Bengals Playing Better Without T.Ocho

Without Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, the Bengals are flying high.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Categories: 2010 Season, Mike Duffy, Week 17 vs Bengals

With receiver Chad Ohcocinco sitting out last Sunday (ankle) and the placement of wideout Terrell Owens on Injured Reserve (knee), the Cincinnati Bengals offense is coming off its best performance of the year.

The Bengals have stumbled to a 4-11 record this year, but they might be better off without the Pro Bowlers.

Cincinnati is fresh off a 34-20 defeat of the San Diego Chargers, which featured quarterback Carson Palmer tossing four touchdown passes to the likes of young prospects Jerome Simpson, Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham.

Simpson and Andre Caldwell combined for 10 catches for 211 yards, with Simpson notching two of the touchdowns.

Needless to say, the Ravens will have a talented group of somewhat mysterious receivers on their hands for the season finale.

“Caldwell and Gresham have played, and Shipley’s kind of been their guy all season,” said Ravens cornerback Josh Wilson. “The only one who we haven’t heard from is Simpson. You just have to go off what you see on the film, no matter how much film there is. I know it’s only one game, but that’s how it is.”

The group rejuvenated Palmer’s game.

Palmer had a stellar outing against San Diego, which boasts the NFL’s top defense.

He completed 16 of 21 passes for 269 yards and a career-high 157.2 passer rating. Cincinnati also converted an impressive eight of 14 third-down attempts, including two third-down scores.

“With this team, Carson Palmer can throw to a spot,” Wilson said. “He can make all the throws, but he’s a spot guy. You know he’s going to put the ball there, so you have to study that over the course of the season. What you have to look at now is how is the receiver going to get there?”

Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis said that Ochocinco has a good chance to play at M&T Bank Stadium, but the absence of the reality-television stars benefitted the Bengals – at least for one day.

“They came in and played how we expected them to play,” Lewis said of the developing targets. “They went out and did their jobs, and not always perfect, but when the opportunity arose, they made the best of it. They played with a lot of energy, which is good.”

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