Cardinals-Bengals Preview

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VS.

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GAME PREVIEW
DECEMBER 24, 2011

TIME: 1 p.m., Saturday

PLACE: Paul Brown Stadium (FieldTurf)

RADIO: Play-by-play Dan Hoard and analyst Dave Lapham on "Triple Cast" flagships 700-AM WLW, 1530-AM ESPN and 102.7-FM WEBN on the 25-station Bengals radio network.

INJURIES
CIN: WR Andre Caldwell (groin/abdomen) missed all three days of practice after being inactive last week in St. Louis and it doesn't look good. WR A.J. Green (right shoulder) went limited Wednesday and Thursday after sitting out Tuesday when he sprained his AC joint in the first half against the Rams. LT Andrew Whitworth (knee) returned to work Thursday after missing two days of practice and was listed as limited. So was S Reggie Nelson (hip), who surfaced on the report Thursday. RB Brian Leonard (knee), who missed the last two games, returned Wednesday and Thursday limited. FB Chris Pressley (knee), who missed last week, and RT Andre Smith (ankle), who missed the last two weeks, and S Chris Crocker (knee) were limited Thursday, as they were all week. In the past, a limited third day of practice has usually meant OK for a game.

ARI: The only starters who were limited in the first Cardinals practice of the week Wednesday were QB Kevin Kolb (head), RB Beanie Wells (knee), KR LaRod Stephens-Howling and P Dave Zastudil (biceps). On Friday the Cardinals ruled Kolb out.
» Complete Injury Report

THE SERIES
Bengals lead, 5-4; 5-1 at home; 1-1 at PBS

NOTEWORTHY
» It is a homecoming for Super Bowl Bengal Ray Horton, a second-round pick in 1983 out of Washington who played defensive back for the 1988 AFC champions. Horton also coached the Bengals secondary for five seasons before following coordinator Dick LeBeau to Pittsburgh. So Horton is going to unveil the West Coast version of the Zone Blitz against Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's Florida version of the West Coast offense.

» Horton's secondary coach Louie Cioffi also has a homecoming, returning to his PBS post of the previous 14 seasons. Cioffi assisted Horton when then-head coach Bruce Coslet hired him away from his hometown New York Jets in 1997.

» Cardinals RB Beanie Wells, an Akron, Ohio product who became a Buckeye bell cow at Ohio State, has a semi-homecoming. He followed both the Browns and the Bengals and his favorite back growing up was Bengals all-time leading rusher Corey Dillon. The last time the Bengals beat the Cards, Dillon had the third biggest game of his career with 216 yards at PBS in a 24-13 win Dec. 3, 2000.

» In the clubs' last meeting, the Cards picked off Carson Palmer a career-worst four times back on Nov. 18, 2007 in their 35-27 victory for the first road victory in the series.

» While Cioffi coached Bengals starting safeties Chris Crocker and Reggie Nelson, Bengals WR coach James Urban was Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb's position coach when they were in Philadelphia in 2009-10.

» Bengals OL coach Paul Alexander was Cards HC Ken Whisenhunt's position coach when he coached the Jets TEs in 1992 and 1993.

» During Bengals HC Marvin Lewis's stint as the Ravens defensive coordinator, Whisenhunt was Baltimore tight ends coach in '97 and '98.

NFL RANKINGS
CIN: 18th in scoring, 23rd in offense (19th rushing, 20th passing); Sixth in defense (ninth rushing, 11th passing), tied for 14th in turnover margin at even.

ARI: 25th in scoring, 22nd in offense (24th rushing, 19th passing), 20th in defense (18th 22nd passing), T-29 in turnover margin at minus-11.

COACHES
CIN: Marvin Lewis 68-73-1 regular season, 0-2 postseason in his ninth season, 0-2 vs. Cardinals.

ARI: Ken Whisenhunt 44-41 in fifth season, 1-0 vs. Bengals and Lewis.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
» 21.7 - Bengals average points per game
» 21.8 - Cardinals average points allowed per game
» 19.5 - Cardinals average points per game
» 20.2 - Bengals average points allowed per game
» 68 - Wins for HC Marvin Lewis, most in Bengals history
» 43 - Wins for HC Ken Whisenhunt, most in Cardinals history after passing Don Coryell last week
» 1-2 - Bengals record in December 2011
» 3-0 - Cards record in December 2011
» 12-6 - Lewis's record at home in December
» 1-5 - Whisenhunt's road record in December
» 14-25 - Cards road record under Whisenhunt
» 39-30-1 - Bengals record at home under Lewis
» 19-23 - Bengals record under Lewis in December-January
» 13-7 - Cardinals record under Whisenhunt in December
» 14 - NFL starts for Bengals QB Andy Dalton
» 16 - NFL starts for Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb
» 9 - NFL starts for Cardinals QB John Skelton
» 6 - Yards Cardinals RB Beanie Wells needs for first career 1,000-yard rushing season
» 41 - Yards Bengals RB Cedric Benson needs for third 1,000-yard rushing season

GAMEDAY ENTERTAINMENT
» JungleZone: WEBN radio
» Anthem: Cheya Dixon Watkins
» Honor Guard: Xenia Police Department
» Halftime: Verizon "Toss to Win" challenge in the North end zone; Local 12 highlight package, "Around the League in 180 Seconds"; presentation of the High School Player of the Week & Year sponsored by the Ohio National Guard.

SALVATION ARMY KETTLE DRIVE
The Salvation Army will be holding their annual "Kettle Drive" drive at the entrance gates. We encourage our fans to donate and help those in need during the holidays.

WEATHER
The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio calls for mostly sunny skies with a game-time temperature of 44 degrees and winds out of the southwest at five to 10 miles per hour. There's no chance of rain.

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