“But for motivation, getting to the playoffs, the Bengals have that,” he said in his CBS analysis last week.  “And, playing at home is a bonus for them because Baltimore is just 3-4 on the road.  Cincinnati is a team that a lot of people haven’t given enough credit for being as good as they really are.”

The best thing Fouts did all day is share the quote from Suggs about the “window closing” on the possibility of a Super Bowl championship for the Ray-Lewis-Ed-Reed-led Ravens. I’ve heard it before, of course, but in repeating it right after the fumble Suggs caused late in the game, it provided context for some viewers, I suspect, to the urgency that drives this defensive crew even though the skills have declined for some of its older members.

On the other hand, a producer might have fed him him the quote through his earpiece and told him to talk about it at that point. And if Fouts understood that urgency in veterans like Lewis, Reed and even Suggs, why did he and his CBS brethren think it would be Cincinnati and not Baltimore that would rise to the moment? Did he not watch or see video of Suggs against San Francisco on Thanksgiving Night?

Maybe not. That would require some research – something that seems to be outside the bounds of whatever is said to the CBS booth boys at dinner in the hotel the night before the game.

I have no major complaints about Eagle. He was high energy, informed and stayed on top of most story lines.

Woops, sorry, looking at my notes, I see both he and Fouts initially missed tight end Ed Dickson coming back into the game in the second quarter after making a big deal about him going to the sidelines. Losing track of such matters happens a lot in the booth at CBS. And again, it’s more maddening because the director did a good job in getting the cameras on Dickson on the sidelines right after he went down.

But what does such lack of focus and follow-up in the booth matter when we all had the great privilege Sunday of seeing the Cincinnati Bengals come of age?

Back to you, Boomer and Dan, you knuckleheads.