Ochocinco does Lambeau leap as Bengals upset Packers

The Bengals’ 31-24 win over the Packers on Sunday is proof that nobody knows what the hell is going on in the NFL. You may have called this upset, but I guarantee you that there was a game on the schedule this week that made you scratch your head.

Cincinnati scored seven points last week. Green Bay’s defense harassed Jay Cutler for four quarters last Sunday night and made him look like a rookie. So it makes sense that this week that the Bengals would roll into Lambeau Field and put 31 points up on the scoreboard.


Where to begin? Let’s start with the disastrous play of Green Bay’s offensive line. Left tackle Chad Clifton was carted off the field in the first half and the Packers had to bring center Scott Wells into the game. They also slid Jason Spitz to left guard and Daryn Colledge to left tackle, and the changes resulted in Cincinnati racking up six sacks, including five by defensive end Anthony Odom.

Aaron Rodgers did a good job of adjusting to the pressure and scrambling out of the pocket. But he was always on the run, could never set his feet and his receivers didn’t help him by dropping multiple passes throughout the game. (How does Greg Jennings go an entire game without a catch?) If this team doesn’t get their issues resolved on the offensive line, Rodgers doesn’t stand a chance.

Of course, Green Bay’s defense doesn’t get off the hook here. Cedric Benson racked up 141 yards on 29 carries, which set up Carson Palmer and the passing game to make some plays. Outside of a Charles Woodson 37-yard interception return for a touchdown, there’s not much good that came out of this game for Dom Capers’ defense, which had played so well against Chicago the week before.

Somehow, the Packers still had a chance to tie the game with seconds remaining, but a false start penalty (which resulted in a 10-second run off) ended Green Bay’s comeback bid.

As for the Bengals, if they can generate that kind of pressure every week, they’d be in good shape. But I don’t think Odom is going to rack up five sacks every game, so keeping the expectations low for this team would be wise. Still, this was an impressive upset for a team that was devastated at home last week on Brandon Stokley’s fluke last-second touchdown.

The quality isn’t great, but here’s video of Chad Ochocinco doing the “Lambeau Leap” after scoring a touchdown late in the third quarter:

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Are the Eagles interested in Ocho Cinco Johnson?

According to ESPN’s Michael Smith, the Eagles could have interest in receiver Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson.

ESPN’s Michael Smith said on NFL Live tonight that he’s hearing the Eagles have interest in Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson.

Rather than paraphrase what Smith is reporting, here’s exactly what he said so you can decide for yourself whether this is just a rumor or something more.

“I am hearing there is interest in Chad Johnson,” Smith said. “Now there’s been some back and forth as to whether or not he is officially on the market. I think everybody in Cincinnati has signed off on moving Chad Johnson except for owner Mike Brown. The Eagles could be in the picture. They have two first-round picks. They need a receiver.”

Note: It was brought to my attention that I could have been clearer with the above quote. Smith was asked a direct question about the Eagles when he said, “I am hearing there is interest in Chad Johnson.” So in my interpretation, he was directly talking about the Birds, not just saying there was general interest around the league in Johnson.

The Eagles have two first round picks and with so many quality receivers available in this month’s draft, I don’t know if Johnson would be worth it. If Ocho went the way of Randy Moss in New England (i.e. shut his mouth and produced), then he’d be worth giving up a draft pick for. But considering he didn’t show up to voluntary (I know, I know – voluntary) workouts in Cincinnati, I highly doubt Johnson is going to change his ways.

Ocho Cinco a no-show for Bengals’ offseason conditioning

Receiver Chad Johnson didn’t show for the start of Bengals’ offseason conditioning on Monday.

“I’m not worried about him; I’m worried about the guys we have here,” Palmer said at a news conference Monday. “The guys that want to be here and want to work now are the guys who are in the locker room right now and are here today.”

Despite Palmer’s confirmation, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis would not say what players were present. Palmer did sound more upbeat when asked about other receivers such as Laveranues Coles, who was present.

Last year Ocho Cinco caused a major stir by skipping “voluntary” workouts and publicly stating his desire to be traded. It is not known if this absence is again hinting that he wants out of Cincinnati. Ocho Cinco has not been in contact with the Bengals recently.

Last year Cincinnati passed up trade offers because the team was unwilling to take an $8 million salary cap hit. This year that cap number is reduced to $4.87 million to trade Ocho Cinco, making it more of a possibility.

You’d think a guy coming off one of the worst seasons of his career would get his ass to every team workout program that his team offered – especially considering his quarterback missed all of last season due to injury. Who knows, maybe Ocho Cinco has a good reason for missing the program. Or maybe he’s just trying to get attention again. Either way, he needs to stop being a distraction so the Bengals can start turning things around.

