TE Ben Utecht, DE Antwan Odom, DT Antwon Burton, OLB Darryl Blackstock, OLB Brandon Johnson.
WR Andre Caldwell, WR Mario Urrutia, TE Matt Sherry, OT Anthony Collins, DE Angelo Craig, DT Pat Sims, DT Jason Shirley, OLB Keith Rivers, FS Corey Lynch, KR Jerome Simpson.
RB Kenny Irons, RB Quincy Wilson, OT Adam Kieft, C Alex Stepanovich, DE Jimmy Smith, DE/DT Jimmy Verdon, DT Bryan Robinson, OLB Landon Johnson, OLB David Pollack, OLB Lemar Marshall, OLB Roy Manning, ILB Odell Thurman, ILB Caleb Miller, ILB Anthony Schlegel, CB Brandon Williams, FS Madieu Williams, FS Blue Adams, K Aaron Elling, P Danny Baugher.
2008 Cincinnati Bengals Offense:
I don't know how to begin writing a Bengals season preview without mentioning how disappointing they've been to their fans the past five years. Marvin Lewis, hired in 2003, quickly turned the franchise around, taking it from the laughing stock of the NFL to a perennial playoff contender. Lewis then acquired Carson Palmer and Chris Henry, and coached up the likes of Chad Johnson, Rudi Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, turning each of them into a superstar.
People always have high hopes for the Bengals, yet under Lewis, they have no playoff victories. To be fair, Palmer tore ligaments in his knee on his first pass (a 66-yard completion to Chris Henry) in an opening-round contest against the Steelers. Still, the fact that Cincinnati hasn't reached the postseason with its arsenal of offensive weapons since then is a joke.
Of course we all know why Cincinnati has become a perennial failure. From Henry's addiction to giving liquor to 10-year-olds, to Chad Johnson's shouting matches with everyone in the locker room, Lewis barely has any control over his team.
The Bengals did the right thing in cutting Henry, but I'm still unsure if that's going to do anything. Johnson, who acts like a manic depressive, broke his promise about not showing up to training camp. It looks like he'll be working out with the squad, which will be fine until he decides to go into one of his episodes. And that's even if he shows up. You can't really count on him, which is why Cincinnati should have traded him this offseason. I seriously doubt the organization will ever advance deep into the playoffs with Johnson creating chaos on the sidelines, but hey, I doubted the Eli Manning-Tom Coughlin combination before their playoff run.
Without Henry, Palmer's other lone reliable receiver is Houshmandzadeh, who put up more receptions (112) and touchdowns (12) than Johnson (93, 8), though the latter dominated in yardage (1,440 to 1,143). Third-round rookie Andre Caldwell will probably be the No. 3 wide out, so it's tough to say what we should expect from him. Cincinnati also chose Jerome Simpson in the second round, but he's primarily a return specialist and probably has no future as an NFL receiver.
While I have reservations about Cincinnati's receiving corps beyond Houshmandzadeh and newly acquired tight end Ben Utecht, I'm really concerned regarding the running back position. After a mediocre 2006 campaign in which Rudi Johnson ran for 1,308 yards but only at 3.8 yards per carry, Johnson regressed in 2007, thanks to hamstring problems, gaining just 2.9 yards per rush. He'll share the load with Kenny Watson and Chris Perry. Watson was the most effective back on the roster last season, as his average was far superior to Johnson's (4.3). More importantly, Watson caught 52 passes out of the backfield for 374 yards. Meanwhile, Perry, a first-round selection in 2004, has just 73 career carries as a result of multiple injuries. He hasn't even touched a football since 2006. It looks like he's as healthy as he's been since then, but I really wouldn't count on anything.
The unit that makes Cincinnati's offense tick is the line. The tackle position is extremely deep with Levi Jones, Stacy Andrews and Willie Anderson. When healthy, Jones is one of the better left tackles in the league. Unfortunately, he's had injury issues the past two seasons. Andrews, penciled in as the starting right tackle, was franchised this offseason. A powerful run-blocker, Andrews did a great job replacing the injured Anderson last year. Anderson, meanwhile, can no longer start at the age of 33, but he should be an effective backup. Fourth-round rookie Anthony Collins will be a factor in the future.
