CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 2: Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the football during the game against the Buffalo Bills on October 2, 2011 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals defeated the Bills 23-20. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
When Bills running back Fred Jackson scored a two-yard touchdown with 44 seconds remaining in the first half, it leveled the 1-2 Cincinnati Bengals into a 14-point deficit against a team best defined as the early-season Cinderella story. Further compounding the 14-point half time deficit was that it was against a team that the Cincinnati Bengals haven't beaten since the 1988 AFC Conference Championship game, victims of ten straight losses over the span of 23 years. The Cincinnati Bengals that we've known so long typically closed shop during such deficits against historical odds. But this year's Bengals squad isn't like those teams at all.
Cincinnati received the second half kickoff, starting from their own 20-yard line. A Cedric Benson 28-yard run and an A.J. Green 40-yard reception put the Bengals inside the Bills three-yard line. Unable to score a touchdown, Mike Nugent converted the 21-yard field goal and now the 14-point deficit was reduced to 11 points.
After a defensive three-and-out against the Bills offense, the Bengals went 72 yards on seven plays, capped by a 17-yard touchdown reception by Jermaine Gresham. Two third quarter possessions, 10 points scored on 150 yards of offense. Buffalo answered with a field goal, distancing their advantage slightly to 20-13 early in the fourth quarter, but the god of momentum shined his bucktooth on the Cincinnati Bengals this day.
The Bengals would score ten points in the fourth quarter, won by Mike Nugent's 43-yard field goal as time expired, giving Cincinnati the 23-20 win over the Bills. Along with the incredible comeback of scoring 20 points in the second half, the Bengals defeated an opponent they haven't beaten in 23 years and proving that this really isn't the same Cincinnati Bengals squad we've seen for so long before.
This was the new Cincinnati Bengals.