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Ohio's offensive black hole

Derek Anderson and the Browns have scored a league-low 16 points so far this season.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The state of Ohio has a legendary football history.

Otto Graham and Jim Brown roamed the fields from the 1940s to the '60s. The state's tradition is ripe with stories of high school and college football, from Massillon to Miami of Ohio to Ohio State.

The Cleveland Browns history includes the likes of; Leroy Kelly, Eric Metcalf, Brian Sipe, Bernie Kosar and the immortal Lou Groza. Cincinnati has had the power of Pete Johnson, Corey Dillon and Ickey Woods, the speed of Isaac Curtis and James Brooks and great quarterback play from Ken Anderson.

This season was supposed to continue the tradition. Both the Browns and the Bengals were expected to have offenses that would delight the fans and satisfy the fantasy football owner

How the mighty have fallen.

The Bengals offense has been non-existent through two games. They began the season by posting just 10 points against the Baltimore Ravens. These are not the 2000 Super Bowl Champion Ravens, but a weaker, less aggressive, version. Yet quarterback Carson Palmer was just 9-for-24 for 94 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. T.J. Houshmandzadeh had just three catches for a meager 44 yards and Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson collected one catch for a mere 22 yards. Chris Johnson "led" the running game with 42 yards on 19 carries.

In Week 2 the Bengals weren't any better, scoring seven points against the Tennessee Titans. Palmer was 16-for-27 for 134 yards and two INTs. Is this the same quarterback who from 2004-2007 has averaged 244 ypg and 1.7 touchdowns each week? The running game didn't crack the 100-yard barrier for the second straight week. . The vaunted Cleveland offense has been worse. While the Cincinnati offense has earned 17 points in two games, the Browns have scored a league-low 16 points (tied with the St. Louis Rams).

The core group of Derek Anderson, Jamal Lewis, Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow II, were eighth in scoring last season, putting a little over 25 ppg on the board. But they posted only 10 points against the Cowboys, who just yielded 37 to the Philadelphia Eagles, and couldn't cross the goal line against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Maybe it's something in the water, because the Buckeyes could only score three against USC on Saturday night?

It doesn't get easier for either team in Week 3. The Bengals travel to New York to play the Super Bowl Champion Giants and the Browns head to Baltimore.

If it doesn't get straightened out quickly, the state is going to be Lebron James watching a whole lot sooner than expected.

And for the fantasy owner, it's an impossible situation. You can't trade the players because their perceived worth is so low you won't get equal value in return and you can't start them because they're playing so poorly. By the time they come out of it, you will be in a hole so deep that you won't be able to see any sunlight.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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