For the first time in Cincinnati Bengals franchise history, the Bengals sweep the division with a 16-7 win over the Cleveland Browns today. Carson Palmer had an unimpressive day thanks to poor protection by the offensive line, going 13 for 24 for 110 yards and a single TD to the under-rated TE J.P. Foschi. Former Chief RB Larry Johnson came through for 107 yards on 22 carries in a “backup” role, while starter Bernard Scott had 87 yards on 18 carries. Scott suffered a turf toe injury early in the game.
Both C. Trent and Joe Reedy also report that Cedric Benson is chafing at the prospect of sharing carries with LJ, adding an ugly note to an already unattractive win. The Bengals committed 10 penalties that cost them 75 yards and multiple scoring opportunities. But the defense held against a Browns team clearly playing with nothing to lose. Still, if the Bengals hope to make any noise in the postseason, their offense must play better, particularly the offensive line. G Bobbie Williams did not look good today, and LT Andrew Whitworth drew a killer holding call. RT Dennis Roland struggled mightily, and that led to Anthony Collins seeing more time. Andre Smith did gret some snaps but clearly the Bengals could use him more on the line.
In the end, I will happily take the win, but Cincinnati still has plenty of room for improvement.