Bengals News

Lewis: Still Work to Do


The return of the Cardiac Cats has Bengaldom feeling its roar for the first time since 2005, but mind head coach Marvin Lewis: “After looking at the tape, obviously there’s a lot of correction to be made.”

Indeed, that’s the most striking thing — to me, anyway — about the Cincinnati Bengals’ 23-20 victory over visiting Pittsburgh yesterday. It’s not just that they pulled out their first win against the Steelers at PBS in forever, but they did it while playing like crap for the first half of the game.

Granted, “crap” is a bit strong for the D, which twice held Pittsburgh to field goals in the first half, but the offense provided more than enough cow patties to stink the joint up for both units. Carson Palmer was as bad early as he was good late, and Sideshow Bob brought back his patented run-run-pass-punt playbook from 2008.

Even when they started to get untracked in the second half, basic competency eluded them (yes, I’m talking to you, Brad St. Louis). Long-time fans have seen this game before, but in reverse: a team comes into PBS, plays poorly, yet still escapes with a win because the Bengals can’t capitalize. Yesterday, neither team managed to string together four quarters of good football…yet somehow, at the end, the Bengals had more points.

I’ll take it. Gladly.

Now, attention turns to Cleveland, which once had a professional football team, but now appears to have something that might qualify for federal disaster relief.

It’s a classic trap game, sandwiched between bouts against Pittsburgh and Baltimore. And an inability to consistently win games against bad teams has been a long-time Cincinnati bug-a-boo. And so for a fourth week in a row, we get to learn a bit more about this year’s squad. Will they do what winners do, and take care of business against the Browns, or will they give a still-skeptical media another opportunity to dismiss them?