For whatever reason, the Bengals are coming up empty when reaching into the self-motivating gut to claim this game.
The offense continues to collapse after opening the second half with an Andy Dalton fumble and three-and-out possession while the Cleveland Browns had their own three and out early in the third quarter. In truth, Cincinnati has failed to generate an momentum or convincing rhythm through the first 40 minutes of the game.
Then the Browns opened their second possession in the third quarter from midfield, running seven plays to the Bengals 20-yard line.
And the defense began warming up, but a little late. James Harrison dropped Willis McGahee for a five-yard loss on first down. Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap split a quarterback sack, dropping Brian Hoyer for an eight-yard loss to the Bengals 33-yard line. Following an incomplete pass, Billy Cundiff converts the 51-yard field goal to give the Browns a 10-3 lead with 5:10 remaining in the third quarter.