On September 26, the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Carolina Panthers 20-7. Little did the Bengals and their fans know, the team wouldn't win another game for 84 straight days. Eighty. Four. Straight. Games. Or as Chad Ochocinco says, Ocho Cuatro days. Whatever you call it, it's a much needed win for Bengals fans edging ever closer to the cliff.
Then came the 75th Battle of Ohio on December 19, 2010. The Cincinnati Bengals held onto a 19-17 win over the Cleveland Browns, breaking Cincinnati's 10-game losing streak and bringing some Sunday joy to fans and players just before Christmas.
The Bengals finally went back to their character driven squad in 2009, with a run-first offense that dictated the time of possession, holding onto the football 37:38. Cedric Benson ran the football 31 times for 150 yards rushing that included an 18-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Benson recorded his first back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons after Sunday's performance. Bernard Scott ran the football eight times for 40 yards in his biggest participation on offense in the season.
But it wasn't just the running game. The Bengals passing game was largely responsible. Palmer completed 14 of 23 passes for 209 yards passing, distributing the football to eight different receivers. Andre Caldwell led the team with 89 yards receiving, including a 53-yard bubble screen late in the game. Jerome Simpson caught two passes for 30 yards, both 15-yard reception, giving him a career game.
The Bengals played a very good game overall. Enjoy it brothers. Now it's time to start over, finish the season strong and get ready for what could be a long and interesting offseason.
A few notes:
- Roddrick Muckelroy stoned Peyton Hillis on third-and-one early in the fourth quarter with Dhani Jones diving in and wrapping the running back's legs. The tackle prevented Hillis from reaching the Bengals four-yard line and forcing the Browns to punt, to reduce Cleveland's deficit to six points on what could have been a touchdown.
- Andre Caldwell's 53-yard bubble screen in the fourth quarter was in response to Cincinnati losing a two-possession lead, putting the Bengals back into position to retake a nine-point lead.
- Carlos Dunlap's second sack came on third-and-five, forcing the Browns to punt.
- Great job by Clint Stitser, perfect on all four field goal attempts.
- How cool was Cedric Benson running the football eight straight times in the third quarter, knocking 5:26 off the clock and eventually taking a nine-point lead.
- Bengals converted two situations in which they were stuck with 20 yards to go on first and second down respectively.