Monday, September 27, 2004

Ravens Teach Palmer Physics

It took the NFL’s most intense and successful defense of this century to do it, but Carson Palmer finally looked like a rookie quarterback in his third NFL start in Sunday’s 23-9 loss at Paul Brown Stadium.

After the Ravens had pounded him physically from the kickoff to the knee and he had literally knocked heads with future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, Palmer admitted Baltimore had “confused,” him during his four turnover day...

But at least he got Sunday what David Klingler and Akili Smith never had.

A 300-yard passing game on 25 of 52 passes for 316 that he would have traded for no turnovers instead of the four...

The first thing to learn is it wasn’t all his fault. The second thing is, he wasn’t the only one confused after the Bengals rolled up the most yardage (398) against the Ravens in eight games, were two yards shy of having just the ninth 100-yard rusher against Baltimore in five seasons, were one yard shy of having two 100-yard receivers, and yet have now gone 30 straight drives and eight quarters without an offensive touchdown.

Running back Rudi Johnson, off a season-high 98 yards on 23 carries, was also buffaloed. He noticed foes had come into the game rushing 3.3 yards per carry against Baltimore but he hit 4.3, and the Bengals could manage just two field goals once in the red zone...

Wide receiver Chad Johnson was also confused and he didn’t try to hide his frustration when Palmer couldn’t find him on a couple of occasions by banging his helmet and waving his arms like a third-base coach. Johnson, absolutely brilliant against the Pro Bowl coverage of cornerback Chris McAlister and safety Ed Reed, validated his own Pro Bowl credentials with eight catches for 99 yards, but he shook his head after not being able to pop a play bigger than 23 yards.

Another Sunday, another game
Go Bengals!

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