The interior of the Bengals' offensive line lost Eric Steinbach last spring, but by the way they opened up lanes for Watson and protected Palmer (17 sacks), you wouldn't have even known it. Andrew Whitworth is very good at left guard, as he also gives the team insurance at left tackle because he can play that position. Bobbie Williams and the underrated Eric Ghiaciuc are also solid at right guard and center, respectively.
Take away the running game and depth issues at receiver, and it seems like Cincinnati's offense should be explosive in 2008. The scoring unit was 11th last season, which just isn't good enough for the talent the Bengals possess. Something tells me they will underachieve yet again this year.
2008 Cincinnati Bengals Defense:
I'd say Cincinnati's defense underachieves even more than the offense, but that wouldn't be a factual statement. Here's one: The Bengals couldn't stop anyone because half their stop unit sucks, the other half was injured and the third half was in jail.
I think back to a Monday Night game where Tony Kornheiser talked about trying out as a linebacker for the Bengals. They were just so thin at the position all last year, thanks to Odell Thurman's suspension and David Pollack's inability to come back from a career-ending back injury. With some of their regulars always hurt (i.e. Rashard Jeanty, Ahmad Brooks), Cincinnati had to turn to guys like Dhani Jones, who was actually out of the league and selling bow ties for a living. No joke. Jones finished second on the team in tackles, which is really pathetic. Even more sad is that in the wake of kicking Thurman off the team, Marvin Lewis has penciled Jones in as the starting middle linebacker, where he will likely be a three-down player. Ouch.
While Jones was second in tackles (89), weakside linebacker Landon Johnson finished with 109. That number didn't mean much, as Johnson was a pretty marginal player. However, that doesn't really matter, as he bolted for Carolina this offseason. Replacing him is rookie Keith Rivers, chosen ninth overall in April. Rivers already has a spot in the starting rotation. Fighting for the strongside linebacker gig, meanwhile, are Jeanty and Brooks. Jeanty, who has more experience, will likely be in on running plays, while the troublesome Brooks, who played in just two contests last year, will be on long-yardage situations.
You know, it's pretty sad that Cincinnati's stop unit features a bow tie vendor, but it gets even worse when you look at the team's sack total last season. The defense had a grand total of 22 sacks. That's it! That's basically one per week. The Bengals' leading pass rusher was Robert Geathers, who had four sacks. Geathers had 10 sacks the year before, but was forced to play linebacker when everyone got hurt and/or thrown in jail. No one else had more than two sacks.
One of the players who had a pair of sacks was Justin Smith, who signed with the 49ers this offseason. Taking Smith's place will be former Titan Antwan Odom, who had eight sacks in 2007. The thing is, Odom, like new Arizona Cardinal Travis LaBoy, generated most of his successful pass rushes because the opposition was so worried about Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch. Odom will struggle this season, in all likelihood.
Unlike Tennessee, Cincinnati lacks two incredible talents on the defensive front. You can say the team has one though, as 320-pound Domata Peko was the reason the Bengals were 21st against the run instead of 31st. Peko can't really get to the quarterback like Haynesworth, but he's a massive space-eater, who should work well with Pat Sims in the future. Sims, chosen in the third round of April's draft, must first beat out the mediocre John Thornton, whose contract expires after this season.
With the Bengals' pass rush pretty limited, their young and thin secondary could get exposed early, and may subsequently feel discouraged and lose concentration. Of the four starting defensive backs, Jonathan Joseph, entering his third season as a pro, is the most experienced. Everyone else - corner Leon Hall, free safety Marvin White and strong safety Chindeum Ndukwe - is entering their second year. They have a combined 15 starts in the NFL.
Now, I know Hall and Joseph combined for nine interceptions last season; White shows a bit of promise; and Ndukwe came on strong at the end of the 2007 campaign, but the fact remains that in addition to their youth, Lewis will have to deal with the fact that there's no one behind them. Corner Deltha O'Neal, who turned 31 in the winter, hasn't been attending workouts after proclaiming that he won't be a Bengal in 2008. Safety Dexter Jackson, who also lost his job last year, may be cut prior to the start of the season. He'll be 31 in July. That'll leave the Bengals with defensive back reserves like Blue Adams, David Jones, Herena-Daze Jones and rookie Corey Lynch. I like Lynch, but I don't expect much from him on defense until he's more seasoned.
