Cincinnati needed to put together a quality performance Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, hoping to reestablish momentum for a playoff run, especially with the New York Jets facing a tough contest in Philadelphia later in the afternoon. Acquiring that momentum came at a time with the Bengals facing a string of opponents, indirectly putting pressure on others teams to secure their own playoff berths. For Cincinnati to achieve the scenario, they needed to take care of their own business first. And early during the game, the Bengals were displaying a message Bengals fans have heard far too long during the Marvin Lewis era.
When this team faced must-win scenarios, they’ve achieved nothing short of a ghastly effort towards impotence that can only be summed with a single word: Pathetic.
Though the defense looked stout enough against a quarterback that hasn’t started a football game since 2007, the offense countered with a message of their own that’s encapsulated the entire season that’s summarize: We’re going to royally suck for the first three quarters, but we’ll eventually get a handle on things.
Following Cincinnati’s field goal to give the Bengals a 3-0 lead early in the fourth quarter, their following seven possessions would result in two turnovers (one on downs), an interception, three punts, an end of the half possession and a field goal. Each possession included a series of mistakes, such a plethora of penalties that stalled drives or failed blocking assignments crushing Cincinnati’s rushing offense (Cedric Benson, Bernard Scott and Cedric Peerman combined for 24 yards rushing on 14 carries) from a Rams defense that ranked dead-last in the NFL allowing 156.8 yards per game.
The 8-6 Cincinnati Bengals will host the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday next week because next Sunday is Christmas.