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The Bengals have led only 12% of the season

Several things are clear about this offense that brings an all-too obvious conclusion; the Bengals offense is one of the worst in the league in nearly every major statistical category. It's also clear that the Bengals offense is the biggest reason we're 0-6; we're only averaging 14.7 points per game. Take out the two close NFC East games we "competed" in, and the most points we've scored was 14 against the New York Jets.

What I wanted to know was two things. How many times did we play with the lead this season? In what game did we have the lead latest?

So let's examine games we had the lead. Might as well remove the games against Baltimore, Tennessee and Dallas; we never had a lead in those losses.

Against the Giants, Shayne Graham kicked a late first-quarter field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Graham, after the Giants scored 10 and Perry scored on a 25-yard touchdown, converted a 30-yard field goal to take a 13-10 Half Time lead. The Giants kicked two field goals to start the second half, to retake the lead. T.J. Houshmandzadeh scored on a 17-yard touchdown pass, retaking the lead, 20-16. The Giants scored a touchdown afterwards and the Bengals never took the lead back -- though Graham converted on a 21-yard field goal to send the game into overtime, it doesn't apply.

Here's the breakdown when the Bengals had the lead against the Giants.

  • Graham 22-yard field goal, lead 3-0 from 0:38 (1st Q) to 10:36 (2nd Q) for 5:02
  • Perry 25-yard touchdown run, lead 10-7 from 7:20 (2nd Q) to 3:55 (2nd Q) for 3:25.
  • Graham 30-yard field goal, lead 13-10 from 0:32 (2nd Q) to 6:23 (3rd Q) for 9:09.
  • Houshmandzadeh 17-yard touchdown catch, lead 20-16 from 4:39 (4th) to 1:50 (4th) for 2:49.

All told, the Bengals had the lead for 20:25 against the Giants.

Against the Browns, Shayne Graham kicked two first-half field goals to take the lead after the Browns converted an opening field goal. From eight seconds remaining in the first half until a 4-yard pass to Braylon Edwards in the fourth quarter, the Bengals held a three-point lead. After the Edwards touchdown, the Bengals never saw the lead again.

All told, the Bengals had the lead for 17:03 against the Browns.

On the Jets first possession of the game, Brett Favre fumbled on a third-down Antwan Odom sack, scooped up by Chinedum Ndukwe, scoring a touchdown on a 15-yard return to give the Bengals an early seven point lead. The Jets scored soon after to tie the game. The Bengals never led this game again.

All told, the Bengals had the lead for 5:52 against the Jets.

Concluding bad time of possession mathematics using excel spreadsheet formulas. Consider that the Bengals have played 360 minutes worth of football this season, they've only had the lead or 43:30 of that. That equates to only 12% of the time this season that the Bengals have actually held the lead.

Good lord.

To answer the second question: when was the latest in any game that the Bengals held the lead? With 4:39 left in the fourth quarter against the Giants, the Bengals took a 20-16 lead after a 17-yard touchdown reception by Houshmandzadeh. They held the lead until 1:50 left in the game when the Giants scored on a 4-yard touchdown pass to Boss.

So, the latest the Bengals had a lead was 1:50 left in the game against the Giants.

Note: calculating between times is often a tricky thing, so there could be errors. If so, please let us know.