The defense was feeling the momentum as well, forcing the Broncos to punt from their own eight-yard line after consecutive three-and-outs. What could have been defined as the biggest play of the game, Denver punter Britton Colquitt punted the football 82 yards to the Bengals 10-yard line. The punt was negated after a personal conduct forced a re-kick. Colquitt's second punt only went 57 yards, that was returned 16 yards by punt returner Brandon Tate. Instead of starting at their own 10-yard line, the Bengals offense started on Denver's side of the field.
With eight straight failed third down conversions, Dalton takes the third down snap with 4:09 left in the game and is flushed out of the pocket. Rolling out to the right, Dalton tries to pick up the first down, falling a yard short. Do the Bengals go for a 51-yard field goal attempt or continue with their field possession game with a Kevin Huber punt?
Biggest Play of the Game II? Fourth and one, and nine straight failed third down conversions, the Bengals line up at the Broncos 36-yard line. The Bengals line up in big formation, fake the hand off and run a naked boot leg to the right. Defensive end Robert Ayers didn't bother going for the fake, drilling Dalton as he spun around to find A.J. Green in the flats. It was all for naught. Incomplete pass and the Broncos have the ball.
After being called for an offensive holding, the Broncos start from their own 28-yard line. After consecutive short gains, the Bengals used their final two timeouts setting up a third-and-14 with 2:50 left in the game.
Big Play of the Game III? On third down the Broncos run to the right and Rey Maualuga attempted a tackle for loss in the backfield. He misses, but McGahee goes out of bounds giving the Bengals all of the time they could have lost if the clock kept rolling.
However the Bengals started their next possession from their own five-yard line with 2;25 left in the game. Andy Dalton completes consecutive passes to tight end Jermaine Gresham and A.J. Green for 13 yards respectively as the two minute warning arrives. A handful of players later, the Bengals are in third and two. Andy Dalton in shotgun with Brian Leonard to his left, takes the snap and looks left and finds A.J. Green on the sidelines three yards beyond the line of scrimmage. It's the first third down converted in the game by the Bengals with 1:03 left in the game.
Then it went down hill.
With :57 left in the game, Andy Dalton is sacked on second down followed by an incomplete pass over the middle to Jermaine Gresham that was batted away. With 19 yards to go on fourth down and :30 remaining in the game, Dalton takes the shotgun snap and rolls out right. A.J. Green runs down the right sidelines and Dalton's pass is over the receivers head, turning the ball over.
Bengals lost in a massive second half effort where the Broncos scored on big plays, compounded by the Bengals inability to convert on third downs Sunday. Yet we can't help but think of what happened if the Bengals converted their two-point conversion midway through the third quarter.