The 2013 season had a lot of promise for the Bengals, but like the previous four playoff trips, it ended with a first-round loss. This one may have been the most disappointing of them all.
Undefeated at home and hosting the Chargers, whom they'd beaten in San Diego weeks earlier, the Bengals came out and laid an egg, losing 27-10 in embarrassing fashion.
Head coach Marvin Lewis took a good deal of the blame for failing to have his team prepared. Veteran cornerback Terence Newman knows, at the end of the day, it's on the players to perform, and they simply did not on that day.
"Everybody that's here knows exactly what happened," he said. "We just didn't get it done. You can't blame it on coaches. You can't blame it on management. It was us, the players.
"I read all this stuff about Coach [Marvin Lewis] getting criticism, and that's B.S. Coach doesn't play. We play. We did it all year and then we go to the playoff game, we just didn't play. So you tell me whose fault that is."
"I was a big part of the reason why we lost," Dalton said. "I wish I didn't have the turnovers and different things that put us in a bad situation, but there were other chances in the game that we could have done that could have turned things around."