Tampa Bay 14, Cincinnati 13
As they did all day seemingly, the officials got in the way of a Cincinnati Bengals victory

You can no longer even look at a Quarterback in the NFL without drawing a penalty.    The next thing you know, they’re going to put flags on them or perhaps bells.

Bengals bungle, winless Buccs get a little help in dropping Cincinnati to 3-2.

by Mike Zimmer, Bengals Honk

I am not sold on the fact that Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Michael Clayton actually ever had the last minute pass thrown to him under control and actually caught when he dove for the end zone and dropped the ball in what was eventually ruled the go ahead and winning Touchdown.   That aside, it probably should never have happend.  

In one of the most bogus and bull shit calls I have ever seen on a football field ever–other than a few weeks ago when Ohio State’s David Patterson seemed to look menacingly at Iowa QB Drew Tate, drawing a penalty flag–Bengals Defensive End Justin Smith was called for a 15-yard personal foul call for roughing the passer.   On a sack.   He was flagged, for tackling the QB.   He didn’t throw the passer to ground, he did not jack him up, body slam, helicopter or assult him in any way other than falling on top of Tampa Bay’s Bruce Gradkowski.   In a play that would have brought up a very long 4th down for Tampa Bay and more than likely put them in a perilous position on the football field in the waning moments of the game–they were instead awarded an automatic first down that set up the questionable deciding TD.   Now, on top of this completely assinine call, Smith was held as he was on the way to the QB–something the usually deft Referee Mike Kerry chose to overlook.

Kerry, who I reguard highly as an official (and the NFL seemingly does too) had a terrible day with his crew bumbling and stumbling in not allowing the game to take natural shape.   Some phantom calls as well as some-what questionable make-up calls marred a rather poorly played game by both Tampa Bay and Cincinnati.   However, the call in question along with some other just re-god-damned-diculous supposed fouls on the QB were complete and utter garbage.   What the hell is the NFL going to do next?   Put bells on the QB’s?   Freaking flags?   It’s retarded for a game to be changed due to the fact that a defender does little else than tackling a QB only to be penalized and altering the game.

As for the deciding play–it should have been moot, however it seemed to me that Buccs WR Michael Clayton never quite had control of the ball when he crossed the goal line.   He did not make a football move other than to flop over the goal with the ball moving in his hands–only to then drop it.

The Bengals have now dropped back-to-back games, something they didn’t do all season last year when they finished (11-5).   Their offense was inept most of the day with only a cursory effort to try to run the football to little success.   Their entire offensive game plan which looked terribly flawed was also undermined by the fact that their offensive line is still in chaos due to injury and inexpirience.   With Veteran Center Richie Braham out for an indefinate amount of time, they are struggling often to get blocking assignments corrected and finding any chemistry amongst the big guys up front.   Throw in an injury to Left Tackle Levi Jones and you have problems protecting the QB.   However, the question I want to know is where the hell the deep ball is at most of the game?   Let’s just check the stats here:   They threw it deep 3 times.   The first long ball was caught for a TD by T.J. Houshmanzadeh for 44-yards, the second was a ball that was slightly over thrown towards Chad Johnson and the third was a 51-yard reception by #85 that helped set up a field goal.   Two out of 3 is pretty good fucking numbers to me!   Where the hell was it the rest of the freaking game?   I get the pressure on the QB prevents some passing options including the deep to  intermediate routes–but chucking it down the field is where this offense has made a living in the past.   Offensive Coordinator Bob Bratkowski’s game plan SUCKED.   Period.

Worse, the Pissburgh Stealers won in a 45-7 blood bath over KC.   We also saw that Coach Chin is a bastard that would have run it up on his mother if given a chance.   Really Chin, do you need to review a TD when your team is up 31-0?   Kick your field goal and get off the field.   KC wasn’t coming back on you today.

The only bright spot for Bengals fans was that the B-more Crows bit it against next weeks’ opponent Carolina.   Steve McNair was knocked silly in the process, too bad he’ll probably be healthy when Cincinnati travels to Charm City to play November 5th.

Speaking of Carolina, if today’s loss by Cincinnati was the best effort that they had on offense–look out for an absolute drubbing coming next week.   The Panthers can light it up and get after it on D too.   A season defining back-to-back home stand against Carolina and Atlanta is looming for Cincinnati after what looked to be a promising start to 2006.