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Bengals offense quietly is sputtering

As the Bengals prepared to face the Browns two weeks ago, a member of the Cleveland media asked Cincinnati receiver Chad Ochocinco whether the team misses receiver Chris Henry.

“No,” Ochocinco said, with a tone in his voice that suggested, “Why in the hell would you ask that?”  (And even though the plain text of the sentence indicates that Ochocinco didn’t actually say, “Why in the hell would you ask that?,” we still need to point out that he didn’t say it.  Otherwise, some of you will think that he did.)

The facts suggest that it was a very good question.

Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer explains that the team’s offense has been struggling of late, specifically in the passing game and in the red zone.

Henry suffered a season-ending broken arm in Week Eight against the Ravens.  Since then, the Bengals have slid from first in the league in red-zone touchdown percentage to 11th.

They also rank 18th in total offense, and 21st in passing.

“You expect to score every possession and never come off the field or
never punt,” quarterback Carson Palmer said, per Reedy.  “There have been games where we’re running
the ball play after play after play and we’re in our own stadium
getting booed for that.  But that’s what gets a win.”

Reedy explains that, between Week Seven against Chicago and Week Eight against the Ravens, Cincinnati scored on 10 straight drives with Palmer at the helm.  In 53 drives since scoring their last touchdown against Baltimore, the Bengals have scored only four touchdowns.

It doesn’t mean the Bengals have no shot at beating the Vikings.  All year, the Bengals have risen to the challenge of playing good teams — even if two of the teams they beat twice each might not have been all that good.  But if Cincy wants to win, they either need to pump up the passing game or play great defense against a pretty good offense.

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39 Responses to “Bengals offense quietly is sputtering”
  1. joey365247 says: Dec 12, 2009 1:18 PM

    ahh way to go Florio.. your crackhead steeler team has fallen and you still have to take shots at the team that has surpassed them..
    WHO DEY

  2. Hauschild says: Dec 12, 2009 1:21 PM

    The Bungles are gonna take one helluva beating on Sunday.

  3. Hap says: Dec 12, 2009 1:21 PM

    That’s cHap to you boy.
    Everybody hear about The Cheats and their mascot/team ? Whole damned org is crumblin’.

  4. No means yes, right Ben? says: Dec 12, 2009 1:24 PM

    The problem is Bob Predictakowski, the most predictable offensive coordinator in the league.

  5. Vikes-N-Favre says: Dec 12, 2009 1:26 PM

    The Vikings will be playing not only pissed off, but they are playing at home where they are undefeated this year. They are a tough team to beat in Minnesota for any team.

  6. PervyHarvin says: Dec 12, 2009 1:28 PM

    The Bengals have not scored an offensive TD in the SECOND HALF since Oct. 25 vs the Bears! The Vikings are averaging a little over 31 points a game at home this season. Just can’t see the Bengals keeping up with us there. Vikings will shut down the run as always and force them to pass. Bengals have only passed for 3 TD’s in the last 5 games vs. secondaries such as Det. and Cleveland,Oak. and Balt. Vikings by 10,2 picks thrown by Palmer.

  7. Bob Nelson says: Dec 12, 2009 1:38 PM

    Nothing gives an offense a shot in the arm like playing the Vikings.
    The Vikings pass defense is:
    28th in completion % given up.
    26th in pass plays >20 yds surrendered.
    24th in QB rating against.
    22nd in yards/pass play.
    23rd in INT’s.
    Watch Ochocinco celebrate!

  8. Hosstyle In Tampa says: Dec 12, 2009 1:38 PM

    Title of this post: awkward…

  9. DC_Bengals_Fan says: Dec 12, 2009 1:41 PM

    “The Vikings are averaging a little over 31 points a game at home this season. Just can’t see the Bengals keeping up with us there”
    I think the game will be a blowout. I just can’t figure out for which team.
    It’s true that the Bengals pass offense has been sputtering. But, on the other hand the Bengals have a very good defense. And when Brett plays against good defenses, he starts throwing lots of balls to the other team.
    So if the Bengals score a couple first half TDs as they often do, Brett might finish the job for us by throwing our corners a few picks.

  10. bluestree says: Dec 12, 2009 1:44 PM

    With EJ Henderson out, and the Vikes O line and secondary nicked up, this is the perfect time for the Bengals to pull the upset. Carson Palmer needs to make a statement, and Ochostinko should get open against whoever is heathy enough to cover him, including Winfield. He’s gonna tell Karl to “Pay MAH rent!” No doubt Cincy is looking first and foremost at how the Cards shut down Jared Allen. Without an effective pass rush, the Bengals can light ‘em up like Ricky Williams after scoring a pound of the chronic.

