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Five & Out With Cincy Jungle

I'd like to thank Josh Kirkendall, a fellow Sports Blogs Nation writer over at Cincy Jungle, for answering some questions regarding the Cincinnati Bengals heading into this week's game. I encourage you to go over to his site and read the thoughts on this week's game from Cincinnati's perspective. Is this the Browns' time to win the "Battle of Ohio"? Let's get to the questions I asked Josh, and how he responded...

1. Chad Johnson said he will jump in the Dawg Pound if he scores this week. Now, I never root for anyone else to score against us, but we know that the Bengals will score touchdowns, and it'd actually be kinda funny to see Chad try something like this. With how Leigh Bodden has covered him in the past, do you think he'll score?

Josh Kirkendall: "Chad Johnson is a threat to score on any play. The past few weeks have been awesome for Chad. But he's not doing anything special. There was a lot of broken coverage against San Diego and New Orleans thought they could hold him with single-coverage. If defenses go back to basics and cover Chad with a safety deep and a corner underneath, Johnson, like most wide receivers, can be slowed. And Cleveland has always done well containing Chad - only two touchdowns against the Browns in the last five games."


2. Although the Bengals can reach the postseason due to their potent offense, there's no question they wouldn't be able to go far because of their defensive issues, correct?

Josh Kirkendall: "How many teams score 41 points in an NFL games and lose by eight points? The defense, if things remain the same, will kill this team. The difference this season is injuries and turnovers. Last season we led the NFL with a +24 turnover ratio. This year, we're only +4."


3. Do you think the Bengals should run the ball more to control the clock and keep other teams off the field more? Or, would it hurt the Bengals, because other teams will score regardless, and if the Bengals struggle in the running game, they are eliminating their passing threat?

Josh Kirkendall: "I've been begging the offense to run the ball more. When Rudi runs, and Browns fans feel this more than most teams because of his success against Cleveland, the Bengals chances of winning skyrocket. The biggest problem in our losses is the unbalanced ratio of passing. Too many incompletes generate too many three-and-outs causing our defense to suck wind - that's when the opposing offense starts to score more frequently and the Bengals running game is completely removed from the playbook."


4. Has not having Odell Thurman been a big loss to this team, or is the rest of the defense just playing bad regardless?

Josh Kirkendall: "Well, anytime you lose your starting middle linebacker that was a finalist in the rookie of the year balloting is big. Thurman made plays and was grooming to become a great linebacker in the league. But his story is well known and it's questionable if he'll put on another uniform for the Bengals. But our starting linebackers have been the story of the year. David Pollack broke his neck against Cleveland earlier this year and Brian Simmons is also having a neck problem that's kept him out. That leaves our linebacker crew with second-stringers and special teamers. Admittedly, the Bengals defense was never going to break any records. But injuries have crushed this team's ability to make plays and stop the opposing offense."


5. Will the Bengals win this game?

Josh Kirkendall: "Yes."


I'd like to thank Josh once again for taking time to answer these questions. He should have his set of questions and my answers on his site either tonight or tomorrow morning.