Can anyone seriously remember the last time the Bengals' defense was good? I'm pretty sure the Civil War was going on during that era. Cincinnati's stop unit was 24th in points (24.1 ppg) and I just don't know if it made enough improvements to escape from the league's bottom 10.
2008 Cincinnati Bengals Schedule and Intangibles:
Everyone always wants to fire Marvin Lewis. While we can fault him for his team perennially underachieving, it's better than watching them go 2-14 every year. That's what it was like before Lewis came to Cincinnati. If Bengals fans want to go back to being the Bungles, that's fine - fire Lewis. I believe that Lewis should be commended for putting up with the misfits on his roster every week.
Cincinnati is just 47-49 at home since 1996. While that may be a product of the "Bungle" days, the team is only 9-7 in the Jungle the past two years.
In 2006, the Bengals neither scored nor gave up a touchdown on special teams. In 2007, they had one and surrendered one. Glenn Holt took a kickoff back 100 yards. As punt returner, Antonio Chatman did nothing, which is why Lewis drafted Jerome Simpson.
Shayne Graham is one of the top short-range kickers in the NFL. He hit 31-of-34 attempts last season, including 6-of-7 from 40-49. Unfortunately, he had none from 50-plus, and has only nailed two from that distance since 2004.
Kyle Larson, on the other hand, had a mediocre punting average (41.3) and hit just 21 kicks inside the 20.
For a team that finished 7-9, the Bengals have a pretty tough schedule. Opponents like the Titans, Giants, Cowboys, Jaguars, Eagles, Colts, Browns (twice) and Steelers (twice) will be tough to beat.
2008 Cincinnati Bengals Analysis: The Bengals didn't really acquire many players this offseason, but they could be better via addition by subtraction. With negative influences like Chris Henry, Odell Thurman and Quincy Wilson gone, the number of arrests in the city of Cincinnati should decrease, which should cause the team's victory total to increase.
Unfortunately, there are a number of things holding the Bengals back this season. The schedule's going to be tough; the defense hasn't improved enough; and who really knows what's going on with Chad Johnson?
Projection: 5-11 (3rd in AFC North)
2008 Fantasy Football Rankings:
Carson Palmer: Carson Palmer threw for 4,131 yards (coming very close to my projected 4,150) and 26 touchdowns in 2007. Sounds great, but factor this in: Six of those scores came in a crazy 51-45 loss to Cleveland. From Week 13 to 16, Palmer had just two touchdowns and topped 190 yards once. Because he was paired with a clown and several criminals, Palmer wasn't the most reliable quarterback in the NFL. The convicts are gone, while Chad Johnson will be drawn to the reporters at training camp like mosquitoes are to blood. With no running game, Palmer will once again air it out early and often.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 4,000 passing yards. 28 passing TDs. 10 rushing yards. 0 rushing TDs.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 368.
Rudi Johnson: Rudi Johnson rushed for at least 1,300 yards from 2004 to 2006, but the latter season saw Johnson gain just 3.8 yards per carry. Last year was even worse for Johnson (2.9), who was hampered by hamstring injuries the entire campaign. He'll be the starter going into training camp, but Kenny Watson actually looked pretty solid as a substitute. Meanwhile, Chris Perry finally seems healthy. All three runners could share carries.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 625 rushing yards. 100 receiving yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 108.
Kenny Watson: Kenny Watson will have to share carries with the declining Rudi Johnson and injury-prone Chris Perry. Watson had a much higher yards-per-rush average (4.3) than Rudi Johnson (2.9). Watson also had 52 receptions for 374 yards.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 500 rushing yards. 350 receiving yards. 3 total TDs.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 103.
Ben Utecht: I can't remember the last time the Bengals had a potent tight end. They've wasted so much time with Reggie Kelly, I feel like I just came out of a stupor. With Chris Henry off giving alcohol to 8-year-old kids, Utecht becomes Carson Palmer's third option.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 500 receiving yards. 5 TDs.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 80.
