Nov 22, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is hit by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson (90) during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals took a tough last minute loss with a depleted secondary, due to injury. It isn’t time to hit the panic button, but we might be seeing the Bengals coming back down to earth. What happens in the division will unfold over the final six games, but will they be able to hold a high spot in the power rankings after a second straight loss?
"For the second consecutive week, the Cincinnati Bengals found themselves on the wrong end of the scoreboard. Last week it was against the Houston Texans – a subpar team with a solid defense – this time around it was against the Arizona Cardinals – a very balanced squad.Sunday’s game against Arizona was basically the opposite of what many of Cincinnati’s contests from the past year were. While the Bengals had made a living off of winning the close games, this one just didn’t go their way. A 17-point fourth quarter rally was exciting, but Arizona’s one-minute march and field goal ended the show."
ESPN.com Power Rankings: #5
"After an 8-0 start, the Bengals have lost two in a row in very different fashions. In Week 10, they allowed 10 points and lost. In Week 11, they lost despite scoring 31 points."
"Don’t let this loss consume you, Bengals fans. Arizona has become a much more difficult place to play than it was even in the Kurt Warner era. Given that the game was decided by about five or six plays, don’t go squeezing your wubby like Kenny in “Mr. Mom” over Cincinnati’s two-game losing streak. Here are some more reasons to stay calm:a) Going UN-defeated is OVER-rated.b)The loss to the Cardinals was by three points, with the Bengals’ secondary decimated. Various reports indicate that a senior drive-thru manager at Dairy Queen got a phone call about whether he could play free safety.c) This football team is not going anywhere. The Bengals will finish with at least a 12-4 record, win the AFC North and probably nab a playoff bye, too."
"Encouraging Sunday night for Andy Dalton and the Bengals in Arizona after the debacle of a loss the previous Monday to Houston."
"They’ve lost two straight, but they showed well at Arizona. This is a team that has a deep playoff look about it. Now they have to get back on track."
The Cincinnati Bengals don’t feel like this is a team that is destined to fade, but with six games left and a two game lead in the AFC North, they will need to be crisp the rest of the way. One thing is for sure, the second half of the season has already been a roller coaster for Bengals fans, and it has only begun.