Facing a ten-point deficit midway through the first quarter isn’t a good omen for Cincinnati’s "must win" scenario to make the 2011 NFL playoffs. A Brandon Tate 34-yard kickoff return gives Cincinnati their second possession of the game at their own 29-yard line. Dalton fakes the end around on first down to Andrew Hawkins and just before he takes the quarterback sack, Dalton throws the football away. A Cedric Benson three-yard run later and the Bengals have third and seven from their own 32-yard line.
Dalton takes the shotgun snap and throws the football over the middle on a deep post to A.J. Green for an 18-yard line gain. A quick pass on first down to Donald Lee picks up six, setting up a second and four from Baltimore’s 44-yard line. During another mediocre Cedric Benson run, Jarret Johnson was flagged on a personal foul, giving Cincinnati a first down from Baltimore’s 29-yard line.
But Cincinnati’s offense stalls.
On first down Dalton airs the football to A.J. Green out of bounds near the front right pylons. Dalton scrambles for a one-yard gain on second, setting up a third and nine.
Dalton takes the shotgun snap and Simpson slipped on the comeback route, watching the incomplete pass bounce in front of him. Mike Nugent converts the 46-yard field goal to get the Bengals on the board.