Bengals Hurting as Houston Looms
The Bengals have rearranged some of the deck chairs on the Cincitanic in an effort to kill some time between Sunday beatings. Head coach Marvin Lewis held another press conference full of injury news, such as the fun fact that the team has three, count ’em three, wide receivers in boots: Antonio Chatman, Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson. Meanwhile, Kirk passes along a tidbit from SI’s Peter King that Carson Palmer has talked with Panthers QB Jake Delhomme about Delhomme’s (successful) experience with “Tommy John” surgery.
In short, the good news just keeps on coming.
Moving on to the aforementioned next Sunday beating, the Bengals will travel to Houston to take on the Texans, who are 0-3 versus Cincy in team history. That includes a Chad Johnson-guaranteed victory in 2002, when that year’s also 0-7 Bengals team went to Texas for their first win.
What are the chances that history repeats itself? Iffy at best. While the 2-4 Texans aren’t a good team, they have shown themselves capable of beating bad squads — if just barely. Houston is coming off a two-game win streak, topping Miami 29-28 and Detroit 28-21, after dropping their first four. They could easily be 3-3 or 4-2 right now, having lost to the Colts and Jaguars by a combined 7 points.
Meanwhile, the Bengals have been outscored 64-24 in their last two games. The team has put up 12 or fewer points in 4 of 7 games to date, and 14 or fewer in 5 of 7. And in the only two games in which it topped the 20-point mark, Cincinnati had Carson Palmer behind center. In Houston, Ryan Fitzgerald will start once again.
Still, for those who insist on not heeding my advice, Houston Chronicle sportswriter John McClain offers this to buoy your spirits:
"Here’s the other history lesson for the 44 Texans who weren’t on the roster in 2005. The Texans led St. Louis 24-3 at halftime at Reliant Stadium. Ryan Fitzpatrick, a rookie quarterback from Harvard, replaced the injured Jamie Martin. Fitzpatrick threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns — the last one in overtime to pull out a 33-27 victory.Fitzpatrick, a blast from the Texans’ sordid past, starts for the Bengals on Sunday in place of the injured Carson Palmer. No doubt he’ll feel quite comfortable at Reliant, his home away from home. The Texans’ defense might be better off against Palmer."
Go ahead. Believe. I dare ya.