Bengals Early Bird Special: What Just Happened?

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 11: Cedric Benson#32 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball while defended by Brian Cushing #56 of the Houston Texans during the NFL game at Paul Brown Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Good morning Bengals Nation. It's Tuesday and that means there's still four days to go until the weekend. It's going to be a long one. I have that feeling. So grab yourself some donuts and other assorted pastries as you continue battling this week. But if your an optimist then don't worry about what goes on this week.

What happened on Sunday? The Bengals were seconds away from victory and suddenly everything just blew up right in front of their faces. How on earth do they leave Kevin Walter that open with the game on the line? Something like that shouldn't be happening this far into the season. The defense should have been more aggressive by sending more pass rushers. T.J. Yates received absolutely no pressure on that play while the secondary was too spread out thus leaving Walter wide open. That was just poor defense all around. But then again Adam Jones shouldn't have committed that pass interference penalty two plays earlier. Jones doesn't commit the pass interference the Texans are either forced to go for it on fourth down or go for a field goal to cut the deficit. That's one of a few things that killed the Bengals.

Another big play that backfired for the Bengals was when Rey Maualuga forced Arian Foster to fumble the ball on first down. Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins recovered the ball. But instead of just covering up the ball he tried to be a hero. During his attempt to take it to the house Atkins fumbled the ball and turned it back over to Houston. Come on Atkins. You should know better than that. In all reality he should have just pounced on the ball and covered it up. There was no need to be a hero in that situation. The Bengals would have been able to add to their lead at that point and undoubtedly would have won, assuming they don't commit any other mental errors for the remainder of the game.

And finally the Bengals inability to do anything offensively in the second half hurt. In the first half they put up a modest 16 points, but were held to merely a field goal in the third quarter. Running back Cedric Benson was completely useless in the second half. The running game was virtually non-existent for the final 30 minutes. And because of that the Bengals had to rely heavily on the passing game, but they seemed to disappear then as well. The offense completely stalled in the second half after cruising throughout the first half.

The Bengals playoff hopes have taken a huge hit and it's going to take a slight miracle for them to reach the postseason. Even though the odds are against them I'm still going to remain hopeful that they will make it. If the Bengals don't make it, then I can't be that disappointed considering I didn't expect them to be in this position four months ago.

Alright here is what you may have missed or overlooked from Monday.

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