One thing we've learned about the Cincinnati Bengals is that they simply don't know how to give up. Cincinnati's five of Cincinnati's first six offensive possessions, excluding the one-play knee to end the first half, ended with punts while three of Tennessee's first five possessions resulted with 17 points. It wasn't like Cincinnati was lifeless, nor did it appear they were looking ahead. Rather the Titans were playing with more fire and the Bengals were just doing whatever they could to maintain reachable distance to make their comeback.
And comeback they did. For the fourth time this season, the Bengals were trailing in the fourth quarter, only to successfully complete their comeback and win the game.
It began with Cincinnati's defense in the second half, the hallmark for the 2011 Bengals, shutting down Tennessee's defense into second-half possessions with five punts, a fumble and a bad rendition of the Music City Miracle.
Andy Dalton completed 22 of 39 passes for 217 yards passing and three touchdowns, including the game-winner to Andre Caldwell in the fourth quarter. Yet it wasn't always clean, though the guts were clearly there. Three times the Bengals offense overcame holdings that sustained scoring drives. A.J. Green made finger-tip receptions and converted a massive third down through two Titans defenders that led to the game-winning touchdown. Tight ends Donald Lee and Colin Cochart combined for five receptions for 56 yards receiving and a touchdown. Jerome Simpson caught three passes for 43 yards receiving and Cincinnati's second touchdown bringing them to within three points.
Cedric Benson milked the clock and Bernard Scott helped change the pace with both combined for 102 yards rushing on 26 rushes.
Defensively the Bengals were largely dominate in the second half with Chris Johnson turning completely irrelevant for nine yards rushing on five carries. Matt Hasselbeck completed 10 of 20 passes for 106 yards passing -- 30 of which came at the end of the game with the Titans trying to lateral themselves into another win.
Thomas Howard led the team with nine tackles and a forced fumble while Carlos Dunlap showed up late in the game with two quarterback sacks, two quarterback hits and a pass deflection that was initially called a touchdown before it was reviewed and reversed as a forward pass.
The Bengals will return home to a sold out Paul Brown Stadium next Sunday, hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers, who will spend Sunday night exerting a ton of energy against the Baltimore Ravens.