TGIF: Odom Likely Out Sunday


In the sorry slog that is this season, the only breaks the Bengals seem capable of catching are of the injury variety. Now DE Antwan Odom, the team’s prize acquisition in free agency, awaits the results of an MRI after injuring his shoulder in practice. Also not practicing Thursday was Cedric Benson, listed as having a back injury, and DT Pat Sims was limited due to a balky knee. Benson returned to practice this morning but Odom believes he’s probably out for the Eagles game on Sunday.

At 1-8, Doc suggests that the Bengals should basically quit punting. OC Sideshow Bob Bratkowski isn’t amused. But the idea is hardly crazy, as Greg Easterbrook pointed out a couple years back.

"Romer put the opening quarters of all NFL games from 1998 to 2004 into a database, then analyzed when coaches ordered punts, when they went for it, and how these decisions had an impact on field position on subsequent possessions. Here are Romer’s three key conclusions. First, inside the opponent’s 45, go for a first down on any fourth-and-7 or less, unless a field goal would decide the game. Second, inside the opponent’s 33, go for a first down on fourth-and-10 or less, unless a field goal decides. In Romer’s sample years there were 1,068 fourth downs in which the above formulas said go for the first down, yet NFL coaches kicked all but 109 times — meaning they went for it only about 10 percent as often as they should have. Finally, Romer’s numbers say that an NFL team should try for the first down on any fourth-and-4 or less, regardless of where the ball is on the field. Of course some fourth-down tries would go down in flames and even create easy scores for the other side. But over the course of a season of rarely punting, Romer maintains, the team that eschewed the punt would score more than it otherwise would, while its opponents would score less."

B.J. notes that head coach Marvin Lewis isn’t drawing rave reviews these days. Still, regarding the heat of Marvin’s seat, Muckraker Mike gets it:

Whodeyfans breaks down the Eagles versus the Bengals. Bengals Stripes breaks down The Eagles versus The Bangles.

Kirk declares that “to be more competitive, the Bengals need better starts.” To which I can only add that they could also use better management, better coaching and better players.

WDR launches phase three of “Project Mayhem,” a boycott of stadium concessions and merchandise.