NFL Week Four: The Game Nobody Wants to Watch

Tim SeemanAnalyst ISeptember 22, 2008

Official bye weeks start next Sunday, and this makes it tougher to find terrible games on the NFL schedule.

Detroit, Miami, and Seattle all have the week off, so that might have something to do with the quality of competition next week.

Just wait until two Sundays from now.  St. Louis, Oakland, Cleveland, and the Jets all have off.  All the games could have at least one team with a winning record.  I don't know what I'll do then.

But Week Four does give viewers a few options that they wish they didn't have.

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals

Ohio.  The birthplace of modern American football.  The home of the Hall of Fame.  A state that has gone 0-6 so far in the NFL in 2008.

The Bengal defense wasn't supposed to be very good this season, but fans expected the offense to do something.  In fact, the defense ranks higher in scoring (21st), total yards (24th), and passing yards (12th) than does the offense (29th, 30th, and 26th, respectively).

Carson Palmer is a good quarterback.  T.J. Houshmazode...Whosyamomma...Houshmandzadeh and Chad Ocho Cinco are good wide receivers.  So where are the points?  The yards?

Offenses typically struggle without a consistent running threat.  The Bengals fit this generalization.  Chris Perry has only a three-yard average per carry, and the team as a whole only averages 87 yards per game, which is 28th in the league.

The Browns are basically in the same boat.

A surprising 10-6 finish last season led to high expectations for guys like Derek Anderson (two touchdowns, five interceptions, 405 yards through three games), Braylon Edwards (eight catches, 73 yards, no touchdowns), and Jamal Lewis (156 yards, 3.5 yard average, no touchdowns).

These guys haven't been able to keep up what they did last year offensively and have been even worse than the potential weapons the Bengals have.  They rank dead last in scoring offense and total yardage, second-to-last in passing yardage, and third-to-last in rushing yardage.

All this deficiency has left head coach Romeo Crennel scratching his head.  Word is that he's considering replacing Anderson with second-year quarterback Brady Quinn.  The Browns can't get any worse offensively, so why not check out what a high draft pick can do with the offense?

Picking a winner and a final score is tough in this game.  The offenses are bad, as I've pointed out, but the defenses are pretty bad too.  Something tells me this will be another high-scoring affair between these two clubs.

Cleveland will pull it out, 35-27.