Chad Johnson: Chad Johnson wants to be traded. Actually, scratch that... No one, including Chad, knows what he wants. There's always a chance Chad won't show up to training camp, but I have to believe he'll miss the attention if he skips a few days. It looks like he'll once again accumulate massive yardage (1,440 in 2007) and give Palmer headaches.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,300 receiving yards. 9 TDs.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 192.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh: Fifth pick, sixth round, T.J. Houshmazoad. Lock it up! Houshmandzadeh, who improves his numbers every year, had more receptions (112) and touchdowns (12) than Chad Johnson (93; 8). Johnson beat him in yardage, but Houshmandzadeh presented more value, as Johnson was chosen earlier in most leagues. Fifth pick, sixth round? We can only dream about getting him there now.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,175 receiving yards. 10 TDs.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 177.
Andre Caldwell: It looks like Andre Caldwell will take Chris Henry's spot as the No. 3 receiver. Carson Palmer has raved about Caldwell's performance at minicamps, so there's a chance the Florida product could put up solid numbers his rookie season. A very small chance. I wouldn't take a risk on first-year wide outs until the very end of the draft.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 400 receiving yards. 2 TDs.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 52.
Shayne Graham: Since taking over the kicking job in Cincinnati, Shayne Graham hasn't missed more than five field goals in a single season. He was 31-of-34 in 2007, including 6-of-8 from beyond 40 yards.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 28-32 FG (1-2 50+). 40 XP.
Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 132.
Cincinnati Defense: If you're thinking about drafting Cincinnati's defense... Please, lay off the crack.
Projected Fantasy Ranking: Bottom 12 Defense.
2008 NFL Draft Grade:
Keith Rivers was the obvious pick at No. 9. Let's just hope he avoids the curse of the Cincinnati linebackers, and stays out of jail and off the IR. ... I criticized the Bengals for taking Jerome Simpson too early. My premise was: Why take Simpson in the second round when you can draft a talented defensive tackle like Pat Sims and simply acquire Simpson in the third? Well, Cincinnati managed to draft Sims in the third, so they're either really smart or really lucky. Simpson should be an effective kick returner for the team. ... The Bengals acquired a pair of second-round prospects in the middle rounds. Andre Caldwell should eventually be able to start across from T.J. Houshmandzadeh, while Anthony Collins, though not a need, was an option for the Chargers at No. 27. ... Corey Lynch was an excellent pick at 176. Lynch is a great character guy and a dynamic special-teams player. I wouldn't be shocked if he cracked the starting lineup either.
If you're the Bengals, how can you justify drafting anyone with character issues? They'll have to explain Jason Shirley and Mario Urrutia, both of whom are capable of poisoning a locker room. That's my only issue with Cincinnati's draft, other than the fact that the team didn't address the defensive end position until the seventh round.
Grade give on 4/29/08: A-
2008 NFL Draft Picks:
9. Keith Rivers, OLB, USC
Nothing wrong with taking the best player available at a position of need. I'm confident Keith Rivers can stay out of jail, so it's just a matter of him remaining healthy. Bengals linebackers seem cursed. Hopefully that ends here. (Pick Grade: A)
46. Jerome Simpson, WR/KR, Coastal Carolina
I actually like Jerome Simpson - in the fourth round! There's absolutely no reason this guy in the second round. What about a defensive tackle? Pat Sims and Dre Moore would have been excellent choices. (Pick Grade: D)
77. Pat Sims, DT, Auburn
Wow! The Bengals didn't take a fifth-round prospect here like I thought they would. Pat Sims would have been an excellent pick in the second round, so this naturally gets an A. (Pick Grade: A)
97. Andre Caldwell, WR, Florida
I like Andre Caldwell, but another receiver? Very interesting. Could Chad Johnson be traded right after June 1? (Pick Grade: A)
112. Anthony Collins, OT, Kansas
Major steal for the Bengals. They don't need an offensive tackle, but you have to take an early second-round prospect in the fourth. (Pick Grade: A)
145. Jason Shirley, DT, Fresno State
A solid, monstrous defensive tackle for the Bengals, which is what they need. What they don't need, however, is another guy with character issues. Looks like Cincinnati will never learn. (Pick Grade: C)
176. Corey Lynch, FS, Appalachian State
Great pick. The Bengals need some good-character guys in their locker room. Corey Lynch won't start right away, but he'll be a force on special teams. (Pick Grade: A)
207. Matt Sherry, TE, Villanova
Not on many draft boards and not really a need. (Pick Grade: D)
244. Angelo Craig, DE, Cincinnati
I'm surprised the Bengals waited this long for a defensive end. (Pick Grade: B)
246. Mario Urrutia, WR, Louisville
Leave it to the Bengals to draft another big receiver with a huge ego and very questionable leadership skills. (Pick Grade: D)
Athletes arrested. Players yelling at coaches. The fans scared of a certain receiver giving alcohol to their 6-year-old children. The 2007 Cincinnati Bengals. You can look at their record two ways: Impressive, given how dysfunctional they were; or disappointing, as they wasted the immense talent they had on offense.
