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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Game Notes | Week 12: Bengals @ Steelers

As many of you know, I am a Cincinnati native. I've seen this act play out time and time again. The mentally and physically soft Bengals will go into Pittsburgh and get their asses kicked up and down the field by a mentally and physically tougher Steelers team. I'm looking forward to seeing James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley brutalize Ryan Fitzpatrick and that patch-work offensive line.

If you're lucky enough, maybe I'll work myself up into a lather and really start spitting out the anti-Bengals bile tonight. I'll try to get myself rolling. . . .

So the Bengals have been making some noise about taking out Hines Ward if they get a chance. Really? So you think you're a man now? That scene is gonna play out like the initial encounter between Wyatt Earp and Johnny Tyler in Tombstone:

Bengals: Well, I'm real scared.
Hines Ward: Damn right you're scared. I can see that in your eyes.
Bengals: All right now.
Hines Ward: Go ahead. Go ahead, skin it. Skin that smoke wagon and see what happens.
Bengals: Listen, mister. I -- I'm gettin' awful tired of your. . . . [slap]
Hines Ward: I'm gettin' awful tired of your gas. Now jerk that pistol and go to work. . . . [slap]
Hines Ward: I said throw down boy. . . . [slap]
Hines Ward: You gonna do something? Or just stand there and bleed?
Hines Ward: No? I didn't think so.
NFL Network announcer and Cincinnati resident Cris Collinsworth just said that his 19-year-old daughter has witnessed one winning season in her lifetime. Ladies and gentlemen, your Cincinnati Bengals!

OK, so I just wiki'd this Chris Kirkpatrick character singing the national anthem because I remembered his name from that eminem song ("Chris Kirkpatrick, you can get your ass kicked, worse than them little Limp Bizkit bastards"). This creep is 37-years-old(!), and he was in 'N Sync. How old was he at the time that he was in a boy band with Justin Timberlake? That's just goofy. I lost a little respect for the Steelers right there. At least the Bengals have Bootsy.

Santonio Holmes gets a reception right out of the gate. What's wrong with him this season? Does he just have a little too much Pacman Jones in him? Or is it Jeff Spicolli?

Big Ben just threw a screen pass right into the hands of Bengals CB David Jones. Bad pass. He responds by drilling Nate Washington in the hands, but Washington drops it. Punt time.

Polamalu drops Cedric Benson on the first carry, which is good for Polamalu after Benson trucked him (and knocked him the fock out) last time these teams met. Let's play a drinking game. Every time Ryan Fitzgerald throws the ball 10 yards past the line of scrimmage, I'll do a shot. I don't have any liquor in the house after this past weekend, but that shouldn't be a worry tonight.

End around to Nate Washington goes nowhere. Frostee Rucker, in for Antwaan Odom, is down on the field. Jonathan Fanene is on to replace him.

Damn! I owe Ryan Fitzpatrick a shot. That one to Chris Henry probably went 15 yards. Housh, leading the NFL in 3rd down conversions, gets another one, and the Bengals are in field goal range. Wow! Fitzpatrick hits Glenn Holt with a not so noodle-armed pass in the end zone, 7-0 Bengals. That ought to wake up the Stillers.

Gary Russell brings the return out to mid-field, and Big Ben hits Nate Washington. Is Hines Ward even playing tonight? The guy gets 11 receptions last week, and the Steelers come out throwing to Washington instead. Parker tries a cutback lane and gets swallowed. Big Ben looks deep for Holmes on 3rd & 8 but it's nowhere close.

Glenn Holt just dropped a pass wide open that would have gone for a first-down. Bengals had been controlling this game, but that's going to give the Steelers the ball. Just like that the Steelers are driving with a 37-yard pass play to Hines Ward. Chris Crocker falls for the pump fake, and Ward was wide open in the middle of the field. First & 10 at the Bengals 13. Big Ben overthrows Heath Miller. Limas Sweed catches is a yard short of the first down and makes a piss-poor effort to fight for the extra yard. Steelers will go for it on 4th & 1. Gary Russell into the game as the tailback . . . extra effort probably got him the first. Parker stuffed, and Heath Miller gets the touchdown, 7-7.

On a completely unrelated note, Troy Williamson wants to fight Vikes coach Brad Childress on the 50-yard line before Sunday's game. Seriously. Here's my rotoworld blurb:
Jags WR Troy Williamson, already ruled out with a groin injury, wants to fight Vikings coach Brad Childress on the 50-yard line before Sunday's game.
The 2005 first-round bust obviously has some unresolved issues from his time in Minnesota, a feeling which we're sure is reciprocated by Vikes fans. Williamson should know, however, that Childress has placed his fighting weight at "190 pounds of twisted steel and rompin', stompin' dynamite." At the very least, we're requesting an MTV Celebrity Deathmatch.
Benson running hard, not going down on first contact, and falling forward. But it's Kenny Watson in and stuffed on 3rd & 1. Bengals tried to out-tough the Steelers and got nowhere. Willie Parker finally starting to see some room to run, but he's been held in check so far. Yes! The snow is really starting to come down now. Big Ben to Santonio for a 27-yard gain. Collinsworth says Holmes is on the verge of being a very big playmaker, but the Steelers know he has to grow up off the field. Big Ben with plenty of time to pass throws a bullet to Holmes again, and Santonio makes a nice grab for another 22-yard gain. Tight end screen to Heath Miller. Where's Mewelde? Steelers settle for a FG, 10-7.

