I was going to just put up an empty bucket as I was way off on this game and not spend much time on it, but I promised a couple of Bengals fans who wrote that I would eat my full serving of crow.
None of my predictions won any buckets, so I won’t post the ratings.
Prediction Palmer will have some success, but not much. Look for about 150 yards, a touchdown, and maybe a pair of interceptions. Fred Smoot will lock Chad Johnson down. Running back Rudi Johnson won’t find much room either (note to self—bench Johnson on fantasy team). He runs best up the middle and Cornelius Griffin will be in the way there. Johnson will be doing well to get to 60 yards. If the Redskins don’t turn the ball over as the Cowboys did last week, the Bengals will have a tough time scoring against theWashington defense ranked first in the NFL. I wasn’t all that far off on Palmer, just 65 yards. It was Johnson’s performance that I was way off on. I’m sure that you Bengals fans will be happy to learn that I lost the fantasy matchup I would have won if I’d played Johnson.
Prediction Cincinnati won’t get those turnovers. Brunell’s best play is the toss into the bench area to avoid the interception. Knock wood, but it seems that Portis has solved the problems that caused some uncharacteristic and untimely fumbles earlier this year. No cheap scores for the visitors. Brunell’s interception was key, giving the Bengals a short field to work with, although it wasn’t exactly a “cheap” score. On second thought, I’ll go ahead and give myself a couple of buckets here.
Prediction The Redskins will get their offense moving. Now that’s a relative term; I certainly don’t expect an offensive explosion, a match of the 34 points they put up in the last meeting with the Bengals or anything. At some point, however, opposing defenses have to get concerned enough about Portis to open up the passing game a bit more. Brunell shatters the 100-yard barrier, maybe even touches the rarified air of 150. Portis will run wild. If he is to have a near 200-yard game this season, and most backs of his caliber do, this is the week. Portis didn’t get enough carries to make even 100 yards, although he did have a nice average of over four per carry. Brunell, of course, was awful before being yanked and most of Ramsey’s pass production came in desperation in the third and fourth quarters when it was 17-0.
All of this adds up to a 24-13 Redskins win. It wasn’t so surprising that the Bengals were able to put up 17 points. The killer for the Redskins was it was 17-0 by the middle of the second quarter and they were taken out of their game. Perhaps they didn’t need to be, maybe Portis should have had more than 17 carries as there was still plenty of time to catch up. Regardless, it seemed that Cincinnati had an answer for whatever the Redskins dished up.
As for the Redskins, they’re still searching for answers.