Bengals re-sign WR Chris Henry
Bengals sign DT Antwon Burton
Bengals cut RB Kenny Irons
Bengals cut S Blue Adams
Bengals cut WR Doug Gabriel
Bengals cut ILB Odell Thurman
Bengals cut MLB Anthony Schlegel
Bengals cut OLB Roy Manning
Bengals announce retirement of OLB David Pollack
Bengals re-sign QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Bengals cut DE/DT Jimmy Verdon
Bengals sign WR Doug Gabriel
Bengals cut RB Quincy Wilson
Bengals cut WR Chris Henry
Bengals cut P Danny Baugher
Bengals cut CB Brandon Williams
Bengals re-sign OLB Rashad Jeanty
Bengals re-sign OLB Corey Mays
Bengals re-sign WR Glenn Holt
Bengals sign TE Ben Utecht
Bengals sign OLB Brandon Johnson
Bengals re-sign OT Stacy Andrews
Bengals sign TE Ben Utecht to offer sheet; Colts have seven days to match
Bengals sign OLB Darryl Blackstock
Bengals re-sign P Kyle Larson
Bengals sign DE Antwan Odom
Bengals re-sign DE Jonathan Fanene
Bengals re-sign WR Antonio Chatman
Two Defensive Ends: Cincinnati had 22 sacks last season. Robert Geathers led the team with four. In his contract year, Justin Smith had two. I'm sorry, but that's just terrible. I doubt Vernon Gholston falls to the Bengals at No. 9, so unless they want to reach for Derrick Harvey or Calais Campbell, they'll have to look at Lawrence Jackson in Round 2. Signed Antwan Odom; drafted Angelo Craig
Weakside Linebacker: Landon Johnson led the team with 143 tackles, which will get him a solid offer in free agency. The Bengals probably won't match it, however, seeing as how that number doesn't really represent how mediocre he is. I have Cincinnati drafting Keith Rivers at No. 9 overall. Drafted Keith Rivers; signed Brandon Johnson
Defensive Tackle: John Thornton, once a solid player, will be hitting the free-agent market as a 32-year-old after the 2008 campaign. The Bengals need someone to replace him now, however. Because Sedrick Ellis won't fall all the way down to No. 9, they'll have to settle for someone like Dre Moore or Trevor Laws in Round 3. Drafted Pat Sims and Jason Shirley; signed Antwon Burton
Middle/Strongside Linebacker: Rashad Jeanty is probably the best linebacker in Cincinnati's corps, which isn't really saying anything. Ahmad Brooks, who mans the middle, is hurt way too often. The Bengals need an upgrade at one of these two positions.
Free Safety: I doubt the Bengals are going to re-sign Madieu Williams, as they've never really shown an interest in paying big bucks to a safety before. They could get a solid one like DaJuan Morgan in the third round. Drafted Corey Lynch
Tight End: I'm not sure why the Bengals have stuck with Reggie Kelly for so long. They've needed an upgrade at tight end for what has seemed like ages. Signed Ben Utecht; drafted Matt Sherry
Wide Receiver: Having 10- or 12-year-old groupies hanging outside the locker room might be enticing for Chris Henry, Michael Jackson and others of their ilk, but I don't think that's an image the Bengals want. This draft class is laden with great talent at receiver that the Bengals could get a dependable No. 3 wide out in the fourth or fifth round. Hopefully they don't get a guy who gets arrested every five minutes. Drafted Jerome Simpson, Andre Caldwell and Mario Urrutia; re-signed Chris Henry and Glenn Holt; signed Doug Gabriel
Punt Returner: Antonio Chatman and Skyler Green combined for a 4.9-yard return average in 2007. Wow, good job, guys. My 85-year-old grandmother could probably get more than that.
