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article imageShould have I expected more from the Bengals?

By Bennett Kaplan     Jan 9, 2010 in Sports
As a diehard Bengals fan, I went into the Bengals vs. Jets wild card playoff game with a positive attitude, but when walking out of the stadium in disdain, remembered how with sports in Cincinnati, Murphy's law is always a factor.
The New York Jets did not win anything tonight. Lets make that perfectly clear. The Bengals lost the game. With sloppy play, and an even sloppier kicking game, the Bengals gave away tonight's game to the Jets.
In the third quarter, with the Bengals down 24-7, Cedric Benson broke free with a 47 yard touchdown run. At this point, you could hear the stadium shaking, and you could not hear yourself talk. On the ensuing drive, most of us thought that the Bengals were going to take the momentum from the previous drive to help stop the Jets on defense. But as a Cincinnati fan, you knew the worst was to come.
On the second play of the Jets drive, Mark Sanchez, who appeared to be sacked in the backfield, escaped to the left side of the field, to where he dumped off the football to tight end Dustin Keller, who split the defense and tumbled deep into Bengals territory, with a 43 yard gain. All of a sudden the stadium was dead.
My point here is not to recap the game, but more or less to vent on the disappointment of being a Bengals fan.
The defense was just awful. The Bengals defensive line applied absolutely no pressure the entire game, as Mark Sanchez was only pressured once by the defense the entire game.
Carson Palmer was just awful. He missed many wide open wide receivers with throws that were nowhere near his receivers. When he threw the ball on the mark, his receivers were not able to catch the ball. His star wide receiver Chad Ocho Cinco had 2 receptions for 28 yards, and was thrown to less than 7 times throughout the whole game, regardless of being given single coverage on the outside of the field for the entire game.
The most disappointing part about the Bengals performance tonight? None of the above. The most disappointing part of the game tonight was the performance of "franchise player" Shayne Graham. Graham, who has been most consistent player for the Bengals this past decade, failed to perform. He missed two field goals inside of 40 yards, and booted a field goal that netted no more than 30 yards, leaving the Jets in fantastic field goal position. After being given the franchise tag at the beginning of the season, he has failed to do what he is paid millions to do, and that is to make field goals.
I cant vouch for the fact that Shayne Graham lost the game for the Bengals, but if you asked any of the 60,000 at Paul Brown stadium tonight, any single one of them would tell you the same thing. Shayne Graham needs to go.
Although in Cincinnati, the fans opinion seems never to matter. Though if it did, Shayne Graham would be on the first flight out of Cincinnati tomorrow morning.
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