Bengals-Raiders Preview: JaMarcus Russell Flushed in Oakland

Jeffrey BoswellAnalyst INovember 20, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 11:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders throws a pass against the New York Giants on October 11, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.

With the AFC North well in hand after last Sunday's 18-12 win in Pittsburgh, the Bengals can turn their attention to more trivial things, like the Raiders.

"I think the Steelers are stunned that we've beaten them twice," says Carson Palmer. "I'm sure they didn't expect us to take them down at Heinz Field. But what's the best way to remove a 'line in the sand?' By 'sweeping' it away, of course.

"Marvin Lewis now has the kind of team he's always wanted, one that is defined by an attacking defense and an efficient, mistake-free offense. It took him awhile, but Marvin's finally been able to put his best defenders on the field instead of in the courtroom."

In Oakland's 16-10 loss to the Chiefs last week, JaMarcus Russell was a dismal 9-of-24 for 67 yards, an effort that got him benched , but not punched, by Tom Cable. Bruce Gradkowski took over at quarterback and was worse, throwing two interceptions.

"No. 2 was stinking up the joint," says Cable, "so I had no choice but to pull him. That's doing what any decent-minded person would do—I executed a courtesy flush.

"Now, for this franchise, choosing a quarterback is a lot like choosing a head coach—it's a 'hit or miss' exercise. Of course, in the case of my selection as coach, it's both 'hit and miss.'"

With Cedric Benson injured, the Bengals signed former Kansas City troublemaker Larry Johnson to reinforce their rushing attack, a development that left many observers spitting their drinks out in surprise. Some even denounced their sexuality.

Hopefully, for the sake of the Bengals and their postseason aspirations, Johnson will "run in" to a game before he has a "run-in" with the law.

Cincinnati wins, 23-7.