Cincinnati Bengals: Seven Good Things From Game 1
The Bengals dropped Game 1 to the Patriots. They got beat in every facet of the game.
They have a lot of work to do on defense. Tom Brady moved the Patriot offense up and down the field with ease. Oh yeah, and the special teams gave up a touchdown on a kickoff return.
Instead of focusing on the bad, here are seven good things that happened.
Carson Palmer and the offense got off to a slow start. He was pretty sharp throughout the game, but did make some dumb decisions. One of those burned him, but he got away with some others.
However, when the second half came around, Palmer torched the prevent defense of the Patriots for 215 yards and two touchdowns. He ran the no-huddle offense perfectly. Overall, he finished with 345 yards and a 68 percent completion percentage. If he does that every week, he'll finish with 5,520 yards.
Jermaine Gresham's first game ended with four catches for 25 yards and a touchdown. That may not seem like much, but Gresham gives Carson Palmer a huge, reliable target over the middle. Tight end is a tough position. Gresham
Before long, games like this will be considered sub-par for this rookie.
If Chad Ochocinco plays like this every game, he will put up a career year. Many thought the reality shows would be a distraction, but he showed that he was doing more than dancing in the offseason. Ochocinco looked as fast as ever.
Ochocinco's big game may have been helped by having a legitimate threat on the other side in Terrell Owens. Ochocinco couldn't be double-teamed the whole game like in the past.
He ended up with 12 catches for 159 yards and a touchdown.
Choosing Mike Nugent over Dave Rayner seems to have been the right choice. It is nice to have a kicker who can hit from 50-plus yards, as Nugent did with his 54-yard field goal in the second quarter.
The Bengals were rumored to be searching the waiver wire for another kicker this week. Nugent's performance might have put an end to that.
Jordan Shipley did not look like a rookie against the Patriots. He was business-like in catching five balls for 82 yards. Yes, one of those was a 51-yard Hail Mary reception, but we're trying to focus on the good.
As with Gresham, Shipley is only going to get better.
One thing that troubled Bengal fans in recent years is the number of penalties called against them. Against the Patriots, the Bengals only had two penalties for five yards.
Relax, Bengal fans. This is only one game. Last year, they started 0-1 with a loss to the Denver Broncos.
Getting dismantled by the Patriots could prove to be the wake up call this team needs. It also lets them know that they have plenty of work to do.