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Foiled Again: Cincinnati Offense Comes Alive at Lambeau

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 20: Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the football for a touchdown after a pass reception against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 20, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Bengals defeated the Packers 31-24. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Tim SeemanAnalyst ISeptember 21, 2009

Ouch.  So much for brilliant predictions.

I didn't think Cedric Benson would be any good against the Packers new defense.  I thought Chad Johnson wouldn't get anywhere near the end zone.  And I thought the sleeping giant that is the Packer offense would awaken from its early season slumber.

All of these were wrong.  The closest I got to being right was predicting that Green Bay's secondary would create some turnovers, but both interceptions came in the first half.

The frustrations were many in watching Green Bay today.  

First, the Bengals came out and kicked the Packers right in the teeth with the running game.  Cedric Benson looked like the guy Chicago thought they were drafting back in 2005.  The offensive front of Cincinnati completely dominated the Packer front, and the debut of BJ Raji can't come soon enough.

Second, Aaron Rodgers and the offense couldn't get into any kind of rhythm until the very end of the game, and this week, the Packers just ran out of time to put together a comeback.

Greg Jennings didn't have a single catch.  Ryan Grant only ran the ball 14 times.  Rodgers got sacked six times, five of those by Antwan Odom.  Receivers dropped more catchable passes this week, and a Grant fumble came at a vital junction in the third quarter while the score was still tied at 21.

Finally, to add injury to insult, All-Pro safety Nick Collins left the game with a shoulder injury and left tackle Chad Clifton left on a cart with an ankle injury.

Looking ahead, Green Bay must beat a St. Louis team that appears to be severely outmatched by the Packers.  But as professional football fans know, anything can happen once the games start.

It would be a disastrous start to the Packer season if they head to the Metrodome following two disappointing losses, and Mike McCarthy and the rest of the team needs to do all they can in practice this week to avoid that scenario from unfolding.

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