2008 Year-End Sports Review: What We Already Knew

While every year has its own host of surprises, there are always those stories that simply fit the trend. Sure, it can get repetitive, but if we don’t look back at history aren’t we only doomed to repeat it? Every year has its fair share of stories that fell into this category, and 2008 was no different.

Our list of things we already knew this year includes the BCS’ continued suckiness (Texas-Oklahoma), how teamwork wins championships (KG, Pierce and Ray-Ray), and the #1 rule for carrying a handgun into a nightclub – don’t use your sweatpants as a holster. (Come on, Plax. Really? Sweatpants?)

Don’t miss the other two parts of our 2008 Year-End Sports Review: “What We Learned” and “What We Think Might Happen.”

Brett Favre can’t make up his mind.

The biggest story of the summer was all the drama surrounding Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. This saga has been covered to death, but there’s one detail that never seemed to get that much play. At the start, it looked like the Packers were making a bad decision by moving on so quickly even when Favre decided he wanted to return. But when the news broke about Favre’s near-unretirement in March, the Packers stance became much more clear. They were ready to take him back after the owners’ meetings, but he called it off at the last minute. At that point, the Packer brass was understandably finished with Brett Favre, much to the chagrin of a good portion of the Packer faithful. – John Paulsen

The Chicago Cubs’ title drought is not a fans-only phenomenon.

The 2008 Cubs were easily the best team the franchise has assembled in decades, but they still couldn’t win a single game in the playoffs, and the reason is simple: the pressure finally got to them. Sure, they said the right things to the press about how they didn’t care about what had happened in the past, but don’t believe a word of it; there wasn’t a single person in that dugout that wasn’t fantasizing about being part of the team that finally, mercifully, ended the longest title drought in sports history. Once ESPN picked them to win it all, however, they were doomed. Ryan Dempster walked seven batters in Game 1, which matched his total for the month of September. The entire infield, including the sure-handed Derrek Lee, committed errors in Game 2. Alfonso Soriano went 1-14 with four strikeouts in the leadoff spot, while the team as a whole drew six walks and struck out 24 times. The team with so much balance in the regular season suddenly became the most one-dimensional team in baseball; take Game 1 from them, then sit back and watch them choke. And now that this group has lost six straight playoff games (the team has lost nine straight dating back to 2003), it isn’t about to get any easier. Get a helmet, Cubs fans. – David Medsker

If you’re going to wear sweatpants to a nightclub, leave the gun at home.

If winning a Super Bowl is the pinnacle of an NFL player’s career, than shooting yourself with your own gun in a nightclub has to be rock bottom. Case in point: Plaxico Antonio Burress. Just 10 months after helping the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg while at a nightclub. Apparently the (unregistered) gun was slipping down his leg and when he tried to grab it to keep it from falling, the lucky bastard wound up pulling the trigger and shooting himself. And that wasn’t the worst of it because as Plaxico found out, New York has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. He was arrested, but posted bail of $100,000 and is scheduled to return to court on March 31, 2009. If convicted of carrying a weapon without a license, he faces up to three and a half years in jail. He shouldn’t expect special treatment, either. The mayor of New York wants to be sure that Burress is prosecuted just like any other resident of NYC. The Giants, meanwhile, placed him on their reserve/non-football injury list and effectively ended his season. While “Plax” definitely deserves “Boner of the Week” consideration for his stupidity, what’s sad is that in the wake of Washington Redskins’ safety Sean Taylor’s death, most NFL players feel the need to arm themselves when they go out. Maybe players can learn from not only Taylor’s death, but also Burress’s accident so further incidents can be avoided. – Anthony Stalter

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Fantasy Fallout, Week 7: WRs

In the NO/CAR game, Muhsin Muhammad (3-43) and Lance Moore (3-10) came back to Earth a little bit. It’s tough to count on either of them, especially Moore who failed to produce even though the Saints were trailing most of the game…Bernard Berrian (6-81-1) is turning into a must-start with Gus Frerotte under center. Berran is now averaging 5.0-96-0.6 since Frerotte took over in Week 3…Devin Hester (2-22) left the game with a quad injury and was unable to return…Both Housh (8-58) and Ocho Cinco (8-52-1) were targeted often by Ryan Fitzpatrick, and it looks like Carson Palmer may be out a while…The Chiefs are a mess, but Dwayne Bowe (7-86) still put up good numbers in PPR leagues…Derrick Mason (6-87-1) continues to be Joe Flacco’s favorite target and is a WR2/WR3 in PPR leagues…Terrell Owens (2-31) looks like he’s going to suffer while Tony Romo is out…Jerricho Cotchery’s dismal outing (1-0) throws his must-start status into flux. It might have had more to do with Oakland’s fine CB Nnamdi Asomugha than anything the Jets were doing.

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