Terrell Owens: Is T.O. Headed for Another Blockbuster Week?
The light of day shone brightly for Terrell Owens and the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. As Terrell Owens went in for his first touchdown in orange and black, the NFL witnessed a familiar feeling, that realistically hadn't been felt since Owens' disappointing Buffalo Bill days of 2009.
If there was such a thing as an NFL dictionary, the definition under Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens would more than likely feature the words "cancer" "diva" and "troubled personality."
But when it comes time to describing Owens' near 15-year career in the NFL, one word that is very rarely associated with the once troubled wide receiver is the word "experiment", seeing as though most teams know exactly what they are getting when Terrell Owens puts pen to paper.
Today, this word is the chosen phrase to describe Terrell Owens in Cincinnati. Gone are the days of accepting Owens as a highly skilled athlete, and we now arrive in a time that sees number 81 depicted as a test for any team willing to sign him.
On Sunday afternoon against the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals sunk to a new low after losing to their division foes 23-20. Bookie's nationwide were perhaps more than confident in Cincinnati's ability to capture a win against a previously winless opponent, only to see their plans blow up in their face, in some kind of schoolyard chemistry class explosion.
Normally when an experiment is attempted, it is a case of trial and error. In Terrell Owens' experiment, this theory has proven to be true, considering that Owens has failed to burst out of the gates as some had predicted during his signing period.
What went on to strike fans as odd though, was Terrell Owens' lack of celebration following his first ever touchdown in Cincinnati on the weekend. In unusual fashion, Terrell Owens looked reasonably calm as he posted six points on the board, and instead of diving over the plain like a running back, a spot of the ball was seen, followed up by a few high fives and the usual toothy grin we have come to expect.
Opinions of course flowed from within in regards to this performance. Some felt that Terrell Owens was merely trying to capture this iconic moment, while others felt that Terrell Owens had maybe matured a little in his later years, something that was seemingly unimaginable two seasons ago in Dallas.
Aside from any opinions that fans or analysts had experienced, one very promising outcome had unfolded from this entire moment that was a little unexpected. No, I'm not talking about Terrell Owens' supposed rant toward his teams defense that was one of the Bengals sole reasons for losing the game, I'm talking about Terrell Owens' positive motivation heading towards the upcoming weeks.
Looking back toward the start of the season, no one had predicted Terrell Owens to look this good in Cincinnati. Not only does Owens' past paint the entire mood in this scenario, throw in the age factor and the issue of team chemistry with Chad Ochocinco, and you have a dangerous mix for disaster.
But like any good home made recipe for apple pie, Terrell Owens has managed to remain balanced in Cincinnati, and luckily enough continue his career in many more promising paths.
Speaking of paths, where is Terrell Owens headed in the immediate future?
Of course Terrell Owens has been noted for his praise of Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants recently, so perhaps a trip to the bay area is on the horizon, but in relation to the playing field, Terrell Owens is looking at his very best right now.
On the weekend against the Cleveland Browns, Terrell Owens exploded for 222 yards and 1 touchdown. It wasn't the usual proud postgame interview we have come to expect from Owens after a big game, but that fact only further proves that Terrell is now maturing immensely.
So what can we expect from Terrell Owens in Week 5?
Well, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, Terrell Owens should continue his impressive performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday.
The thinking behind this theory is simple. Right now Tampa Bay rank 23rd overall in defensive pass yards, while the Cincinnati Bengals rank 10th in total yards on offense, so you do the math.
Not only do the Bengals and Owens have the statistical advantage, the entire team also has the motivational advantage, considering that Cincinnati really needs a big time win to stay within touch of the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North division.
A 2-2 record isn't ideal for Cincinnati. While it may be for other teams such as Tennessee or Indianapolis, the Bengals have a tendency to fall in a heap after a few poor games, and with the Terrell Owens "experiment" still underway, this isn't favoring Marvin Lewis at all.
More to the point, quarterback Carson Palmer hasn't been doing the team any favors. While I personally have stuck up for Palmer on numerous occasions, his 4 sacks against Cleveland last week only further marked the problems on offense for the Bengals.
If we take a moment to look at the positives though, Terrell Owens should provide. You know straight away when a player is all smiles on the sidelines that good things are to come, and when you see Terrell Owens being straight up about his teams performance, it indicates that he is willing to step up like his man Tim Lincecum, and flat-out perform.
Hopefully for the Bengals, another touchdown is on the horizon. Terrell Owens does have his haters, but at the same time he sure does have his admirers, and they no doubt would have gotten a kick out of seeing Owens place the ball over the white line last weekend.
Big things are looking likely for Terrell Owens, so get your popcorn ready, it's going to be a show. Whether or not it will be a consistent one is still a question, so we'll let Terrell himself be the judge of that.
As for Week 5, Tampa Bay may need a win, but so do the Bengals, so look to see Terrell Owens right there and ready for Carson Palmer. They say big things come in small packages. Terrell Owens is by no means a small package, but his play is rapidly growing larger and larger as time draws on in Cincinnati.
Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also an NFL columnist for Real Sports Net and a Green Bay Packers writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters. Ryan is also a contributing writer for Detroit Lions Talk, Gack Sports and Generation Y Sports. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.
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