Baltimore 26, Cincinnati 20
T. J. Houshmandzadeh spikes his helmet in frustration over a terrible no-call of pass interference on a 4th down play causing a turn over on downs.

Bengals turnovers lead to a 14-0 Ravens lead that they were not able to overcome.

NFL notes on all the games I saw bits and pieces of at the Sports Bar in a new feature.

Watching the Colts/Patriots while writing is fun.

by Mike Zimmer, Bengals Honk

The NFL officials working games are starting to treat the Bengals like the teams of old that sucked and therefore were NEVER able to get a call when they needed it.   The Bengals come back, and what could have been their 3rd straight win in Baltimore fell short Sunday when Cincinnati was unable to overcome early turnovers and Baltimore’s ball control attack.

Nevermind what was a bullshit non-call of PI late in the 4th Quarter when the Bengals finally had some momentum–Cincinnati played awful once again and lost their fourth game in 5 tries.   An error prone first half that saw dumb-ass, wasted, stupid former first round draft pick Chris Perry drop the opening kick-off that lead to a Baltimore TD followed by a Carson Palmer pass intercepted and returned for a TD doomed the Bengals.   Although they managed to fight and claw their way back from a 17-0 hole, the game wound up a loss that dropped them to (4-4) and 2-full games behind the Ravens now (6-2).

The offense made a better effort in running the ball, but trailing early and also losing the battle of the clock were never able to truly pound the ball against what looked like a Baltimore defense that was starting to wear down.   Rudi Johnson had 77-yards in 18-carries most of which were gained on draw plays and stretch runs that were plays to off-set the on-slought of a fierce Baltimore pass rush.   Carson Palmer was awful however and the offense is still not getting the ball to Chad Johnson enough, something that is soon going to be a REAL problem.   Ocho Cinco has been the good guy thus far this season, a model team player, a guy willing to accept that not every pass can come his way.   The problem is, 4-catches for only 32-yards is absolutely unacceptable for the perenial Pro-Bowler to have in a mid-season big time match up against a division rival.   And, there have been waaaaay too many days very similar to it.   Number 85 is a play maker and you have to get the ball to him ALL THE FREAKING TIME!   Palmer is seemingly not even looking at him and the play calling from the booth where idiot-savant offensive Coordinator Boob Bratkowski calls the plays is not taking advantage of calling his number on simpleton inclusive plays such as the bubble screen and the swing screen that CJ is adept at turning into big gainers from time to time.   For Christ’s sake, how about a freaking reverse?

I’m giving the defense another benefit of the doubt too–as the injury bug has layed waste to the line-backing corp and depth.   However, at some point they need to address that the middle of the field is soft and ANY Tight End this side of but not to include Kellen “I’m a Soldja!” or “I’m better than Antonio Gates!” Winslow Jr. can have a career day against them.

Simply put, this loss is unfortunatly something that just may have swung the season into a spin.   The following schedule is not condusive to solidly counted on wins: home versus San Diego, at New Orleans,  at  Cleveland, home against  Baltimore only 4-days later on a Thursday night, home against Oakland, at Denver,  at Indianapolis and then finishing the season on New Years Eve against Pittsburgh at home.   I’m not  even smelling .500.

Meanwhile at Rush Creek Sports Grill I saw some or parts of these games…

Miami 31, Chicago 13Can you be (7-0) and be any less impressive?   Can you  bench your starting QB when you’re also undefeated?    Those are legit questions about  the Bears who allowed now (2-6)  Miami to come into chilly  Soldier Field and beat them rather easily.   Six turnovers and another just disasterously poor effort by Rex  Grossman (18-for-42, 3-INTS’s) doomed the  Bears.    Meanwhile, their defense let Joey “The Piano Man” Harrington do them for 3 TD passes?   WTF?

Detroit 30, Atlanta 14This couldn’t have  been the same  Falcons teams that just last week beat the Bengals on the road can it?   Michael  Vick and  Company looked terrible in allowing  none other than John Kitna and the Honolulu Blue and Silver light them up.   The Falcons are a better team than Detroit but the Lions looked very good today from what I watched on both offense and defense.   Too bad they started (0-6)!