Fitzpatrick swallowed up by LaMarr Woodley for the Steelers' first defensive point of the night. That's a major upset right now.

Limas Sweed appears to be a mental midget. He's developing slowly, he failed to put an effort towards a first-down earlier in the game, and now he gets in the way of a punt return while Holmes is yelling for him to get out of the way. Bengals ball. Rotoworld's Gregg Rosenthal says, "Everytime Limas Sweed gets a chance to do something, going back to preseason, he does something stupid." Dynasty leaguers blew an early-round pick on him.

Bengals can't do anything with the ball in Steelers territory, and Pittsburgh will get the ball with 28 seconds left and one timeout. Screen to Mewelde is thwarted by John Thornton, and that's going to end the half.

Steelers have allowed 9 points in the third quarter this season. That's amazing. I can tell you that Dick LeBeau wasn't coaching like that with the Bengals 10 years ago.

Glenn Holt drops another pass right in his brisket. Rookie Andre Caldwell comes on and catches a pass after Holt lost his shoe. Fitz goes back to Caldwell on third-down, but it's not close. Steelers starting to put the pressure on Fitzpatrick. Ha! This ref is clueless. Interrupts himself in the middle of a call because he doesn't know which side the penalty is on. Where's the "giving him the business" ref when you need him?

That's why Big Ben's a badass. Third & 4, he scrambles and drags guys about 8 yards for the first down. Bomb to Santonio Holmes, and it's underthrown. You gotta wonder if the shoulder was a problem on that throw. Bengals blitz and Big Ben reads it to find Holmes who picks up 19 yards.

FWP picks up 15 yards, but he looks awfully gimpy to me. He's dragging his left leg along with him. Big Ben hangs Santonio out to dry, and Cris Crocker just obliterated him. Hines Ward drops a pass and Steelers will settle for a FG, 13-7.

Steelers are pinning their ears back now. Mewelde fields the punt after Holmes took the hard hit earlier. Let's see if Santonio comes back out this drive. Goddamnit! Hines is robbed of a long gainer by a penalty.
Willie Parker appeared to pull something in his left leg on a third quarter rushing attempt Thursday.
Fast Willie didn't appear to step in a hole, but he hasn't returned to the game since. There's been no word on whether it's an aggravation of his sprained left knee or if he pulled something else. With little room to run, Parker has just 37 yards on 15 carries thus far. Stay tuned for updates.
Mewelde Moore still in the game, but no word on FWP. Mewelde with a 15-yard run to the edge. Screen to Moore, and it's the Mewelde Show this drive. Gain of 22 yards, and the offense is running better with Mewelde. Big Ben pump fake and finds Heath Miller wide open to the 1-yard line for a 20-yard gain. Vulture Gary Russell gets the TD, and it's 20-7.
Santonio Holmes was shaken up after a hard hit in the third quarter of Thursday's game against the Bengals.
After Ben Roethlisberger hit Santonio on a hot read slant for the third time, Cris Crocker was there waiting and blew him up. Holmes did not return to the game on the next two drives, and there's been no update on his status. He was on his way to a season-best game with five receptions for 84 yards through two and a half quarters.
Moore drops a 3rd down pass, and Ernster shows off his lack of punting skills once again. Tryouts at Heinz Field this week if you have a working leg.

Fitzpatrick hits Andre Caldwell for the third time tonight, and that one goes for 15 yards. Bengals get close but can't punch it in. Shayne Graham will be brought in to make it a 2 possession game with just under 7 minutes left, 20-10. Um, will the Bengals even get the ball two more times? This would be the most predictable on-side kick in history if they try it here.

Someone needs to tell the booth that Willie Parker is injured. They have absolutely no clue. Popa just set up Collinsworth for speculation, and Collinsworth brushed it aside. Sideline reporter?

Big Ben somehow evades a sack and hits Limas Sweed on the run. Surprisingly, Sweed didn't drop it. Would it hurt him to throw the ball to Hines Ward? Mewelde just trucked Melvin White. Nice inside screen to Mewelde, and the Bengals D is just about shot here. Big Ben is too big and too strong for the Bengals . . . scrambles up the middle for a diving touchdown from 10 yards out.

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