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Scouting Report: Sputtering Bengals look to regroup on Sunday

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    By Jay Posner, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009



    After three weeks on a Raiders-Browns-Lions diet, Cincinnati last week faced a winning team for the first time in a month, and it wasn’t pretty. The Bengals lost by 20 points at Minnesota as they recorded season lows in passing yards (91) and total yards (210) and gave up a season-high 30 points.
    Still, Cincinnati is in position to clinch the AFC North with just one win in the final three games, because it has a 6-0 record against its division rivals, and the Bengals get a home game next week against lowly Kansas City. But any chance of getting a first-round bye depends on whether they defeat the Chargers on Sunday.
    To do that, the Bengals will rely on a defense that has allowed more than 20 points just three times this season, although the Chargers have not scored fewer than 20 in more than a year. Cincinnati’s offense would appear to be ill-suited to get involved in a shootout; only twice all year have the Bengals scored more than 23 points, and if you take away a 45-point outburst against Chicago, they’ve averaged 16.9 points a game in eight of their last nine games, scoring 17, 17, 17, 18, 17, 16, 23 (vs. Detroit) and 10.

    THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Cedric Benson, RB: Despite missing two full games and half of another with a hip injury, Benson went over the 1,000-yard mark (1,065) last week for the first time. He has five 100-yard games and the Bengals are not afraid to give him the ball; he has had 34 or more carries in three games. The Bengals are 7-0 over the last two years when Benson carries at least 25 times, and given the way the Chargers have shown vulnerability against the run, he figures to be busy Sunday.

    Chad Ochocinco, WR: His act might be tired to some, but he remains a threat on Sunday. The receiver formerly known as Chad Johnson is far and away Cincinnati’s top pass catcher, with 65 receptions for a 14.4-yard average. He’s not quite the big-play threat he used to be, but he does have seven TDs.
    Leon Hall, CB: Vista native and former Vista High star was the Bengals’ No. 1 pick in 2007. Hall and Johnathan Joseph, a fellow No. 1 pick (in 2006), give Cincinnati one of the league’s best cornerback tandems. Both players have five interceptions this season and are a big reason Cincinnati ranks among the league leaders in third-down conversion defense.

    FAMILIAR FACES
    In addition to Hall, Bengals rookie nickel back Morgan Trent was born in San Diego, and linebacker Dhani Jones was born in San Diego and owns a home in North County. Running backs coach Jim Anderson played at Cal Western (later USIU, now Alliant International University) from 1967-69, coached there from 1970-71 and was defensive coordinator at Morse High in 1972. Linebackers coach Jeff FitzGerald was an assistant at SDSU from 1994-97. Strength and conditioning coach Chip Morton was assistant S&C coach with the Chargers from 1992-94. Receivers coach Mike Sheppard was the Chargers’ offensive coordinator in 1997-98. And quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese played at USD from 1985-88 and was a Toreros assistant in 1989. His father, Ernie, coached for SDSU and the Chargers.

    INJURY REPORT
    Defensive tackle Domata Peko (knee) and safety Chris Crocker (ankle) won’t play this week, but running back/kick returner Bernard Scott (toe) should be available for the first time since Nov. 22. The Bengals also have several starters on injured reserve, including tight end Reggie Kelly, defensive end Antwan Odom and safety Roy Williams, plus No. 3 receiver Chris Henry.

    SERIES HISTORY
    The Chargers have won four of the past five meetings and seven of the past nine to take an 18-11 overall series lead. The Bengals won the last meeting in San Diego, in 2003. The most recent meeting, in 2006, was one of the more memorable road games in Chargers history, with San Diego rallying from deficits of 21-0, 28-7 and 38-28 to post a 49-41 victory that wasn’t decided until Chris Henry dropped a pass in the end zone with 58 seconds remaining. Philip Rivers passed for 338 yards and 3 TDs, LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 4 TDs and the Chargers scored a club-record 42 points in the second half. Cincinnati’s Carson Palmer passed for 440 yards and 3 TDs.

    DID YOU KNOW?
    If Chad Ochocinco gains 63 yards in the final three games, the Bengals will have a 1,000-yard receiver and 1,000-yard rusher in the same season for just the 11th time in their history. Ochocinco will have been part of the most recent occasions, in 2002 and 2004, ’05 and ’06. Corey Dillon was the rusher in ’02; Rudi Johnson in 2004-06. (It’s happened seven times in Chargers history.)

    DID YOU HEAR?
    “Today wasn’t going to help you all that much because it was against an NFC team. It still comes down to next week no matter what happened.”
    — Unnamed Bengals player, quoted on Bengals.com after Sunday’s loss at Minnesota

    BY THE NUMBERS
    2: Bengals’ NFL ranking (tied) in scoring defense (16.7 points per game)
    3: Bengals’ NFL ranking in run defense (86.4 yards per game)
    5: Bengals’ NFL ranking in total defense (295.5)
    19: Bengals’ NFL ranking in scoring offense (20.3 ppg)
    55-54-1: Record of Marvin Lewis in seven seasons as Bengals coach, tied with Paul Brown (55-59-1) for second-most wins in club history behind Sam Wyche (64-68)
     
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    How do the Bengals plan on containing Chargers TE Antonio Gates? "You've got to play with maybe 12 or 13 guys," quipped coach Marvin Lewis. "So, if they allow us to play with 13, we'll be in good shape."


    :lol:
     
  3. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Here's a picture of the Bengals O-line...


    [​IMG]
     
  4. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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  5. sdbound

    sdbound Well-Known Member

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    That trap block is never going to work.
     

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