Reserve Offensive Lineman: The Bengals need some serious offensive line depth if they can't re-sign their free agents (Stacy Andrews, Adam Kieft and Alex Stepanovich). Drafted Anthony Collins
Cincinnati Bengals Free Agents:
Salary Cap (As of Feb. 17): $31.45 million
Kyle Larson, P. Age: 28. Re-signed with Bengals (5 years)
Kyle Larson didn't have as good a year as he had in 2006, but he's still one of the better punters in the NFL.
Stacy Andrews started 12 games for Willie Anderson in 2007 and played considerably well. Once the 33-year-old Anderson leaves, Andrews will have his job, assuming he doesn't sign elsewhere.
Justin Smith, DE. Age: 28. Signed with 49ers (6 years, $45 million)
Justin Smith was reliable for at least eight sacks every year up until this one (two sacks). Smith isn't great, but he's not a bad player either. However, I have a feeling he's going to ask for much more money than he's worth.
Chris Henry, WR. Age: 25. Re-signed with Bengals (1 year)
There's no question Chris Henry's talented, but I don't know how many teams are willing to put up with his antics. And I doubt Henry's future teammates want 10-year-old groupies hanging out near the locker room. I think the Broncos may look at Henry; Mike Shanahan often gives players a second chance and Denver really needs a wide out.
Madieu Williams, FS. Age: 26. Signed with Vikings (6 years, $33.75 million)
Like Eugene Wilson, Madieu Williams seemed destined for great things before suffering a multitude of injuries.
Landon Johnson, OLB. Age: 27. Signed with Panthers (3 years, $10 million)
Landon Johnson has recorded an average of 111 tackles the past two seasons. But that's not a good thing in this instance - his numbers are not indicative of how mediocre he is. Some team is going to throw a lot of money at him and consequently end up with a bust signing.
Alex Stepanovich, C. Age: 26. Signed with Falcons
Alex Stepanovich isn't the best center in the world, but he has starting experience, making him a solid backup in this league.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (RFA), QB. Age: 25. Re-signed with Bengals (1 year, $927,000)
I'll never forget that game Ryan Fitzpatrick had against the Texans in 2005. I bet Houston and had to watch Fitzpatrick burn me. I have to believe someone will give him a chance. Heck, it took Todd Collins 13 years to get one.
Jonathan Fanene (RFA), DT. Age: 26. - Re-signed with Bengals (3 years)
Caleb Miller, MLB. Age: 28.
Blue Adams, S. Age: 28. - Signed with Falcons
Adam Kieft (RFA), OT. Age: 26.
Lemar Marshall, OLB. Age: 31.
Bryan Robinson, DT. Age: 34. - Signed with Cardinals
Antonio Chatman, WR. Age: 29. - Re-signed with Bengals (2 years)
Kenny Irons, RB. Age: 24.
Roy Manning (RFA), OLB. Age: 26.
Doug Gabriel, WR. Age: 28.
Brandon Williams, CB. Age: 27.
Nate Lawrie, TE. Age: 26.
Jimmy Verdon, DE/DT. Age: 26.
Anthony Schlegel, MLB. Age: 27.
Aaron Elling, K. Age: 30. - Signed with Raiders
Danny Baugher, P. Age: 24.
Quincy Wilson, RB. Age: 27.
Odell Thurman, ILB. Age: 25.
He's talented. He's young. Why cut him? Well, apparently the Bengals knew something everyone else didn't. Thurman has allegedly violated the NFL's substance abuse policy and will be facing indefinite suspension.
Divisional Rival History: Baltimore Ravens: The Bengals dominate the Ravens, winning six of seven. Even when Baltimore went 13-3, one of its losses was to Cincinnati. Cleveland Browns: Cincinnati and Cleveland took part in that crazy 51-45 affair in Week 2 when the world found out how great Derek Anderson really was. Still, Carson Palmer is 6-2 against the Browns. Pittsburgh Steelers: The road team has mysteriously claimed five of the past six meetings. Go figure.
The only trades I projected were ones that either already happened or ones that aren't motivated by draft picks. (Ex. I had the Pats getting an early second rounder for Jimmy G, but I won't have any trades where a team trades up only to select a player in the draft.