Behind Enemy Lines: Where were Ochocinco and T.O.?
|09.12.10 at 9:17 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The 38-24 loss to the Patriots was certainly not what the Bengals were hoping for to kick off their 2010 season. However, the Patriots pounced early and never looked back. After the game, Chad Ochocinco and his teammates seemed shocked at what had just transpired.
“All I know is the better team won today,” Ochocinco said.
Certainly, the most puzzling development of the day was a play on which the two star Bengals wide receivers — Ochocinco and Terrell Owens — were not on the field. On the last play of the first half, both players were in the locker room when the Bengals attempted a Hail Mary pass. Though Palmer ended up completing a bomb to Jordan Shipley, who was downed at the 2-yard line for a 51-yard gain, the absence of two Cincinnati stars was perplexing.
After the game, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis addressed the whereabouts of his missing wideouts:
“We had [Ochocinco] go in for an IV, which is kind of normal for him any time we are on defense — particularly early in the season,” Lewis said. “Later in the year we don’t have to do that. But the doctors want to get him and get him out so he’s ready to go at the start of the second half. And Terrell went in to get work done and get looked at and so we had the other guys ready to go.”
If there was one good thing the Bengals could take out of the loss, it was the play of Ochocinco, who had 12 catches for 159 yards and a touchdown. Despite his great performance, No. 85 had only good things to say about the players covering him, Darius Butler and the Patriots secondary.
“They’re very good; I have a lot of respect for those guys. Butler is extremely good,” Ochocinco said. “The secondary is fine, regardless of what they have personnel wise, [Bill] Belichick is still the head coach so nothing is going to change.”
Ochocinco’s partner in crime, Terrell Owens, also discussed the Patriots secondary.
“They did what they were supposed to do, and again, we didn’t do what we were supposed to do,” Owens said. “It wasn’t so much of what they did. It was more or less of what we didn’t do.”
The Patriots defense held the Bengals to 156 total yards and just three points in the first half. After the game, quarterback Carson Palmer discussed the challenge of facing a Belichick defensive game plan.
“I haven’t played against anybody better at it,” Palmer said. “He is very good at game-planning and changing game-planning, good at adjusting mid-game. A lot of people that have played for him say he’s the best coach they’ve ever played for, and that’s fair to say.”