Two teams badly in need of continuing their winning ways
to keep their playoff hopes alive will meet this Saturday,
Christmas Eve, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
The Arizona Cardinals are one of the hottest teams in the
league, having won four in a row and six out of their last
seven to stay relevant in the NFC Playoff picture, will
take on the Cincinnati Bengals, who are 8-6 and broke a
two-game skid with a 20-13 win over St. Louis on Sunday.
So get your egg nog ready for this Christmas Eve tilt, and
we here at ArizonaSports.com will keep you updated on
everything that’s going on in Cincy leading up to this
And of course, we’ll also have the most comprehensive
Cardinals coverage anywhere all week long.
Wednesday, December 21st
Said Green in giving a status report on his injured right
shoulder: “I’m doing good. It’s just a little sore but
better than I thought. I’m moving my arm around and it
isn’t in a sling.”
Domata Peko and Colin Cochart can now go back to their day
jobs with the Bengals as fullback Chris Pressley appears
ready to return for Saturday’s home game against the
Pressley sat out of last Sunday’s 20-13 win at St. Louis
with a knee injury. He returned to practice on Tuesday.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been penalized with seven
false starts in the past three games, dating back to their
devastating 35-7 loss on December 4, 2011. Mind you it’s
not false starts directly that loses games. What they do,
as Dave Lapham readily points out, is put you behind
According to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, this
weekend’s game against the Arizona Cardinals will be
blacked out locally. It’s the sixth game that’s failed to
sellout this season, with the lone sellout being against
the Pittsburgh Steelers (and if this were hockey, you
might as well credit Steelers fans with the assist).
The Cincinnati Bengals announced they haven’t sold out
Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, which marks
the sixth blackout in seven home games this season. The
Bengals (8-6) have doubled their win total from last
season but they’ve watched their attendance drop from last
season by an average of 10,000 per game.
With Arizona five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry
Fitzgerald coming to town, the comparisons to Green are
inevitable and many.
Green, 6-4, 207 pounds, was the fourth pick in the last
draft. Fitzgerald, 6-3, 225 pounds, was the third pick in
Tuesday, December 20th
I think Bengals WR AJ Green can play with a bum shoulder
this week against the Cards and the last weekend of the
season against the Ravens. The team will have to heavily
pad his shoulder and specifically where the shoulder is
hurt. It will change how he plays and change the routes he
runs, but having him on the field is better that not
having him out there.
Ever since the Bengals beat the Rams and the Jets lost to
the Eagles, there have been plenty of questions about
where the Bengals stand in terms of tiebreakers and what
needs to happen for them to get the sixth and final
playoff spot. There is still a chance that the Chargers,
Raiders or Titans could work their way into the mix too,
but they need help. For the moment, we’ll focus on the
Bengals and Jets since both are 8-6.
Here is our week 15 statistical breakdown following
Cincinnati’s 20-13 win over the St. Louis Rams. It was an
ugly win, but a win nonetheless, and the Bengals remain in
the playoff hunt so all is well in Bengaldom. Here are
five good stats this week followed by five bad stats.
Through 14 games this season, Cincinnati has scored a
touchdown within the red zone 48.8% of the time, which
ranks 22nd in the NFL (actually better than three playoff-
bound teams in Houston, San Francisco and Denver). Over
the course of the last three games when Cincinnati went 1-
2 against the Steelers, Texans and Rams, the Bengals have
converted only 44.4% of their red zone possessions into
Assistant public relations director P.J. Combs handed out
a stat sheet that said they did, but with two games left
against a 7-7 Cardinals club as hot as the Arizona desert
with four straight wins, and the big, bad Ravens, the
Bengals knew this stat sheet wouldn’t do.
Monday, December 19th
Losers of two straight and four of their last five, the
Bengals got their fleeting playoff hopes back on track on
Sunday with a much-needed 20-13 victory over the Rams at
the Edward Jones Dome.
PASS OFFENSE (B-)
Solid, not great or awful. Andy Dalton (15 of 26 for 179
yards) had a passer rating of 62.8, but the number took a
big hit due to his second quarter interception and not
throwing a touchdown pass for the first time in 11 games.
A.J. Green had 6 catches for 115 yards, including a 55-
yard grab in single coverage in the first quarter and a
30-yard reception on a bubble screen on the second drive.
So can the 8-6 Bengals sneak into the AFC playoffs? They
still have an uphill battle with the Jets a game ahead of
them. But they’re still in the race in late December. No
one saw that coming before the season.
For the third straight game the Bengals may be playing a
backup quarterback in Saturday’s 1 p.m. Christmas Eve game
against the Cardinals at Paul Brown Stadium. A backup that
has fewer starts than Dalton. Houston’s T.J. Yates had one
start coming in, St. Louis’s Kellen Clemens nine and
second-year man John Skelton has nine.