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Week 1 vs. CLE
Receiving: 5 / 75 / 0 on 7 targets
Houshmandzadeh no longer has to look over his shoulder at Peter Warrick, and has established himself as the clear #2 wide receiver in this offense. Houshmandzadeh was not a part of the return game as he had been in the past, but will be able to focus on his starting role now.
Week 2 vs. MIN
Rushing: 2 / 24 / 1
Receiving: 5 / 55 / 1 on 8 targets
Houshmandzadeh showed that he could hurt the opposition both out of the backfield and spread out wide. The Bengals' number two receiver saw his targets early, including three red zone looks, turning some nice yards after the catch into a first quarter touchdown. His second half touchdown came on a beautifully executed end around from the Minnesota 16 yard line.
Week 3 vs. CHI
Receiving: 2 / 13 / 0 on 5 targets
Houshmandzadeh was actually much more involved than the statistics would indicate. While he didn't record his first "official" reception until the mid third quarter, he actually had a 5 yard touchdown in the first half nullified by a holding penalty on Chad Johnson. Of course, it is likely that the player Johnson held would have stopped Houshmandzadeh from scoring, so owners can't complain too much about that one. Houshmandzadeh also did a great job of drawing a long pass interference penalty on Charles Tillman early in the first half, which helped set up Shayne Graham's field goal. Later, Houshmandzadeh was the target of a Palmer deep ball that was about a foot away from completion. Had it been approximately twelve inches closer to Houshmandzadeh, it is likely he'd have caught it for a 40+ yard gain, minimum. Houshmandzadeh lost fifteen yards receiving on two separate plays that were called back due to penalty, with one being the aforementioned touchdown.
Week 4 vs. HOU
Rushing: 1 / 5 / 0
Receiving: 8 / 105 / 0 on 10 targets
Houshmandzadeh went over one hundred yards and was Carson Palmer's favorite target in this game. Houshmandzadeh briefly had a touchdown pass on the Bengals' first drive of the game; however it was called back due to an illegal shift by Rudi Johnson on the play. This is the third touchdown brought back against Houshmandzadeh this season; otherwise his numbers would be much larger.
Week 7 vs. PIT
Rushing: 1 / 17 / 0
Receiving: 7 / 75 / 0 on 11 targets
Houshmandzadeh had missed the previous two games with a bruised hand, but came back strong and appeared to be the spark Cincinnati needed in defending their division lead. He caught four passes for 53 yards in the first quarter, and helped the Bengals get into scoring range twice. While he finished the day on a quieter note, he proved to be a solid weapon when Chad Johnson has trouble breaking free, as he did yesterday.
Week 8 vs. GB
Rushing: 1 / -3 / 0
Receiving: 5 / 77 / 1 on 6 targets
Houshmandzadeh was invisible at the start of the game with no targets on the first two Cincinnati drives. However, QB Carson Palmer looked to him twice on their scoring drive in the second quarter. His first reception was a short crossing pattern on second and 18 that dug the Bengals out of a hole and set up a more manageable third down. His touchdown shortly afterwards was another crossing route in the opposite direction. Houshmandzadeh stopped and pivoted in the center of the field breaking back away from the defensive back to gain separation. He also caught two 20 yard passes later in the quarter, but neither was of significance or led to a score. Houshmandzadeh was targeted on Palmer's fourth quarter interception.
Week 9 vs. BAL
Receiving: 5 / 61 / 0 on 6 targets
Houshmandzadeh was a focal point for the Bengals' game plan against the Ravens. He was targeted with the first pass of the game, and targeted five times total in the first half. He was targeted four times on the Bengals' first touchdown drive, one that ended in a Rudi Johnson touchdown plunge. Houshmandzadeh was a favorite target on third down and midrange, of between six and three yards. Overall, despite not having outstanding numbers, Houshmandzadeh played a good game, using his body to shield defenders away from the ball, forcing the defenders to commit pass interference to deflect the pass.
Week 11 vs. IND
Rushing: 1 / 5 / 0
Receiving: 5 / 47 / 0 on 8 targets
Houshmandzadeh was used throughout the game, seeing four targets in each half. He was an excellent complement to Chad Johnson, and found ways to get open. He did have a critical lapse with a false start on third and long costing the Bengals the drive.
Week 12 vs. BAL
Rushing: 1 / 7 / 0
Receiving: 9 / 147 / 1 on 12 targets
Houshmandzadeh made a 23 yard reception during the Bengals' opening drive. He was pivotal during the Rudi Johnson scoring drive, making two receptions for 41 yards. Right after Chad Johnson left the field for the locker room, Houshmandzadeh made a 30 yard touchdown reception. He nearly fell down, but righted himself and ran in easily for the score. Houshmandzadeh lost a fumble on a long reception down the sidelines, the ball popped out of his hands. On the play, he suffered a blow to his head but was able to return to the game and remained a big part of the game and this was his best game to date this season with nine receptions for 147 yards.
Week 13 vs. PIT
Rushing: 1 / 7 / 0
Receiving: 5 / 88 / 2 on 8 targets
Houshmandzadeh got the Bengals off to a flying start with a 43 yard touchdown catch in the first quarter, where he fought off tight man coverage and caught the pass through the defenders arms to tie the game at seven. With Chad Johnson double covered most of the game, and most every other game, he has become a very reliable number two man. For the most part he was able to roam free underneath for short receptions that also included a six yard score for his second touchdown of the game. He would have scored a few plays earlier, but he dropped a pass in the end zone with no defender in sight. Houshmandzadeh later had a 14 yard grab that helped set up a Shayne Graham field goal in the third quarter. He also added seven yards rushing.
Week 14 vs. CLE
Receiving: 6 / 53 / 1 on 8 targets
Houshmandzadeh provided the biggest spark in the passing game, catching everything thrown his way and proving to be the only Bengals' wide receiver to create significant separation on the afternoon.
Week 15 vs. DET
Receiving: 6 / 61 / 1 on 9 targets
Houshmandzadeh had six catches for 61 yards and a touchdown and was on his way to another of his steady games when he was tackled awkwardly early in the third quarter and left with a foot injury.
Week 16 vs. BUF
Receiving: 7 / 70 / 0 on 10 targets
Houshmandzadeh was again heavily featured in the passing game, catching seven of his ten targets. He had a 12 yard first down reception on the drive that led to the Bengals' opening touchdown. His best play of the day came on a second and nine play where he caught the ball, cut inside, and made a defender miss to gain 14 yards for the first down. He was always looking to cut back and make a move, rather than accept what was given and run out of bounds.
Week 17 vs. KC
Receiving: 3 / 29 / 0 on 7 targets
Houshmandzadeh and Kitna had trouble linking up. Like all of the Bengals' players, Houshmandzadeh was restrained from his typical expected productivity.