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The play that changed Bengals vs. Bucs

A favor from an old friend?

Cincinnati Bengals v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals took on old friend Giovanni Bernard and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While Bernard hasn’t been a large part of Tampa’s offense this year, perhaps the biggest play of the game was directly tied to him.

In the third quarter, with Tampa leading 17-3, they decided to opt for a fake punt on fourth and short to continue their drive and potentially deliver the dagger to the Cincinnati defense early.

Bernard, however, didn’t look prepared for the play, botching the direct snap to him and barely landing back on the ball to prevent a fumble recovery.

Bernard appeared either confused on the play call, or unprepared for the snap to him as a prepared Bengal special teams unit closed on him.

After reacting to the snap and reaching to his left, Bernard was able to fall on the ball to keep a fifth turnover from Tampa’s stat sheet, but the turnover on downs had essentially the same effect.

The Bengals took over for their first red-zone snap of the game after this, but only came away with three points. While they didn’t punch it in to the end zone, the momentum swung in Cincinnati’s favor and never went back to Tampa.

From there, the Bengals went on to score 31 unanswered points before a garbage time touchdown by Tampa at the end of the game.

We have plenty of great memories of Gio in orange and black, but this is another to add to the list.