I haven't forgotten about my blog. . .
Have lots of posts started. . .
Have lots of pictures taken. . .
I see an end in sight - I should be back to regular blogging in about two weeks (crossing fingers)!
In the mean time, here are some excerpts from MMQB. All credit goes to the author, not me.
Peter King writes that the Bengals may have earned some respect from the Steelers.
Could they have also earned some from Mr. King?
Now that's what I call some drama, and some good stories.
Carson Palmer converting two fourth-downs in the final minute to slay the Steelers.
Could it be? Could it possibly be? Could the Steelers actually respect the Bengals?
Time will tell if Cincinnati deserves it. But it was interesting after the Bengals pulled the 23-20 stunner at home -- breaking an eight-game home losing streak to the Steelers -- to hear Ben Roethlisberger say: "Tough loss for us. Tough divisional fight.'' Tough divisional fight -- those words have been reserved for games with the Ravens, not the Bengals or Browns.
Two reasons this happened. One: The Bengals played a physical game, and they have players -- Brian Leonard on offense, Rey Maualuga and Keith Rivers on defense -- more suited to that style than Bengal teams have been in the past. Two: Carson Palmer. A good quarterback (a healthy good quarterback) always gives your team a chance. "We deserved to win the game,'' Palmer said afterward, and he was right.
The Fine Fifteen
14. Cincinnati (2-1). Andre Caldwell! Andre Caldwell! Or, as Keith Olbermann called him on TV last night: Ocho Siete. You know -- 87. That's who caught the winner from Carson Palmer in the end zone against Pittsburgh.
Quote of the Week I
"Let's go win the game! Let's go win the game!''-- Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis, with 60 seconds left at Paul Brown Stadium and the Bengals trailing Pittsburgh 20-15 and Cincinnati with a fourth-and-two at the Steeler 20. Lewis yelled this out to his offense, and the offense, of course, went out and converted two fourth downs in the next 30 seconds en route to the 23-20 win over Pittsburgh.
Offensive Player of the Week:
Carson Palmer, QB, Cincinnati
Stats, schmats. Palmer was 20 of 37 for 183 yards, with one TD and no interceptions in the 23-20 upset of Pittsburgh. But his value to this game, and to his team, can be measured in one very important one: He gives the Bengals hope that they can win any game they're in late. Against the Steelers, he led his team 71 yards in the last five minutes, bleeding the clock so the Steelers wouldn't have a chance to score after the Bengals did. A brilliant, clutch drive by a guy we've forgotten could be this good.
Ten Things I Think I Think:
4. I think there's no question the happiest man in the league Sunday night was Carson Palmer. He might not have shown it, but I can tell you the immense personal satisfaction he derived from that game in Cincinnati. When I convened five quarterbacks for the SI quarterback round table in Lake Tahoe in July, Palmer was the de facto leader of the group. He was into the topics, and I thought he liked how the others there looked at him with the respect they all obviously had for him.
Palmer was sitting next to Ben Roethlisberger when I asked the guys who they hated. "Since I've been in the league,'' Palmer said, "the Steelers have been at the top of our division. We just happen to be in the same division. You always want what you don't have. You're always jealous because you all want the same thing. [Turning to Roethlisberger.] He's got two Super Bowl rings; we all want one. They've got two and you're jealous, you're envious, you want what they have and personally ... Ben, don't take this the wrong way, but when the Steelers were in the playoffs [in 2005], after I got hurt and I was on the couch and I was watching in California, and Jon Kitna was back in Cincinnati and we were going back and forth talking during every playoff game as it went on every week. I was like, 'Oh, I just can't watch. I can't believe they're winning,' and I'm just pissed off and mad, like drinking beers and throwing bottles against the walls because you just kept going.''
And then Palmer went out Sunday and out dueled Roethlisberger 35 miles from Big Ben's college campus in Oxford, Ohio. That's a great day for Palmer.
The answer this week: "Not the defensive Super Bowl Champs!"