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Monday, August 11, 2008

Bengals First Impressions

First string defense seems to have a little spark. Opened with a couple of quarterback sacks - hopefully a sign that more will be coming. Got a pick on their second series. I do see where they need to hit and wrapwhen they tackle. There were several plays that could have been stopped for little or no gain and sprang for big yardage when the runner slipped out of a tackle.

I didn't realize that Brett Favre had only one losing season during his stay at Green Bay -
pretty impressive. Aaron Rogers has his hands full stepping into the shoes of a legend.
But at least he was able to move the ball, so credit is due. Carson Palmer seemed a little
cold in the first quarter. The offense was lethargic to say the least. Overthrew deep once and dinked some short passes. It looked like Carson Palmer was the quarterback that had only thrown 59 passes in the NFL and Aaron Rogers looked like the seasoned pro.

Running game was nothing to write home in the first quarter. Ominously, Rudy Johnson is having leg problems. But in the second quarter the running game took off under Watson and Perry. Maybe they made some adjustments on their blocking assignments. But the running game finally got the Bengals a first down, and more. Their first TD was a Palmer pass to a tight end, Utecht. Palmer finally got into a groove. And that will really spread defenses thin if the Bengals can continue using the tightend. Most times a tight end will draw coverage from a linebacker which will generally be a mismatch either in height or speed. In the past, the Bengals haven't been able to field tight ends with decent hands.

The new linebacker, Rivers, played in the second quarter, albeit when the Packers started to put in their backups. But he played well from what I could see. Palmers backup, Fitzpatrick, did a decent job while he was in the game. Connected with his recievers as well as tucking the ball and running for first down when everyone was covered. Not bad for a guy from Harvard - not exactly known as a football school.

Not going to make any projections here, too early to tell. One positive that can be taken from this is that Perry seems to have that eye of the Tiger this year. He was running like a guy that needed to prove himself. Rudy is getting to the end of his career and if he continues to ail, then Perry may be the answer for the running game. So long as he stays healthy. Another positive was the pass pressure from the defense. Not in there every time, but often enough to disrupt the offense.

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