My, how things have changed since the then-first-place Bengals went ahead of the rival Pittsburgh Steelers 21-20 with just over a minute remaining in Week 6.
The Steelers came back to beat the Bengals 28-21 after Antonio Brown’s 31-yard catch-and-run touchdown with 10 seconds left.
The Bengals (4-3) never recovered, it seems, as they were smoked by the Red Hot Kansas City Chiefs 45-10 on Sunday, propelling the hated Steelers (3-2-1) into first in the division on their bye week.
“I wish I could tell you after watching the tape that I felt better about the game yesterday,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said on Monday. “We didn’t execute very well and we paid a dear price — starting with (not) making first downs early in the game and being able to stay on the field (offensively), then defensively and our miscue on special teams.
“We led to our own demise early in the game, particularly in the first half. We couldn’t get anything going (on offense), except for the one drive. On defense, we didn’t execute by getting to the right spots, and obviously the tackling was a disappointment. We have to do a better job.”
So where do the Bengals go from here as they prepare to take on an average-at-best Tampa Bay Buccaneers team?
“We got to be together,” Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green said after Sunday’s loss. “We win together, we lose together. We’re a team. We’re a family. We know this NFL season is a long grind, up and down, a roller coaster. For my part, I’m going to keep leading by example, it’s back to the drawing board. No slacking off on my play. We’re just going to watch the film and get better, lead by example, and get back to work on Wednesday.”
The lone reprieve for the Bengals is that after next Sunday’s game vs. Tampa Bay, they head into their bye week. Four of their next five games are at home.
–QB Andy Dalton was held to 148 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception returned for a touchdown against the Chiefs.
–RB Joe Mixon managed just 50 yards on 13 carries in the loss on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
–LB Vontaze Burfict left Sunday’s game with an injured hip. It is unclear if he will play this week.
–TE Mason Schreck was carted off the field with a left leg injury. The team might have to make yet another move as they are dangerously thin at the position.