Saturday, October 21, 2006

Bengals Season Could Be Slipping Away

The Cincinnati Bengals have been in a tailspin since January and if the spinning isn't stopped soon, the season could be over for Marvin Lewis and company.

It all started with Carson Palmer and his knee injury in the playoff game with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Palmer is clearly not the same quarterback he was last season and may have rushed back too soon.

A tumultuous offseason followed with six players being arrested, and one, Chris Henry led the way with four arrests in a two-month span. Now comes even more problems in the regular season.

After a 3-0 start, Cincinnati is in an offensive funk - dropping its last two games and only scoring 13 points combined in losses to New England and previously winless Tamp Bay.

Injuries to T Levi Jones and C Rich Braham have seriously weakened the offensive line, not to mention the fact that Henry will miss his second game due to suspension.

Traveling to a hot Carolina squad isn't going to help a team that's down emotionally and mentally. The Panthers have won four straight since the return of Steve Smith and look to be back on track for a playoff berth. It should be an interesting matchup come Sunday.

There are plenty of excellent games on tap for any football connoisseur, so set back, grab your chips and dip, get your fantasy football sheets out and enjoy the games. There will be no Sunday night game because of the World Series.

Here's the Corners predictions for week seven in the NFL:

Cincinnati at Carolina
Two teams going in opposite directions. The Bengals offense has stalled (Chad Johnson has only one touchdown in 2006), while the Panthers are rolling along. It will be a tough task to beat Carolina at home. Winner: Panthers.

Minnesota at Seattle
Steve Hutchinson returns to Seattle and the place should be rocking. The Seahawks accused the Vikings of tampering in the offseason to get Hutchinson and Seattle returned the favor by grabbing Nate Burleson. Sparks should fly. Winner: Seahawks.

Pittsburgh at Atlanta
Two teams who like to run first and pass hardly never. The Steelers have a little bit better defense and Michael Vick has been complaining about the way he's being used, but the Falcons still should be able to pull it out at home. Winner: Falcons.

Denver at Cleveland
The Broncos have allowed only one touchdown all season and are on a four-game win streak. The Browns shouldn't pose any problems. Winner: Broncos.

Washington at Indianapolis
Inconsistency abounds in Redskins Land and the Colts had a week off to prepare. Winner: Colts.

New England at Buffalo
It's difficult to play the Bills at home, but it's even more difficult to beat Bill Belichick when he's had a week off to prepare. Winner: Patriots.

San Diego at Kansas City
Arrowhead is notoriously tough to play in if you're a visiting team, but San Diego may be the best team in the AFC right now. Winner: Chargers.

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
The Eagles need a bounce back game after falling to New Orleans last week and the Bucs will be the perfect fit. Rookie Bruce Gradkowski will get an unpleasant indoctrination into the Jim Johnson School of Blitzing. Winner: Eagles.

Arizona at Oakland
Despite the Dennis Green meltdown and the firing of his offensive coordinator, the Cardinals still have enough to beat the Raiders. Winner: Arizona.

Detroit at New York Jets
Get ready Jets fans, you're about to be over .500 for the first time since who knows when. Winner: Jets.

Jacksonville at Houston
Houston is improving, but the Jags defense will be too much to stop. Winner: Jaguars.

Green Bay at Miami
I really honestly don't know who to pick between two awful teams that could play all week long. When in doubt, go with the home team. Winner: Dolphins.

New York Giants at Dallas (Monday night)
Excellent Monday night matchup between two hated division rivals. The Giant defense lead by Michael Strahan had seven sacks on Vick last week. What do you think they'll do against an immobile Drew Bledsoe? Winner: Giants.

Last week: 8-5 (No!)
Overall: 57-14

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