Third-down conversion, tale of two halves
It’s the one that got away. The third down that the Bengals did not convert in the first half ended in a sack. That sack made the subsequent field goal attempt more difficult and McPherson would miss the 50-yard try.
The Bengals did an excellent job, converting 75% of their third-down attempts. It was a marked improvement over their output in that area this season.
Nevertheless, that particular third-down attempt brought to the foreground several deficiencies that have plagued the team this season.
The team ranks 29th in third-down efficiency this season, per Team Rankings. After going 3-4 in the first half on Sunday, the Bengals finished 3-8 in that department. They were 0-4 in the second half.
Converting on third down is something that the Bengals must improve upon to stay on the field longer and score more points. It will also help the defense cut down on yards given up.
Also, it showed Cincinnati still has some protection issues to figure out. This leads us to the final disappointing stat.