CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 24: Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals fumbles the football after being hit by Calais Campbell #93 of the Arizona Cardinals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals defeated the Cardinals 23-16. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Bengals running back Cedric Benson fumbled the football twice on Saturday, largely fueling Arizona's fourth quarter comeback at Paul Brown Stadium. When it's all said and done, Cedric Benson has fumbled the football five times in the previous two games. Though the Bengals recovered his three fumbles against the Rams, Cincinnati lost both fumbles against the Cardinals and Benson turned a comfortable lead into another heart-stopping win.
With 9:27 remaining in the game and the Bengals leading 23-7, Cedric Benson bounces outside around the right edge when Arizona safety Adrian Wilson forces the fumble that the Cardinals recovered. Four plays later and the Cardinals scored a touchdown, reducing their deficit to 10 points following a failed two-point conversion with 7:45 remaining in the game.
Cincinnati went three and out on the following offensive possession, where Arizona went on a 68-yard drive on eight plays, converting a 29-yard field goal and the game was suddenly 23-16.
On the very first play of the ensuing possession with 3:16 remaining, Benson fumbles the football again, giving Arizona the football at Cincinnati's 22-yard line. After three plays that picked up three yards, the Cardinals nearly tied the game following an incomplete pass to a wide open Eddie Doucet, who slipped on the turf, unable to haul in the would-be easy reception. Cardinals turnover the football on downs.
Marvin Lewis and Jay Gruden elected to keep Cedric Benson on the sidelines, bringing Bernard Scott into the game in clock-killing mode.
By the time the Cardinals got the football back, they had no time outs with only 48 seconds remaining in the game and five plays later the Bengals won the football game.
Following the game Benson seemed unworried about the trends of fumbles, confused that defensive players behind him could actually be talented enough to strip the football.
"A lot of it is defenders I can’t really see or don't see; some of it is from behind," he said. "I have to do a better job of, I guess, protecting it when I am in the crowd."
Benson very nearly single-handedly gift wrapped Arizona's fourth quarter comeback and he guesses that he should do a better job securing the football?
Benson did surpass 1,000 yards rushing on the season against the Cardinals after a mediocre 57-yard effort against the Cardinals. Benson has surpassed 100 yards rushing only once in his previous ten games.