  11. cballlv11 says: Dec 12, 2009 1:45 PM

    I’m no grammer expert, but shouldn’t the headline say “Bengals offense is quietly sputtering”?
    Just sayin…

  12. trickbunny says: Dec 12, 2009 1:51 PM

    Holy shit… When thinking of the Bengals record this season, I never really paid attention to their opponents’ overall records. So I just looked it up.
    The Bengals opposition, to this point, has a combined record of 46-64.
    That’s 46-64. That’s who the Bengals have built their 9-3 record on. “Who dey”, indeed.
    Two of their three losses have come against teams with a below-.500 record.
    After the Vikes, only the very beatable likes of the Chiefs and Jets are next.
    The Vikings will be the only teams they’ve faced with a better record than them this late in the season.
    And now the offense is slowing down?
    Never mind tomorrow- they are *so* gonna get slaughtered once they face teams who DON’T suck in the playoffs. I’m thinkin’ one and done.

  13. Champs says: Dec 12, 2009 1:51 PM

    Yes, but if the Vikings are anything, they are tendency breakers. They’ve beaten the Lions over and over again, but it’s been years since they haven’t let them hang around for three quarters. Expect the Bengals to fix their “woes.”

  14. Fan_Of_ Four says: Dec 12, 2009 1:57 PM

    # Hosstyle In Tampa says: December 12, 2009 1:38 PM
    Title of this post: awkward…
    ___________________________________
    And Florio had the audacity to call someone out about his use of the English language in his Sunday Night chat.
    Bengals offense quietly sputters.
    There ya go Florio, you can copy and paste that so you don’t look like a tool.

  15. trickbunny says: Dec 12, 2009 1:58 PM

    Bob Nelson says:
    December 12, 2009 1:38 PM
    The Vikings pass defense is:
    28th in completion % given up.
    26th in pass plays >20 yds surrendered.
    24th in QB rating against.
    22nd in yards/pass play.
    23rd in INT’s.
    ———————————————-
    One stat you might have forgotten: 10-2 record.
    But then again, the Vikes have built that record playing most of the chumps of the NFL- kinda like the Bengals. Should be interesting…

  16. Majik Man says: Dec 12, 2009 2:03 PM

    DC_Bengals_Fan says:
    It’s true that the Bengals pass offense has been sputtering. But, on the other hand the Bengals have a very good defense. And when Brett plays against good defenses, he starts throwing lots of balls to the other team.
    _________________
    Yep, just like all of those picks he threw against the Packers, Ravens, and Steelers. One pick in 4 games against top 10 defenses, and that one pick he did throw bounced off of Chester Taylor’s hands. Nice try buddy, I guess it takes some fans a bi

  17. Majik Man says: Dec 12, 2009 2:04 PM

    DC_Bengals_Fan says:
    It’s true that the Bengals pass offense has been sputtering. But, on the other hand the Bengals have a very good defense. And when Brett plays against good defenses, he starts throwing lots of balls to the other team.
    _________________
    Yep, just like all of those picks he threw against the Packers, Ravens, and Steelers. One pick in 4 games against top 10 defenses, and that one pick he did throw bounced off of Chester Taylor’s hands. Nice try buddy, I guess it takes some fans a bit of an adjustment period to get used to success without spouting off ignorant remarks.

  18. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Dec 12, 2009 2:12 PM

    I can’t wait to listen the the viking whine line after the game on the fan.
    Talking about AP’s fumbles and lack of yards, and Brett’s picks, it’s gonna be a long cold December for viking fans.

  19. DocBG says: Dec 12, 2009 2:15 PM

    attention bob nelson aka superdouche
    when the opposition is almost always playing from behind, and cannot run worth a damn against the vikings, AND we’ve been missing the CB in the division for the last how many games, what would you expect to happen to pass defense?
    But then again, rational thought isn’t one of your strong suits is it?

  20. KrazyTrumpeter05 says: Dec 12, 2009 2:25 PM

    # joey365247 says: December 12, 2009 1:18 PM
    ahh way to go Florio.. your crackhead steeler team has fallen and you still have to take shots at the team that has surpassed them..
    WHO DEY
    ———————————
    It’s not taking “shots” if it’s true…

  21. slow2spk1 says: Dec 12, 2009 2:33 PM

    Amazing-when the Steelers won the SB in 05 they were a run only team with Big Ben managing the game and only throwing 15-20 times a game. They relied on their defense to keep it close and used their running game to grind down opponents. The Bengals in 05 had Carson throwing it 30-40 times per game and had no defense to speak of. They scored points in large numbers and were fun to watch but their only hope was to score more points then the other team.
    Fast forward to 09 and the Bengals are using the exact same blueprint that the Steelers employed to win their championship. They may not win pretty but they win using a tried and true formula of stifling defense and a solid ground game. While it may not be as popular as schemes like the wildcat or as fun to watch as the greatest show on turf it’s been proven to win Championships. Perhaps other teams will pick up on the fact that the “Sputtering Offense” wins games.
    Looking forward to the game tomorrow and thanks for this great site.

