Posted on: December 15, 2008 1:21 am

CIN/WAS Footnote: goal-line stand. BAL/PIT

I didn't want to close the book on today's Bengals versus Redskins matchup without giving the Bengals' defense one more pat on the back.

A little more than midway through the third quarter, with the score 17-10 Bengals, the Redskins had the ball second-and-goal at the Bengals'  1 yard line. Mike Sellers ran the ball up the middle into a pile of players with 6:27 left in the quarter for what looked to be a touchdown. But wait! Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, who has typically been hesitant to throw the challenge flag this season, dropped one to challenge whether Sellers had broken the plane of the goal with the ball before he was down on the play. After consideration, the ruling was reversed, with the referee saying Sellers' knee was down before he extended the ball over the goal line. The Redskins went to third-and-goal at the 1/4-yard line.

On third down, the Redskins ran Sellers up the middle again, into a pile of players again, and, in the process of descending through that pile of players, still working to find the goal line, the ball was literally taken out of Sellers' hands by Bengals' linebacker Corey Mays. A fumble, turnover and touchback was ruled for the Bengals. But wait! Redskins head coach Jim Zorn challenged this ruling, believing the ball had broken the plane of the goal before Mays took the ball out of Sellers' hands. The call on the field was upheld, and the Bengals took over on their own 20.

In the fourth quarter, the teams would trade field goals, but that would be the rest of the scoring for the game. If not for the goal line stand, this game could have gone to overtime. Congrats to the Bengals' defense on the first goal-line stand. Congrats to the D on the second goal-line stand and particularly to Corey Mays for the takeaway. Congrats to the officials for getting the calls right on both plays. And congrats to Marvin Lewis for winning two challenges today, including this one.

Around the AFC North . . .

Steelers versus Ravens -- This game was all it was billed to be. These two teams beat each others' brains out for a full 60 minutes, with the Steelers coming out on top 13-9, after a controversial call on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes with less than a minute left in the game. With the win, the Steelers nab their second consecutive AFC North championship, grab a first-round playoff bye, and force the Ravens to continue their fight for a wild card bid. The Steelers travel to play the Titans next Sunday, and the Ravens play the Cowboys at Dallas in a Saturday night matchup.

Browns versus Eagles -- The Browns line up against the Eagles in Philadelphia in the Monday night matchup.

Posted on: October 16, 2008 12:52 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2008 12:55 pm

First in Line 2009 - Countdown to 0-16!

This should be the slogan for the Bengals starting this weekend if they can't pull out a win against the Steelers this Sunday. Vegas has Pittsburgh by 9 1/2 over Cincinnati playing at home. Ouch! As dinged up as the Steelers are, the Bengals are more discombobulated at the moment, and the line reflects what I think is the general thinking out there. The Bengals are a lost ball in the high weeds.

It may be safe to start the Countdown to 0-16 after Sunday's game. With a loss, the Bengals would be 0-7, almost halfway to that magical number. But, even the record, the key to the first pick in next year's draft, might not be the solution for Bengals fans. As I just noted on a thread I started after last week's loss to the Jets:

Even if we start the countdown to 0-16, and the Bengals are first in line for the draft in 2009, they could pick the best player, or the one player who best fits their needs when the time comes, and still lose out because they can't sign that player or because the player doesn't want to come to Cincinnati.

Now there are NO good outs to this situation. My kingdom for a general manager, a player/personnel coordinator, a FOOTBALL GUY!!!!

Check out the thread and cast your vote for who will win a game first, the Bengals or the Lions.


I'll be watching the game on Sunday and rooting for the Bengals (though to win or lose, I'm not sure -- ??). But, in the back of my head, those words will be floating around:



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