You sit here and wonder what happened last night. Did the Bengals just give up? Did the Lions have better 3rd and 4th team players? At times, late in the game, the Bengals appeared finished. An on-side kick fumbled around by multiple Bengals before recovered by the Lions, resulted in the game's final points scored and a one-point loss breaking a five-game winning streak in the preseason.
I realize that the closing minutes in preseason games is nothing more than auditions for individual players. Guys are doing their best to impress the coaches to earn a spot on the roster. The concept of team is somewhat lost on them. The concept of winning only applies towards your audition.
I'm not ripping anyone for the loss. I just think it's the nature of the preseason. Finish. Do your job. Things we've heard from Lewis this year didn't seem to apply in the second half.
Not Much Driving
The Bengals only had four second half possessions. In those possessions The Bengals went three and out, 39-yard field goal, blocked punt and and a failed 48-yard field goal attempt to win the game. On the first two drives, with the first team offense, the Bengals gained 116 yards and seven first downs. After that, the offense recorded 218 yards.
...But a whole lot of flying
Probably the most discouraging stat from last night was the Bengals pass defense allowing 497 passing yards. I don't care who's playing. That's just disgusting. The 31st best passing defense (although tied with last place), showed zero improvements. I will concede, a little bit, that the junior varsity players were playing so it's a bad perception of the first team. I will also concede the Lions have pass happy Mike Martz calling the plays. Still, it's no excuse for allowing almost 500 yards.
If you watched the game, you're reminded how much Chris Henry (6 receptions, 86 yards and the team's lone offensive touchdown) means to this offense. I didn't see anyone jumping out in front for that #3 receiver spot, although Skyler Green and Bennie Brazell were the most visable. If forced to choose, I'd give it to Brazell based on his upswing.
Marvin White made a great play picking off a J.T. O'Sullivan pass late in the second quarter. This came after an 83-yard touchdown pass to Shaun McDonald (5 receptions, 146 yards receiving, one touchdown) where White was the deep safety. The rookie finished with six tackles -- one assist. The other rookie safety, Nedu Ndukwe, finished with four tackles (including a nice wack against a return man on special teams). Ndukwe also recovered a goal-line T.J. Duckett fumble on the Lions first drive in the second half.
With ten minutes remaining in the game, Andre Frazier tipped a Dan Orlovsky pass that Matt Toeaina chugged 81 yards for a touchdown.
Recently signed BYU rookie running back, Curtis Brown, finished with three carries for five yards. However, a penalty nullified a touchdown by Brown late in the second half.
Put in an impossible spot, Jeff Rowe was given a one-point deficit inside the two minute warning. The rookie went complete, sack, complete, penalty, incomplete, complete, complete, complete and spike with one second left on the Detroit 30. If Shayne Graham makes the tough 48-yard attempt, the Bengals win on a great drive by a kid many suspect was a bad draft pick. Graham had made a 47-yard and a 48-yard field goal earlier in the game. So there was a realistic shot the Bengals would win. Once Graham kicked it, the ball, from his perspective started left and stayed left. Game over. Bengals lose.
Lions Open Preseason with Thrilling 27-26 Win [Pride of Detroit]