  22. Julius Norman Esiason says: Dec 12, 2009 2:37 PM

    I wouldn’t get too worked up about the lack of offense the past 5 games. They played the two very solid defenses in the Ravens and Steelers, and were VERY conservative offensively against the putrid Raiders, Browns and Lions.
    There’s not doubt that the Bengals are missing Chris Henry as a deep threat between the 20’s, and as a big target in the red zone. However, Ced missing a few games with the hip injury is the primary cuase for the decline in red zone efficiency. B. Scott filled in admirable in his absence, but Ced’s power running and the play action game is what made the Bengals so potent in the red zone until he went down.
    Look for things to get back on track this Sunday, and for the #1 ranked scoring defense to show up as always, as Cincy finishes off the sweep of the NFC North, and shocks the country yet again!
    Who Dey!!!!!!!!!!

  23. habibfromnewdehli says: Dec 12, 2009 2:40 PM

    The Bengals are fighting for that 2nd seed in the AFC, which includes a BYE week.
    The Vikings have nothing to play for. They’ve pretty much locked their division up, and the 2nd seed in the NFC. They can’t, realistically, catch the Saints.
    The Vikings also have players they would love to rest due to nagging injuries:
    Favre, Peterson, Harvin, Chester Taylor, Antione Winfield, etc.

  24. cheeseweasel says: Dec 12, 2009 2:40 PM

    How many passing yards came against the Vikes when they had the game won? Huh Bob Nelson?

  25. BonnieD says: Dec 12, 2009 2:58 PM

    One of those “not very good teams” that we beat twice has already beaten the Vikings.

  26. oruacat2 says: Dec 12, 2009 2:59 PM

    Damn, Florio, I’ve been saying all along that we would miss Chris Henry. He’s our only deep threat. When he broke his arm against the Ravens he was finally getting healthy from the quad injury he suffered at the beginning of the season. In pre-season Henry was our best WR – he couldn’t be covered, and I think he scored a TD in the first half of 4 straight games. Caldwell will be a good one, eventually, but what the Bengals need is for last year’s 2nd-round-pick Jerome Simpson to get his head out of his ass, or for Maurice Purify to pick up the slack.
    KD

  27. JoeSchmoe says: Dec 12, 2009 4:39 PM

    @Majik Man
    You think Minny over the past decade or so has really qualified as “successful”? You can’t talk like the Vikes are some juggernaut or something… without signing Brett the mercenary Favre, this team is .500 rolling with Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels.
    Blow yourself and Don Majkowski too… and if you’re a Packer fan, we beat your ass already so…

  28. Adam-Chris Scheftersen says: Dec 12, 2009 4:45 PM

    trickbunny says:
    December 12, 2009 1:51 PM
    Holy shit… When thinking of the Bengals record this season, I never really paid attention to their opponents’ overall records. So I just looked it up.
    The Bengals opposition, to this point, has a combined record of 46-64.
    That’s 46-64. That’s who the Bengals have built their 9-3 record on. “Who dey”, indeed.
    Two of their three losses have come against teams with a below-.500 record.
    After the Vikes, only the very beatable likes of the Chiefs and Jets are next.
    The Vikings will be the only teams they’ve faced with a better record than them this late in the season.
    And now the offense is slowing down?
    Never mind tomorrow- they are *so* gonna get slaughtered once they face teams who DON’T suck in the playoffs. I’m thinkin’ one and done.
    ————————–
    Trickbunny indeed. That’s a nice trick–making up bullshit and passing it off as the truth. Why did you think the Bengals’ opponents have only played a total of 110 games? Do you realize that the Bengals have played 12 games (twelve opponents)? And that each of their opponents has played 12 or 13 games? By definition, that means their opponents have played at least 144 games.
    The Bengals’ opponents’ true winning percentage is .405–actually lower than you thought. And the Vikings’ opponents’ winning percentage is slightly worse: .397.

