But, those diehard fans kept the game on. They kept hope alive, and it was paid off. The Bengals, thanks to an Alex Erickson fair catch, got the ball back on their own 25 with 21 seconds remaining.
Forced out of the pocket on first down, Dalton completed a six-yard pass to Tyler Eifert. The very next play is the one that will haunt Bengals’ fans for the next six days. Dalton rolled out and threw a pass.
Yes, he got knocked while throwing a pass. The officials on the field ruled it a fumbled, and it was reviewed. They upheld the call. Now, you can decide. Here’s a clip of the play. Was it a fumble?
Let’s say this, the Bengals were probably going to lose at this point all along.
There were several game-changing plays earlier in the afternoon that hurt Cincinnati, but tacking on nine seconds at their own 31 with no timeouts probably didn’t hurt their chances to win more than the Alex Erickson fumble or the John Ross III drop.
The Bengals played well though. Hang your head on the fact that this team’s first game looked far more promising than their 4-1 start did last season.
Dalton threw for over 400 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Roos looked as dynamic as ever with two touchdowns and over 150 yards. The only major player that never really got going offensively was Joe Mixon.
All that to say, yes, the team lost, but the Bengals have a much easier week next week and over the next month. This was an encouraging performance in Week 1.