Sunday, October 28, 2007

Game Thread, Week 8: Cincinnati Bengals

Well, if we're going to crucify John Harris for some of the worst writing seen outside of freshman composition, it's only right to point out that this Lawrence Timmons piece ain't bad. My advice: you're a much better reporter than columnist. Take that for what it's worth.

Okay, about the game: First, for old times' sake, here's last year's Week 17 thread. Good schadenfreude-tastic stuff. Back in present day, the Steelers have made a habit of sticking it to the Bengals in Cincinnati. But Pittsburgh hasn't shown much resilience on the road this year, so I don't know what to expect. That's not true -- I know exactly what to expect, but every time I say so before the game, I Eddie Mush things. So this time, I'm keeping quiet.

I will say this, though: The Bengals are without Willie Anderson, and their linebackers corps are a bunch of castoffs, and converted defensive end, Robert Geathers. And honestly, Geathers is probably the best of the bunch right now. Although, I remember being pretty psyched about Dener being without Champ Bailey and Javon Walker. Yeah, that really worked out well.

Earlier this week, I read somewhere (can't remember where) that even though Palmer's DPAR/DVOA numbers are pretty good, his interceptions are up. And not because Ocho Cinco has suddenly become selfish -- that's a crock (and one that I was guilty of perpetrating after the Pats' game) -- but because he misses Chris Henry. Teams can double-team Johnson and Houshmazilly, and the whoever the No. 3 is can't be man coverage.

Of course, if the same Steelers defense that showed up in Denver is on the field tomorrow, Nameless No. 3 guy could have a big day. But unlike the offensive line, a group of guys I have no confidence in, Richard LeBeau is pretty good at making game-to-game adjustments. I'm less impressed with his in-game abilities (anybody have any examples of when the Steelers' D improved from one half to the next? Nothing comes to mind). Frankly, I feel dirty even bad-mouthing LeBeau, but after the first few series against the Broncos, I had absolutely no confidence in Pittsburgh's defense making a stop.

Hopefully, the Steelers will run the ball on every play, lose by 40, just to placate all the fans who were upset Bruce Arians didn't "pound the rock" last week. You know, because that's STEELERS FOOTBALL ... except that it's not (but facts mean nothing to these people). Alright, enough silliness, it's time to get all Ralph Hinkley on their ass.