Give thanks for Bengals football

Give thanks for Bengals football

Published Nov. 25, 2010 8:26 a.m. ET

By Marc Hardin
FOX Sports Ohio | Bengals Insider
November 24th, 2010

Even for Bengals fans, there is so much for which to be thankful on this Thanksgiving Day.

For one, you've got your health, something that can't be said for the Bengals, who this week placed their 11th player on season-ending injured reserve.

During a season breaking down with negatives, let us pray that this does not happen again, and give thanks for the positives that may come in Cincinnati.

For the defenders of the defenseless 2-8 Bengals, the prizes for having grown slap-happy at the prospects of another punchless season are many.

Let us count the ways.

The Bengals' near future soon will be salvaged by the NFL's parity-inducing system:

They are looking like a good bet for a top-five pick in next year's draft.

Cincinnati likely will face a last-place schedule in 2011.

Plus, the Bengals get the sub-par NFC West next season in the league schedule rotation.

What's more, there actually might be a season next year. The NFL and the players union on Monday made "some progress" on a new collective bargaining agreement (the current CBA expires March 3).

That's just the short list.

So while there is no doubt that the Bengals have been an unwelcome sight this season, their fans can give thanks for the impending fruits this bitter 2010 is about to yield. It could be so good next year that some may do cart-wheels. Maybe even the new head coach.

For sure, these are consolation prizes. The Bengals thought that they were very close to being a legitimate Super Bowl contender this year. So sure of it were they that they went out and signed Terrell Owens to an incentive-laden, bargain-basement deal just before the start of training camp as a final piece of the offensive puzzle.

Turns out, the offense and defense have been a puzzle. Owens has been a bargain. The Bengals are in the basement. And their fans are getting a raw deal.

Even so, there are reasons to be thankful.

And yet, the Bengals need a victory tonight to stop the bleeding and snap their ugly seven-game losing streak.

Who wants to grab the wishbone?

MILES TO GO: The Bengals on Wednesday continued adding bodies to the injury-depleted secondary, signing rookie safety Jeromy Miles to the 53-player roster from the practice squad. Miles, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound player from Massachusetts, joined the Bengals as a college free agent following the 2010 draft. He played in all five preseason games, making six tackles. He was waived Sept. 4 during final cuts and was signed to the practice squad, where he spent Games 1-10.

ADEYANJU, WE HARDLY KNEW YOU: To make room on the roster for Miles, the Bengals released recently acquired defensive end Victor Adeyanju, a fifth-year NFL player. Adeyanju signed as a free agent last Thursday and was inactive for the game against Buffalo.

THURSDAY NIGHT'S ALRIGHT FOR FIRSTS: Even though the Bengals have not played on Thanksgiving until today, they have played six times on Thursday. They are 4-2, including 1-1 under head coach Marvin Lewis. The contest against the Jets will be the first Bengals game on Thursday played against a non-divisional opponent. It's also the first time the Jets have hosted a Thanksgiving Day game. The game also is Cincinnati's first at New Meadowlands Stadium.

BY THE NUMBERS: Toward the good, Cincinnati leads the NFL in fourth-down efficiency at 90 percent (9-of-10) and ranks fourth in punt coverage, allowing 5.7 yards per return. They are tied for 11th with 19 sacks allowed. Toward the bad, the Bengals' offensive line ranks 24th in quarterback hits permitted with 56. The Bengals rank 26th in scoring defense with an average yield of 26.2 points per game (they ranked sixth last season with a yield of 18.2). The Bengals are 0-5 this season when the opponent scores first and 0-5 when trailing at halftime. The Bengals are 0-6 when trailing after three quarters and 0-8 when the opponent scores 20 or more points.

SKINNY ON CHAD: In a new People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals anti-fur ad, Chad Ochocinco has bared it all, with the exception of what is behind the receiver formerly known as Chad Johnson's football. The PETA ad campaign "Ink, Not Mink" debuts Friday. The group said the football in the photo is made from synthetic material, not leather. Ochocinco said he is an avid animal lover.

REX ON CARSON: When Jets head coach Rex Ryan was asked if he has noticed any changes in Carson Palmer's performance, the coach said, "I think the guy