I'm not a believer in fate, curses, or preordained destines. Not until today. The Bengals moved the ball in the first half, but never scored. Frustration mounted. Furthermore, the Bengals did what they usually do against the Broncos; botch a field goal or PAT. In the second half, the offense shut down, punting the ball four times on four straight possessions that accumulated 24 yards. With 6:21 left in the game, the Bengals offense woke up, taking a drive 11 plays for 91 yards, taking the lead with just under 40 seconds left. Joy mounts. After the Bengals seemed destined to lose this game with a terrible performance by the offense, a botched field goal attempt, it seemed like they could actually pull this win out.
Then, after an incomplete pass, the most improbable thing happened. A deep pass to Brandon Marshall down the left sidelines is tipped in the air. Two other Bengals defenders drill Marshall, while Brandon Stokley sits behind the defense. As destiny, fate, curses would have it, Stokley easily catches the pass and takes it into the endzone for the game (balls) buster. After that, I've been plagued with a loss of words. I can't even find someone to blame. It's like the realization that no matter what happens, or how hard you work, that the end is already written. The Bengals were meant to lose this game. And they did.
For the most part, defensively, we played well enough. While the defense didn't get a turnover, they forced the Broncos into eight punts, five three-and-outs and three sacks. Furthermore, if the offense wakes up, the defense is far more praised than they'll likely be after the accidental long touchdown pass to Stokley.
Either way, the Bengals start the season 0-1, make very little appeal for Bengals fans to sellout the remainder of their games at home, and now have to answer questions about an offense that was so disastrous after last year. At least they did grab the lead. It was only destiny, curses and fate that had the final say on this one.