Cincinnati 17 Pittsburgh 31
Marvin Lewis has experienced playoff losses before. The feeling never changes. "When you lose, it’s like falling off that cliff," the Bengals coach said yesterday, a day after Cincinnati’s season ended with a 31-17 loss to Pittsburgh. "Having lost in the playoffs before, when you lose it’s still the same cliff you go over, and it hurts. "But we’ll learn from this. We will be a better football team next year. I’ll be a better coach, and we’ll play better." The loss to the Steelers was disappointing, but it doesn’t diminish the reality that this was a breakthrough season for the Bengals.
They won the AFC North for the first time and made their first appearance in the playoffs in 15 years. Even quarterback Carson Palmer’s torn knee ligaments haven’t shaken the team’s optimism about the future. "We can feel good about some of our accomplishments," Lewis said. "We’re not satisfied. We’re not satisfied at all, and that’s why our guys are down. Obviously now this is a step we must take along the way.
We’ve taken the step." Certainly, the days as NFL laughingstock are over. "A lot of people didn’t take us seriously," left tackle Levi Jones said. "I think they are now. I think they know the Bengals are going to be a team that people are going to have to contend with. I think coach Lewis has done a great job of getting Losers Lane out of here. We want to continue that. We don’t ever want to go back."
Lewis did not reveal the nature of rookie receiver Chris Henry’s knee injury, but he did say it would not require surgery and should heal within six to eight weeks. Lewis said cornerback Deltha O’Neal (knee), running back Rudi Johnson (knee), fullback Nick Luchey (knee), tight end Tony Stewart (ankle), center Rich Braham (elbows) and offensive lineman Pete Lougheed (shoulder) would have minor surgery soon. Two Bengals All – Pro Receiver Chad Johnson and right tackle Willie Anderson made the firstteam Associated Press All-Pro team. Johnson is a first-time All-Pro. Anderson also made it last year. "It’s good, but I don’t have any joy of anything right now," Johnson said. "I don’t even feel like going to Hawaii (for the Pro Bowl)." Anderson said, "It means I’m surrounded by a good group of guys who allow me to play at a high level and get showcased and get wins. Any time you get an individual honor, to me, it always comes back to the guys around you."
MY TWO CENTS ON CHAD JOHNSON:
A Web site reported that gifted wide receiver Chad Johnson allegedly got into a halftime altercation with two coaches. Although Johnson called a news conference to deny anything happened, the report has gained increasing degrees of credibility with each passing day
Former Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason, a CBS Sports NFL commentator, has said that if the story involving Johnson is true – and Esiason said he believes it is – Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has lost a measure of control of his team and needs to regain it.
It’s apparent that Number 85 has more of an ego and mouth than he does intellect! Kind of poetic justice for Chad Johnsons diatribe about winninng their last 4 remaining games by 40 points and then beating the Colts in a rematch on their way to a Superbowl.
He went from funny to silly and should ahve saved all that energy for the field!!!!