I started to do my normal "bits and pieces" from Monday Morning Quarterback. Not normally an issue because I link back to the article and since it appears that no matter what the Bengals do - Peter King barely gives them a glance, there is not a whole lot to share.
This week, WOW. Way too much to put here - it feels like I would be doing something wrong.
Since that is not something that I want to be guilty of. . .
Please click Here to read "These are not your father's Bengals." and "Mike Zimmer's slowly coming back in Cincinnati, under the kind of pressure that would break most of us.". Yep, the ENTIRE page is about the Bengals. Yes, Peter King wrote it.
Here are the rest of the tid-bits. . .Still quite a bit!
The Fine Fifteen
5. Cincinnati (7-2). Wow: 5-0 in the division, 5-0 in its past five road games, home-and-home wins over the AFC Championship Game contestants last season. This is a team I swung on and missed badly. The Bengals will be a tough out in the playoffs.
The Award Section
Special Teams Player of the Week
Bernard Scott, RB/KR, Cincinnati.
First, what can't be overlooked on Scott's weaving, sprinting, game-changing 96-yard kick return for touchdown -- the first kick return for a touchdown by a Bengals rookie in 33 years -- was the ridiculously weak tackle try by kicker Jeff Reed. What, Reed can get in fights off the field but can't contest a runner on the field?
That was the only touchdown of the game, but it wasn't Scott's only impact on the game. After Cedric Benson went down with a hip injury early, Scott, a rookie from Division II Abilene Christian who scored 73 college touchdowns for the Texas school, had to bang against the great Steelers run defense. He rushed 13 times for 33 yards and caught a swing pass from Carson Palmer for 21 yards. He also returned five kicks for a 41.5-yard average. Imagine someone named Bernard Scott accounting for 260 all-purpose yards in your biggest game of the year. Kudos to the Bengals oft-maligned scouting staff, headed by Jim Lippincott, for finding this diamond in the very deep rough.
Coach of the Week
Mike Zimmer, defensive coordinator, Cincinnati.
In four victories this fall, Zimmer's Bengals have held the Steelers and Ravens to 20, 14, 7 and 12 points. As I wrote higher in this column, Zimmer has shot up the charts and is now a legitimate 2010 head-coaching candidate. "What he's done is teach our players the total game of football,'' Marvin Lewis said after the win over Pittsburgh. "He's been invaluable.''
Ten Things I Think I Think
5. I think this is what I didn't like about Week 10:
i. A 46-yard penalty is important in any game. In Cincinnati-Pittsburgh, it was vital, with Bengals safety Chinedum Ndukwe's senseless pass-interference on Mike Wallace, which set up a Jeff Reed field goal.
9. I think I blew the Chad Ochocinco fine story on NBC last week, and I'd like to explain myself. You all saw the funny bit about Ochocinco semi-waving a dollar bill at a game official last week, trying to get him in jest to change a call. Later that day, I spoke to someone with knowledge of NFL discipline, who said to me the thing didn't strike him as discipline-worthy. So I went on TV eight nights ago and said I didn't think Ocho would be fined for it. What my knowledgeable person didn't know was that after the game, in interviews with the media, Ochocinco used the word "bribe'' in discussing his use of the dollar bill. And when the combo platter of the dollar bill being shown to the official and the word "bribe'' came to the attention of the league office, it was deemed worthy of a $20,000 fine.
To me, the fine was totally out of whack. When you fine Tommie Harris $7,500 for slugging a player in a game and give another player three times that for a joke that went too far, I've got a problem with that. To me, it's political correctness run amok. But in any case, I was wrong, and I should take a journalistic hit for that. My fault.