Commentary

How T.O. fits with Bengals

The numbers reveal that Owens won't be very effective this year

Updated: July 28, 2010, 8:00 AM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Terrell OwensMarc Serota/Getty ImagesHow many TDs will Terrell Owens celebrate with the Bengals this year?

When it comes to building a strong set of pass-catching personnel, there is one irreplaceable element: the matchup-busting wide receiver. An offensive coordinator can attack weaknesses in defensive schemes or target defensive backs that are coverage liabilities only so often. Eventually the game plan will require throwing passes against a top-quality cornerback, and when that happens, the matchup-buster is a necessary solution to the problem.

One might think the Cincinnati Bengals would be good shape on this front with the combination of Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens. Ochocinco made the Pro Bowl last season and Owens received the same honor as recently as 2007. Neither of them is quite as good as he was in his prime, but they should give the Bengals a 1-2 matchup-busting punch, right?

Not exactly. The numbers don't just disagree with this assessment; they do so vociferously.