Washington 22, Dallas 19The ugly game of the day was the marquee NFC rivalry game of the week.   The Cowboys looked great, they looked awful, they looked ready to win and then they didn’t.   Washington, well, they always play U-G-L-Y  UGLY!   T.O.  who looked  ultra bizarre in screaming at everyone and then no one on the sidelines cost the  ’Pokes the  game after dropping a sure TD pass and also getting them a 15-yard unsportsmanlike (sp?) penalty (although I  still think that it’s stupid to penalize players who celebrate without taunting.) when he feighned using the ball as a pillow and going to sleep.   However, the game was completely opitimized in the last few seconds that  saw Washington miss a go ahead field goal  that allowed Dallas  an oppertunity to set up shop and get a drive going at  nearly mid-field for their own try.   Dallas got in  chip-shot range only to have Mike “the stupid liquored up kicker” Vanderjagt’s attempt to be  blocked and returned to nearly mid-field.   Adding on a face mask penalty, Washington had a shot to win it again–and did when Nick  Novak connected on his second oppertunity to win the game.    Jason called it by the way as he headed to the toilet at Rush Creek saying, “block and run back for a TD”.   He got the block and run back–but  the Redskins only got 3–but enough for the win.   I did like and appreciate that The Tuna looked and acted like the Tuna again in screaming at players, yelling at officials and throwing his head-set in disgust at the end of the game.

Buffalo 24, Green Bay 10Hang it up Brett.   Hey Marv Levy and Company, uh, J.P. Losman sucks.

N.Y. Giants 14, Houston 10Utterly unwatchable.

Kansas City 31, St. Louis 17So the Rams were frauds afterall.   Oh, and I was wrong about Damon Huard.    At this point of the season with the Chiefs playing so well, it’s hard to think that Trent Green can regain his starting spot back after a long lay-off.

New Orleans 31, Tampa Bay 24Saints keep rolling with another big win over the Buccs, sweeping the season series with Tampa.   The Yuccs have a QB however in Bruce Gradkowski.   The Former University of Toledo signal caller has been solid if not spectacular since he took over as the starting for the Buccaneers.   New Orleans is (6-2) and in sole posession of first place in the NFC South.

Jacksonville 37,  Tennessee 7Again, utterly unwatchable.    How can it be that the bar that Jason and I go to is home to 8-Jags fans that require their crappy games being on one of the big screens?

San Diego 32, Cleveland 24The Chargers looked anything but impressive in the first half of this one until they remembered that they were playing the Browns and had a really good idea.   They FINALLY gave the ball to LaDainian Tomlinson and he responded by running for a pair of TD’s to sink the Browns who played very well on the road.   One way or another, the Bengals are in trouble next week when the ‘Bolts come calling to Paul Brown Stadium.

Late games not watched, but  I have some thoughts on  too…    

Denver   31, Pittsburgh 20Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!

San Francisco 9, Minnesota 3Wow, Vikings really stinking it up of late.   After  getting worked over on MNF they lay another egg against terrible 49ers.

And tonights Sunday Nighter…

Indianapolis 27, New England 20Were you thinking what I was thinking when Vinitari missed his second kick of the night and the Pats had a shot with a little over a minute left to play?   You know, that one guy Brady was going to work his Montana-like magic once again and beat poor old Peyton Manning and the Colts yet again?   Well, Manning and the Colts played some defense tonight and that Patriot magic never came.   Turnovers and somewhat sloppy play lead to the Pats demise along with some bad penalties that allowed Indy to continue scoring drives.   Indianapolis stays undefeated at now (8-0) and New England loses at home for the second time in 4-home dates which is hard to imagine after they went like 2+ seasons without a loss in Foxboro.

Top Six, Bottom Six…

#1. Indianapolis (8-0)#2. Denver (6-2)
#3. Baltimore (6-2)
#4. New England (6-2)
#5. Chicago (7-1)
#6. New Orleans (6-2)

#32. Arizona (1-7)
#31. Oakland (2-5)
#30. Houston (2-6)
#29. Tennessee (2-6)
#28. Tampa Bay (2-6)
#27. San Francisco (2-6)

Hey Am I wrong about these?