Chiefs @ Bengals: T.J., Chad Both Out


Both Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh will miss the Bengals’ season finale against Kansas City today. Chad continues to nurse a hammy injury, while Housh is down with back problems.

Rookies Anthony Collins and Dennis Roland will start at left and right tackle, respectively.

Update: Here’s kingwilly’s weekly preview!

Game 16 – 2008 Bengals Season
Chiefs at Bengals, December 28, 2008 – 1pm EST

How will the Bengals Offense Look?

This is a glass-half empty/half-full situation with Mr. Fitzkitna. Well, I am still left wondering what it is we are drinking. There are those, myself included, who felt of all the available FA QB’s that could have been had Fitzhapless was a bad choice. However, others feel he is adequate. Most of his recent success has been chalked up to having the O-line play semi-decently even with several injuries and need for young, unproven players to step in and play. For this, I commend Mr. Fitz for endeavoring to persevere.

KC has been playing hard and will show up motivated and ready to “flip the bacon and eat the eggs” so to speak (Herm-speak).

I had held the position that the future of the RB position was unclear. I feel that position must be revised after Mr. Benson put on a proper display of his true abilities. When the line blocks, even a little, he is an explosive power back with good cut-back and is difficult to tackle. Though I’d like to see him get his vision sharper, he has done very well with what he has had to work with, namely a poor, injured O-line and no true FB to pop the hole.

Now, an open note to Mr. Bratkowski: Bob, please find it in the seasonal theme of giving and give James Johnson more plays, carries or catches I don’t really care. Do this so that we may get some examples of whether we need to pine over the various allotments of RB’s this draft season. If he does well, shows progress and potential, we can wait for just the “right” RB.

Stacy Andrews suffered a torn ACL (and probably his MCL or knee cartilage) last week. He was franchise-tagged and now must be wishing Santa Claus had left him a time-machine under his tree. Would he wish he had taken a long-term deal previously on the table?

This week we will see young guys like the gigantic Dennis Roland (RT), Nate Livings (LG) solid rookie Anthony Collins (LG). Good match-up with Tamba Hali going against the 6’9” Roland.

Such a weird bunch of things going on at WR, which is begging some overall questions:

  1. What is up with TJ? He is out this week with the truly anomalous and vague “bad back”, plus no catches last week. Does not want to be tagged. Not the outward malcontent that Chad is but is he looking at the injury to Andrews and saying “not happenin’ to me, man… I am OUT!”
  2. Where are the rookies? Caldwell is getting some time in spots, starting for Chad and returning kicks. Simpson, well, at what point do you get him legit playing time? To me, it would be at any point once the season was lost. The fact he is having trouble being activated says either the Bengals have an embarrassing mistake of an r2 pick they’d prefer not get exposed.
  3. Why can’t Chad get the ball? Chad has maintained he “does what he does” which for the past 4 years means get open. So, either he is being punished for his off-season diatribes through a scheme-freeze-out, or Mr. Fitzspastic is too shell-shocked from any one of his 37 sacks or simply does not have the arm to get the ball to Chad.

How will the Bengals Defense Look?

From a unit perspective, the Bengals defense has been playing pretty well. Now, the current state of recent opponent, the Cleveland Browns, could make St. Xavier look like to 2000 Baltimore Ravens, so let’s not go on that alone.

They have been playing far better, more aggressive and disciplined football. The offense still keeps them on the field too much but the talent and scheme are far ahead of previous iterations of the Bresnehan defenses of yesteryear.

For the Chiefs, Thigpen at QB gives the Chiefs several options, a good arm and decent running ability. Anthony Gonzales is still an elite TE and will be a factor on 3rd down and in the red-zone. Larry Johnson has also chewed the Bengals up in the past, so this is no “gimme” game.

How will the Special Teams Look?

“Golden” Graham is soon to be a UFA, and Larson has played pretty awful. I predict both will depart and this ST units will need some serious re-jigging.


Injuries – The Palmer-elbow-escapade continues but his chance of playing this year was still left open, with reports of him throwing at practice coming in all week. The fact he was not sent to IR and he tied up a valuable roster spot has SoP’s fingerprints all over it.

Stadium/Fans – PBS will be full to root on the “Dead Cat Bounce” of our beloved striped footballers.

Weather – Mid 40’s and breezy.

Historically – Chiefs lead 13-11.

Relevant Stat – this game helps slot in the draft order, see StripeHype’s coverage of the draft order breakdowns in corresponding posts.

Prognosis – Chiefs 17 – Bengals 23