The 2008 season (4-12) for the Cincinnati Bengals was a nightmare without question. The team had very high expectations but were one of the laughing stocks in the NFL.
Palmer’s absence led to huge offensive struggles for the Cincinnati Bengals, as fill-in Ryan Fitzpatrick was a few notches below the caliber quarterback that Palmer has established himself as.
Ryan Fitzpatrick did his best, but his skills were nowhere near that of Palmer’s, and the offense struggled greatly for it. This wasn’t much of a surprise considering his lack of NFL experience.
Chad Ocho Cinco, previously known as a top three wide receiver in the NFL, turned into the sort of wide receiver that would be commonplace around the league, and his numbers were miserable as compared to seasons past.
TJ Houshmandzadeh wasn’t playing like himself, and injury issues limited him too. If there’s anything good about last season, the last few games showed that Cedric Benson was a capable running back, and gave the team a new weapon.
Entering the 2009 season, the Bengals were more hopeful than they had been the year before. While the team had lost TJ Houshmandzadeh in the off season, the acquisition of veteran receiver LaVaerneus Coles, combined with the emergence of Chris Henry as a newly reliable option, made it seem as if the Bengals might be a halfway decent team again this season.
The loss of their #2 wide receiver TJ Houshmandzadeh would be a blow to their offense, but a young and improving Chris Henry would fill his shoes, as would Lavaerneus Coles, acquired during the off season from the Jets.
Carson Palmer and Chad Ocho Cinco make one of the best QB WR combination in the NFL. If they are on the same page the Bengals may be a playoff contender. Chad’s antics off the field may be tiresome to most, when the Bengals are winning Ocho Cinco seems to be forgiven.