It had to happen eventually, right? After last year's disappointing end to the season, most fans would take an 8-1 record in a heartbeat over 5-3-1 which was their record after losing in Week 10 in 2014. But, losing on national television to a team that has a history of beating up on the Bengals under the bright lights still stings.
The Texans are tied for first place in their division, but they have a losing record and prior to their game against the Bengals, they hadn't played well at all. The fact of the matter is the team lost as a whole and you can't single out one player as the sole reason that they lost. But, we can still take a look at who has the most to improve on after a disappointing performance in Week 10.
We got through the first half of the season without having to do a "Goat of the Week" post, which is definitely a good thing. But, we still have to deal with the unpleasantness of losing when it comes around. Share your vote below on who you think the Week 10 Goat of the Week winner, well, loser is.
With only 67 yards on 5 receptions, it pretty much goes without saying that Green didn't have his best game this week. He only managed to start impacting the game late when the Bengals put together a two minute drill that was looking like they would once again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Unfortunately, they never got the opportunity to punch the ball into the endzone because Green fumbled a pass on fourth-and-six at Houston's 33.
There was some speculation after the play that he never had possession of the ball and therefore it was an incomplete pass, not a fumble. But, it wouldn't have mattered. It would have been a turnover on downs anyway. This isn't the first time that Green fumbling the ball has ended a late Bengals rally, but it's just as soul-crushing every time.
Three catches for 29 yards. This is the same tight end that currently leads the NFL in touchdown catches and was expected to have a big game against the Texans in the middle of the field. Instead he was quiet for most of the game. Then, when he finally had the chance to make an impact on the final drive of the game, he dropped the ball. Literally. Twice. Obviously Eifert is one of the Bengals' stars and one bad game doesn't put him on the hot seat, but you'd like to see more out of your stars in these critical situations.
Although he ended up finishing with a better average in both punt and kick returns than Adam Jones, Brandon Tate's issues with hesitating before running the ball out of the endzone continued this week. To be fair, Shane Lechler was having a great game as a punter, but the Bengals' offense started in the Red Zone WAY too often for comfort this week, and Tate's miscues were a significant reason for that.
If we're going to talk about Brandon Tate's bad day returning the ball, we have to talk about Adam Jones' relatively bad day running the ball. He contributed to the Bengals' poor field position as much as Tate, and was in coverage for the game's lone touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins. Jones exited the game briefly with an injury, which didn't help things, and a penalty on Tyler Kroft, offset by a Texans' penalty, negated his biggest return of the evening. The thing is, Jones actually takes personal responsibility for the loss because of that touchdown. This loss wasn't his fault, and he played very well on defense despite the touchdown allowed, but his miscues this week didn't help the team.
The Whole Offensive Line
Once again, penalties from the offensive line set the Bengals back on multiple occasions. That kind of thing kills drives and kills momentum. It lets teams that you should be beating back into games. And on top of that, the Texans were playing good enough pass coverage that Dalton wasn't able to get the ball away as quickly as he usually does, meaning the spotty pass protection from certain members of the line resulted in three sacks for Dalton and a general rushed feeling for the quarterback all night.