The Bengals were victims of some horrendously bad calls yesterday in their 20-19 loss to the Cowboys. The most egregious of which came in the third-quarter when Tony Romo launched a deep pass along the sideline to Dez Bryant that he caught for a split-second, but safety Reggie Nelson came in and lowered his shoulder into Bryant’s chest and dislodged the ball, forcing what should have been a 4th-down punt, but was instead penalized with a personal foul penalty:
Nelson didn’t lead with his head or hit Bryant in the head, so there have never been a flag. It was a critical penalty on a 3rd-and-20, and Marvin Lewis knows Nelson did nothing wrong:
I thought it was a great target and probably one that will be on their (NFL) teaching reel of how to do it. Reggie’s done a good job with those things. He was on their teaching reel last year, and I thought that one was picture perfect.
The play by non means cost the Bengals, as they ended up sacking Romo three plays later and forced them to punt from just about the same spot they would have before had the flag not been thrown. Yes, the referees made several bad calls that hurt the Bengals yesterday, but none of them led to Cowboys scores. And the Bengals had multiple opportunities to end the game, the biggest one being Terence Newman’s dropped interception during the Cowboys’ game-winning drive in the fourth-quarter. Lewis knows his young team gave the game away:
It’s a disappointing game to lose. We had too many opportunities to put more points on the board, make stops and we had too many dropped balls. We didn’t do well defensively on third down and we left them on the field too often.
Simply put, the Bengals beat the Bengals.