Football

Bengals' 'dynamic duo' a little flat so far

Cincinnati wide receivers Terrell Owens (81) and Chad Ochocinco (85) dubbed themselves Batman and Robin at training camp.
Cincinnati wide receivers Terrell Owens (81) and Chad Ochocinco (85) dubbed themselves Batman and Robin at training camp. AP

CINCINNATI — Through two games, the Bengals' pass-catching duo has been anything but dynamic.

Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens dubbed themselves Batman and Robin at the start of training camp. They expected to play like superheroes on the field.

Mere mortals so far.

The Bengals (1-1) failed to score a touchdown in their 15-10 win over Baltimore on Sunday, a game that left the receivers frustrated. Cincinnati won the AFC North last season by relying on its defense and a run-oriented offense, a grind-it-out approach that worked again against one of the league's best defenses.

Doesn't do much for those receiving stats.

"From a skill perspective, we want to really throw the ball a little bit more," Owens said. "There were some opportunities out there that we missed. That's where — as Robin says — the frustration comes from. I can definitely feel for him in that situation.

"From an offense's standpoint, we played mediocre. We definitely could have played better."

When the Bengals signed Owens to a one-year, $2 million deal at the start of training camp, Ochocinco called the Bengals receiving corps a dream team. They looked good during their limited chances in the pre-season. When the season started, things changed.

Ochocinco had a 12-catch game against New England, but most of them came in the second half when the Bengals were already down 30-3. When it mattered, he and TO were not much of a factor in a 38-24 loss.

The big second half gave Ochocinco a boost in the league rankings. He's second in the NFL with 203 yards on 16 catches. Owens is 42nd with 110 yards on 10 catches. They've combined for one touchdown. The passing game ranks eighth in the league — again, mainly because of the second half against a New England defense that had the game in hand.

Certainly not comic book stuff.

"Truthfully, it's not flowing the way we would like it to flow," Ochocinco said. "Not near. (TO) continues to remind me when I get frustrated in practice that it's only week two. It's really early. As the season goes along, we're going to get it together."

Their quarterback also is advising patience.

Carson Palmer had two chances to connect with the duo in the end zone against Baltimore. Ochocinco broke free when a defensive back tripped, but Palmer had to hurry his throw because he was about to get hit.

Also, Owens outjumped cornerback Fabian Washington in the end zone for a high throw. Washington grabbed Owens' arm as the ball arrived, resulting in an incompletion.

Palmer didn't take many chances, avoiding a turnover against a defense that hasn't allowed a touchdown this season. Ochocinco had four catches for 44 yards. Owens had three for 57.

"We'd all love to put up huge numbers, but more than huge numbers we love to win," Palmer said Wednesday. "Playing against that style of defense, no one is going to go off for 180 yards.

"They want the ball in their hands and I want the ball in their hands, too."

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