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Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Bengals Need Implosion

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I don't think 16-0 is possible again -- the Patriots' season was a perfect storm in quite a few ways -- and I tend to believe that the Lions will somehow pull off at least a couple of wins. That team's a mess, but there's enough talent to make an upset possible.

But after watching the Bengals lose to the Texans, 35-6, and given the news that Carson Palmer might go on injured reserve, I'm believing that Cincinnati could put up a goose egg. There is no motivation at all on this team -- there seems to be no imperative to win. The week before, the Lions lost to the Texans by a touchdown, and receiver Calvin Johnson put up 154 yards on only two receptions. Reserve Dan Orlovsky appears to be able to make some plays. In losing to Houston on Sunday, the Bengals increased the total they've been outscored to 113 points. The worst point differential in 2007 belonged to the St. Louis Rams, with -175, but it took them an entire season to do that. Worse still, there seems to be a real malaise around that team, as if they're just marking the days until their nightmare season is over.

There's also the small matter of their schedule: After their bye, the Bengals face the Jaguars, Eagles, Steelers, Ravens, Colts, Redskins, Browns and Chiefs. Six straight teams in playoff contention, and they don't have an opponent in their realm of incompetence until the finale.

0-16 would have happened last year in Miami had Greg Camarillo of the Dolphins not caught an overtime pass for a touchdown against the Ravens, and this year's Bengals team appears to have less upside than that Miami squad. Could the Bengals benefit from a coaching change? Some teams find motivation in that change, but I don't know what can be done to fix the Bengals short of a complete and total implosion and rebuild. That doesn't happen overnight. Might be too late for this team to do anything.

By Doug Farrar  |  October 27, 2008; 9:58 AM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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