Chillin' At the Water Cooler With Bengals Fans: Know the Ledge

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I live and work in the Metro Cincinnati area and the Bengals are usually on everyone's brain. During the season, I will gather a few of my co-workers (Tom Otten, William Morgan, Dave Chandler and James Uhlinger) together "at the water cooler" and discuss some Bengals topics.

The 2008 season got off to a rough start with a 17-10 loss to the Ravens last week. With the Bengals holding their home opener against the Titans on Sunday, how do fans view the team?

Sportz: Baltimore started a rookie QB, featured a rookie running back and had a rookie head coach. Was this just a tough loss or is it a sign that this will be a bad season in Cincinnati?

Dave: Sign of "Bungles" as usual. Will we ever stop the run? Magic 8-ball says "not anytime soon."

William: Hate to say it but I think it's going to be a bad season.

James: The window isn't closing -- it was already shut!

Tom: This should be a wake up call for Bengals fans. Sell your tickets and seat licenses -- your parking passes. Burn your jerseys and tear off your bumper stickers. An un-victorious season is on the horizon.

Sportz: Carson Palmer had his career worst QB rating. Is this offense completely broken or is it just the offensive line just not getting it done?

William: I think a little of both. The offense just looked bad all around.

Dave: Combination of everything going wrong at once. They have talent. Eventually they will figure things out.

Tom: Carson Palmer hasn't looked good in his last five or six games. He's tired and battered. No one on the team seems to care about willing. Instead of "winning at all costs" they want to win with no effort.

James: Were Rudi (Johnson) and Willie (Anderson) let go because they weren't as good as their replacements ... or for budget reasons? I'm sure Carson misses them.

Sportz: Some positive news. The Bengals defense looked pretty decent (other than big plays by Flacco and Rice). They even had a couple forced turnovers that put the Bengals in good field position (or scoring a TD themselves). Are you impressed by the effort or is it just "dude, they were playing the Ravens!"?

Tom: Not too bad of an effort by the defense except for the poor tackling. No pass rush and wide open receivers. Yeah, they suck.

Dave: Stop the run, pressure the quarterback -- then we will talk. Like you said: facing a rookie QB, rookie running back ...

William: Well I don't think we did that well on defense. With the weak offense the Ravens have and we still can't stop the run. It seems like it was always 3rd down-and-short. And in the 4th quarter, they were getting every big third down for a first down.

Sportz: What Bengal were you most proud of?

James:Jonathan Joseph.

Sportz: I agree.

Tom: I'm more proud of former Bengals who are now on teams that give a damn.

Dave: Marvin Lewis. His always positive attitude makes me warm and fuzzy inside!

Sportz: What Bengal did you just wanna choke?

James: Ocho Stinko.

William: The whole offense.

Tom: The offensive and defensive line coaches.

Dave:Mike Brown. Most Bengals fans would love the chance.

Sportz: Okay. Home opener against the Vince Young-less Tennessee Titans. How do you see that one?

William: Well, I feel pretty good going into the Ravens game and we all saw what happened. I'm kind of feeling good about the Titans ... but I'm tired of getting my hopes up and then let down. But with no Vince Young, we should win.

James: Don't count on it! Tennessee's front line destroyed Jacksonville.

Dave:Kerry Collins picking apart our defense ... and LenDale White running at will. The Ravens D made us look bad. Wait 'til the Titans come to town!

Tom: We get trampled by the run. We get crushed by the defense. We lose again.

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