I don't know what to think. The Bengals lost a game they deserved to lose, albeit it a fluky way. The best way to do this is just to run down my quick thoughts. If you agree or disagree let me know.
- Run defense. Particularly Rey Maualuga and Keith Rivers. It's hard properly convey how I'm excited I am to see these two in orange and black for the forseeable future.
- Pass defense. Not that the Broncos have the '99 Rams passing attack, but I liked what I saw from Joseph (almost nothing was thrown his way) and Hall (who made a play every time the ball was in his area).
- Pass rush. The Broncos very well may have the best set of tackles in football, but the Bengals were still able to get a good rush on Orton, even rushing four. Harbinger of things to come, hopefully.
- Cedric Benson ran hard.
- Carson Palmer playing football. I think he may have lost a bit of zip but I'm glad to have him back.
- Chad Johnson looking like vintage Chad Johnson. Say what you will, and I have, but when the guy is motivated he's really, really good. Even against a corner like Champ Bailey.
- Bubba Caldwell in the slot. He looked solid.
- Lav Coles drops. I'm not too worried about this, he doesn't have a history of dropping passes. Still, not a great start to his Bengal career.
- The offensive line. In particular Anthony Collins. He was just bad, bad, bad. The run blocking was awful, the pass protection was worse. However, we saved some serious cheddar by keeping Andre Smith in Alabama for an extra month. Savvy move, Mike Brown. Intentionally submarine your season, give yourself a built-in excuse for failure, AND save $3-4 million?
- Cedric Benson isn't very good.
- Keeping four running backs and playing one. Of the other running backs, Bernard Scott had one carry (actually a lateral on a bubble screen), Brian Leonard had two carries (one on a fake punt) and DeDe Dorsey was inactive. We cheered the decision to keep all four, but it's pointless if you only play Benson.
- The rejuvination of Chris Henry. Carson said that the safeties were as far off of the line of scrimmage as he's ever seen, so I'm willing to cut him a break for now. Still, if he's ever going to be anything more than a third wideout, he has to do something other than catch the deep ball on a consistent basis.
- Roy Williams. Absolutely an abomination of a player. He's after one thing - hitting someone as hard as he can every play. Whether or not that helps the defense, or he makes a tackle, or lets a fluke play with 20 second to go happen because he goes to make a useless tackle instead of playing the situation, it doesn't matter. Big hits. Highlights. Recognizable name.
- Bob Bratkowski. We'll cover this more later, hopefully. War and Peace isn't long enough to properly describe how awful he is. Let's just say this - the run game is established. It's terrible. That's it. We don't need to establish it any further.