Every week in the Engel Eye, I'll take a look at some key performances from Sunday. We'll determine which players are ones to keep watching, and I'll pinpoint emerging trends.
The real Bengals?: Cincinnati has disappointed fantasy owners for most of the season, yet the offense is really starting to click just in time for the most important weeks of our schedules. Chad Johnson finally broke out of a funk with a 12-catch, 103-yard, three-touchdown outing that rewarded the owners who have maintained faith in him. More good performances should be on the way. Defenses are now paying much more attention to T.J. Houshmandzadeh (seven catches, 66 yards), and Chris Henry has contributed immediately following his return from a suspension. He caught only two passes for 41 yards on Sunday, but you can't expect a No. 3 wide receiver to explode every week, and his presence in the offense frees up more room for Johnson and Houshmandzadeh to get open. Rudi Johnson is also looking at least adequate again, with 23 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown against Tennessee. The support of a quality running game means opponents now have to respect that dimension of the offense again, and Carson Palmer does not have to carry the team on his back and force the issue in critical situations anymore. Palmer showed his best form on Sunday, with three touchdown passes and only one interception. He completed 32-of-38 attempts in his best game since Week 2. Palmer and his top receivers will continue to produce as they finish out their schedule, which becomes easier after they play the Steelers next week. The Bengals may not make the playoffs, but their top offensive players will deliver quality production in the final weeks as they attempt to finish the campaign with a respectable record.