  29. BonnieD says: Dec 12, 2009 4:58 PM

    Hey, Trickbunny, did you know that the combined record of ALL the teams the Vikings has played is 48 – 74? They’ve only beaten one winning team, and that’s Green Bay. They lost to Pittsburgh, who Cincy beat twice. This year they have played Cleveland, Detroit twice, San Francisco, St Louis, Baltimore, Green Bay twice, Seattle, and Chicago. That doesn’t sound very impressive, does it?

  30. Majik Man says: Dec 12, 2009 5:32 PM

    JoeSchmoe
    This is the attitude I’m talking about. Calm down, pee pants. Just stating a fact that Favre hasn’t exactly melted down against good defenses like your fellow Bungles fan suggests.

  31. Favre On HGH says: Dec 12, 2009 5:44 PM

    They may not win pretty but they win using a tried and true formula of stifling defense and a solid ground game. While it may not be as popular as schemes like the wildcat or as fun to watch as the greatest show on turf it’s been proven to win Championships. Perhaps other teams will pick up on the fact that the “Sputtering Offense” wins games.
    Looking forward to the game tomorrow and thanks for this great site.
    SKOL VIKINGS!

  32. Majik Man says: Dec 12, 2009 5:50 PM

    Hey Bonnie, did you know that the Bengals have beaten only one team with a winning record, the Packers, and they only did it once. And did you also know the Bengals got beat by the Raiders and the Texans? The Bengals have played Cleveland twice, Baltimore twice, Houston, Chicago, Detroit, and Oakland. That doesn’t sound very impressive, does it? Think before you post, please.

  33. BonnieD says: Dec 12, 2009 6:39 PM

    Hey majik: I was responding to Trick bunny’s post, which you obviously didn’t read. Read before you post please.

  34. cusoman says: Dec 12, 2009 6:43 PM

    Bob Nelson says:
    December 12, 2009 1:38 PM
    The Vikings pass defense is:
    28th in completion % given up.
    26th in pass plays >20 yds surrendered.
    24th in QB rating against.
    22nd in yards/pass play.
    23rd in INT’s.
    —————————-
    10-2.

  35. Deb says: Dec 12, 2009 7:03 PM

    @Bunnyhop …
    You’re continuing to grow on me ;-)

  36. Majik Man says: Dec 12, 2009 7:15 PM

    Hey BonnieD,
    I was aware that you were replying to Trickbunny, was kind of tipped off by the opening of your post when you said “Hey, Trickbunny.” Doesn’t change the fact that you’re cutting down the Vikes based on schedule, when the Bengals schedule is equally weak, and you have more losses. So again, think before you post.

  37. Majik Man says: Dec 12, 2009 7:25 PM

    Adam-Chris Scheftersen says: December 12, 2009 4:45 PM
    Trickbunny indeed. That’s a nice trick–making up bullshit and passing it off as the truth. Why did you think the Bengals’ opponents have only played a total of 110 games? Do you realize that the Bengals have played 12 games (twelve opponents)? And that each of their opponents has played 12 or 13 games? By definition, that means their opponents have played at least 144 games.
    ________________
    Adam, if you had a brain in your head, which we all know you don’t, you would realize that each team in the NFL plays their division rivals twice. After 12 games and playing their division opponents each twice, this would take 36 games off of their opponents’ total played games, you dolt. Next time, stop for a second before accusing someone else of slinging shit, and make sure that you yourself is not full of it. Because this time, as with most every other occasion, you are.

  38. Riece Williams says: Dec 12, 2009 7:33 PM

    Bengals are just another garbage team with high hopes because they beat a bunch of worse teams. They won’t go far in the playoffs, infact they’ll go one and done, the only reason they’ll get there is because they other two teams who were considered “contenders” in their division suck as well.
    The Vikings are a better team, though we’ve seen just about their limit. If they cannot run, they will never win. Brett Favre has proved to be a gunslinger who throws caution to the wind. He and Peterson alone will making the Vikings go one and done.

  39. Adam-Chris Scheftersen says: Dec 14, 2009 12:08 AM

    Majik Man says:
    December 12, 2009 7:25 PM
    Adam, if you had a brain in your head, which we all know you don’t, you would realize that each team in the NFL plays their division rivals twice. After 12 games and playing their division opponents each twice, this would take 36 games off of their opponents’ total played games, you dolt. Next time, stop for a second before accusing someone else of slinging shit, and make sure that you yourself is not full of it. Because this time, as with most every other occasion, you are.
    ——————————-
    Wha??? Why would that take 36 games off their opponents’ total played games? Idiot.
    You count it twice. If you happen to play New Orleans twice, don’t you have to face their offense twice? Shouldn’t you get credit for facing them twice? Think about what you type prior to actually touching the keys, moron.

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