After Marvin Lewis used Cincinnati's first timeout of the first half, Trent Richardson pounds his way eight yards on third and nine, reaching their own 29-yard line. Lewis uses the second timeout, stalling the clock at 1:28 remaining in the second quarter. Following a 47-yard punt to the Bengals 24-yard line, Armon Binns hauls in a six-yard reception and the Bengals offense meandered around on the field, making one believe that they were conceding the half.
But this was the most awful use of the clock we've seen all season.
Dalton hits Cedric Peerman on a 16-yard screen to the 30-yard line, followed by shunks of yardage from Andrew Hawkins. With 19 seconds remaining without a timeout in the first half, Dalton unleashes an underthrown pass to A.J. Green, who fights through double-coverage for 25 yards to the Browns 16-yard line. The Bengals sprint to the line of scrimmage and spike the football, but the clock expires.
At least the officials think so.
Replay shows that when the football is spiked, there may have been one second remaining on the clock.
Yet the problem was following the first completion to Armon Binns, wiping out at least 15 seconds on the clock before their next snap. During that omission of clock awareness, the Bengals players were standing around either purposely wiping out seconds on the clock or the coaching staff intended to end the half without much risk. Then the Bengals ran a series of plays that went from their 30-yard line to Cleveland's 16-yard line, which expired the first half.
That was just bad.
The Bengals have a 14-7 lead at half time.