Once again, the Bengals failed to show up for a primetime night battle. A win could have spoiled Christmas for the Texans. Instead, it’s loss number nine.
The Cincinnati Bengals had the opportunity to play the spoiler role against the Houston Texans. In a pivotal primetime game for both teams, the Bengals defense played stout. A win for the Texans would punch their ticket for the postseason. The only thing the Bengals spoiled was Christmas Eve for fans. They came up on the losing end, 12-10.
Once again, Cincinnati struggled to produce anything to be positive about in the first half. Andy Dalton led the patchwork offense on a 14-play, 67-yard drive to end the first 30 minutes with three points. Yet, there was still the unyielding feeling that something wasn’t going to go right for this team. Since the beginning of the season, things have seemed to go right but end up foul for the Stripes.
That “It Can Happen” Feeling
In the 3rd quarter, Houston took a 6-3 lead and things looked bleak for the Bengals. Texans QB Tom Savage was finding his rhythm against Paul Guenther and the Cincinnati D. With a few halftime adjustments, the Texans were able to move the ball. After all, the AFC South crown was on the line.
Then it happened. Andy Dalton tried to hit Tyler Boyd on a hot read and the ball ricocheted off his fingertips into the arms of Quintin Demps. With the ball at the Bengals’ 40-yard line, the momentum was surely in the Texans court.
Amazingly, the Cincinnati defense held. It was a three-and-out for the home team. Could the momentum shift for the underdogs? Yes. Dalton found Brandon LaFell on a quick slant that turned into an 86-yard TD strike. The Bengals went up 10-6 and looked like a team ready to spoil some playoff hopes for a week.
But…They’re The Bengals
When things look good for Marvin Lewis and Co., you can be sure that it’s not going to last. That’s been the ongoing theme for this year’s squad. After getting the lead, the defense suddenly forgot how to tackle. For some reason, the Texans were able to march the ball down the field and take the lead back. With a blocked extra point, Cincinnati was given another chance. Margus Hunt got his big mitt on the ball.
That set up a chance for Dalton to engineer a winning drive. For once, the offense held its composure and moved into field goal range with five seconds remaining. True to form, Randy Bullock did his best impersonation of Mike Nugent. Bullock pulled his 43-yard attempt wide right. Bengals…lose…again.
On a night that saw a heroic comeback by Dalton and the maligned O-line, the game was decided by a missed kick. The summation of the Bengals’ season.