The fact that Robert Geathers picked up a full sack in back-to-back games for the first time since week 6-7 in 2006, you knew something different was going to happen today. In our novice competitive minds based on simple parameters of winning and losing with nothing in the middle acceptable, we thought different would mean a win. Well, technically...
On the sack, Donovan McNabb shifted up and out of the pocket, looking downfield while Geathers ran fifty yards around the pocket to slap the football out of McNabb's hand for a fumble (which is technically a sack). Frostee Rucker jumped on the football and did the two things that big men do better than anyone with touchdown in their eyes, rumble and tumble.
He was caught from behind and dragged down, knee around the one-yard line and football arguably close to the goalline. The call on the field was that he was down at the one-yard line and Marvin Lewis didn't both to have the officials take a second look; would you want to questionably lose your 75% (3/4) overturn rate when challenging a call? Personally, I would have challenged it because six points is six points and the Bengals have never shown this season an ability to pick up one yard on short to-go distances; out of 15 rushing plays on third-and-two or closer, the Bengals have converted only eight for first downs.
"One of the side officials came over and said it was a good non-challenge," Lewis said. "He said he thought his knee was down. I am thinking if he isn't in, the ball is on the six-inch line and we had to get it in."
Even Dave Lapham supported this, saying his knee was definitely down later during the game's broadcast. OK, fine. No challenge. One yard for a touchdown. Cedric Benson is stuffed, Ryan Fitzpatrick is tackled on a improvised draw (or scramble and sack, as per NFL Game Day), and Fitzpatrick can't come through on a perfect pass in a three-inch window required for Chris Henry to make a play on the ball. Incomplete. Bengals kick an easy field goal and the Bengals leave four easy points on the field.
And the fact we're talking about Rucker in a moment where the game could have been won is already significantly better than Antwan Odom's season.