Looking to rebound from a heartbreaking loss in week five, Cincinnati traveled to Cleveland to take on a 0-5 Cleveland Browns team. The Browns were looking to even the score in the “Battle for Ohio” with their AFC foes, though, and were able to stifle a discouraged Bengals team. The Browns were able to away with their first win of the 2012 campaign and sent the visiting team packing with a score of 34-24, concreting the concerns in Cincinnati for their young team.
The biggest factor that led to the Cincinnati loss in Cleveland was the turnover rate. Andy Dalton threw three interceptions and fumbled for a loss. Two of the three interceptions led to Cleveland field goals that accounted for 6 of the 10 points in the Bengals deficit. The fumble Dalton lost, was possibly the most disheartening of the turnovers, even though it did not lead to a score. The team found themselves in a second and nine situation on the Cleveland 9 yard line when the quarterback was sacked and lost the football in a must score situation. Then to seal the game, Dalton threw an interception on a deep ball to Green with 0:06 on the clock. This final interception led to a Weeden kneel-down to give the Browns a much needed win in front of a home crowd.
To win in the NFL, ball security is a must. Teams cannot afford to give up possessions to opportunistic opponents, especially not four times in one game. That is exactly what Cincinnati did and they took the loss because of it. If the Bengals expect to rebound next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the turnover situation will need to turn around or Cincinnati will find themselves heading into the second half of the season with a losing record and fading hope.