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MJD

Cry, Whine and Moan: Nowhere to go but up, right? Right?

MJD
Shutdown Corner

"Cry, Whine and Moan" is a weekly Sunday evening feature where fans of victory-challenged teams can gather to commiserate. Feel free to vent your frustration with your team's players, coaches or management in the comments below. And please, fans of teams who aren't on the list: leave those less fortunate alone. This post is a taunting-free zone. They deserve that much.

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Cincinnati Bengals. Of all the ridiculous and brutal ways to lose. This one's hard for me to talk about, and I don't even care about either of these teams.

After coming up short all day long, Carson Palmer(notes) led the game's one aesthetically pleasing drive for a Bengals touchdown, to take a 7-6 lead with 28 seconds to play. After the kickoff, Kyle Orton(notes) optimistically heaved a ball in the direction of a well-covered Brandon Marshall(notes), the pas was tipped by Leon Hall(notes), and it caromed directly into the arms of Brandon "Horseshoe Lodged in His Sphincter" Stokley, who took it to the house.

Just a crushing, crushing loss. I think the worst part might have been watching Kyle Orton run down the field as if he just accomplished something.

While it was cruel for the Bengals and their fans, though, they could've helped themselves out by, I don't know, not opening the game with 57 minutes of sucky football. If the NFL's concerned about overcharging fans for low-quality preseason games, they should be equally concerned about games like this one.

Cleveland Browns. Oh, how I loved you in the first half, you scrappy little Cleveland Browns. All these pregame talk was, "Oh, Favre is a captain for the Vikings already, he gives the Vikings a new swagger, they already have Adrian Peterson and a tough, tough defense and they should be great! And Eric Mangini has all the Browns miserable and none of their players are very good," and blah blah blah.

But the Brownies came out, middle fingers extended to the haters, and they played their little orange hearts out. They held Adrian Peterson to 2.8 yards per carry in the first half, Favre was a total non-factor, and they held the lead at halftime. They were Week 1 Cinderellas.

But then the universe righted itself in the second half, Peterson started burning through the Browns defense like they weren't there, and for the final thirty minutes of the game, Cleveland resumed being Cleveland. It was fun while it lasted, though.

Carolina Panthers. For a team that won 12 games last year and returned 20 of 22 starters, that was about the worst-case scenario, was it not? Any concerns anyone had about Jake Delhomme(notes) were shown to be completely valid, as he had a drain-your-will-to-live kind of day. He was pulled in the third quarter like a hockey goalie -- not because the coaches thought someone else would do better, but just to save the guy the embarrassment.

Detroit Lions. I'm not going to say that there weren't positives for Detroit, but at the end of the day, it's still an 18-point loss. But they did put 27 on the board, and that's more than they managed in any game last year. Hey, we're baby-stepping. Dr. Leo Marvin is a genius.

Houston Texans. They couldn't throw it, they couldn't run it, and they couldn't block anyone. To those of you who had the sense to resist the "Hey, this could be the Texans' year" vibe that was out there, congratulations. Those of you who listened to me and believed the Texans were ready ... really, stop listening to me.

St. Louis Rams. Matt Hasselbeck(notes) was nice enough to spot the Rams two interceptions, but the Rams appreciated the gesture so much that they turned right around and said, "You know what? Why don't you go ahead and just beat the hell out of us?" And then they did. The Seahawks almost doubled up the Rams in first downs and in total yards. Hasselbeck, after a rough start, rebounded for a nice day.

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