white short-sleeve button-down shirt because he spent the trip hiding behind Williams and left tackle Andrew Whitworth.

Wouldnt you if you were dressed like Dwight Schrute? Palmer asked. I didnt have any of that stuff. Jordan provided the clothes and I wore them.

On Wednesday, Ochocinco called Palmer over to his locker for a joint news conference. When The Ocho just gave the straight party line, Palmer kidded him by leaving and saying he wasnt controversial enough.

Hes changed his approach to the media, Palmer said later. He has his own news network now, which is a big deal. Im sure you guys love that. But yeah, hes very politically correct. Its a nice change, but its also nice to hear the old Chad every once in a while, and Im sure well get to that point sometime this year.

So while it may be a loose locker room, the all-business approach of Lewis is never far behind. He put a new clock back in the locker room this week that counts down to the game by days, hours, minutes and seconds. Complete with a Ravens logo.

Bratkowski wasnt so much surprised that The Ocho dropped in for a late night visit Tuesday. He used to do that all the time as a younger player, but it is something he hasnt done the last couple of years.

I think hes just realizing this is fun and that youre not always going to have football, Bratkowski said.

The Ravens are still favored, though, after ending their three-game losing streak last week against Denver, 30-7, in a performance that was every bit as impressive as the Bengals 45-10 win over the Bears.

We set ourselves up for that, Palmer said. When you win four games the year before, people dont expect you to be on top of your division, and to beat a team that went to the AFC Championship game last year, back-to-back times. Im sure that has something to do with it. But I could care less whether were over-looked or under-looked. At the end of the year, if youre playing in the Super Bowl, people think youre pretty good. And you are pretty good if you make it that far. Thats our goal.

Or, as left end Robert Geathers said, We like it. We like being the underdog. Who cares what the gurus say?

It is shaping up to be a guru game, though, where the teams are going to go back to do what they do best. The Bengals offense has noticed that against Denver the Ravens pressured the quarterback more than they did against the Bengals last month and they expect some of that because the Ravens had so much success against the Broncos.

They were coming off a bye week and they were definitely working on some things, Whitworth said. Different styles. Different lineups. They threw in some new wrinkles. They brought a lot more pressure against Denver. I think they just figured theyve got the talent and the ability and theyre going to get a little more aggressive with teams.

In the beginning of the season, what youre used to with Baltimore and Rex Ryan, last year and the years before, they brought (the pressure) a lot more often against us. This year, not as much. Any defense goes off what theyre good at. Last week they had a lot of success bringing a lot of pressure.

Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer noticed the same thing on offense, where the Ravens rolled to last years AFC championship game behind a punishing running game. Denver got a pretty good dose of running back Ray Rice and not as much Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

They can still throw it, Zimmer said, but I think any time a team isnt winning, they go back to some of the things they do really well, what they do best. And they run the ball well.

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I'll take Palmer over Orton

Yeah, who wouldn't ??

On a side note, has anyone noticed how when a team comes from behind in a game, the analysts go on and on about how it develops character and toughness that can't help but be a catalyst for propelling a team into the post season towards the end of the season and when they bring up the fact the Bengals have been able to do that multiple times this season against the STOUT defenses of Baltimore and Pittsburgh there's nothing but crickets ??

Bullsh*t I'll tell ya !!!

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