The 0-4 Bengals traveled to Dallas to take on the 3-1 Cowboys and took Bengaldom for a wild Roller Coaster ride. The game was full of UPS and DOWNS! The game started off like you would expect a 0-4 team to start. On the Bengals first play Carson Palmer threw an Interception that was intended for Reggie Kelly. That interception set the tone for the first Quarter. The first quarter was all Dallas. The Cowboys looked as if they were just going to blow the Bengals out. The Cowboys stormed out to a 17-0 lead. The Bengals would not go down with out a fight.
After falling behind 17-0 the Bengals made a run of their own and were able to muster up two field goals before half, which cut the deficit to 9 points. The Bengals had opportunities to make the game a 3-point game but the Bengals continued their red zone struggles. Carson Palmer threw one of the worst passes in his career to a wide-open Chris Perry which would have been a walk in TD. Carson made a nice move in the pocket and could have flipped the ball to a wide-open Perry but Carson launched the ball WAY over his head and 15 yards out of bounds. It just seemed at this point it was not going to be the Bengals day AGAIN!!!
The Bengals came out after half time and gave their fans hope. The Bengals scored a TD with a touchdown pass to T.J. to cut the Cowboys lead to 4. You could see they actually believed they could win this game. The Defense played great during the 3rd quarter and actually shut the Cowboys out in the 3rd Quarter. The Bengals had the momentum and took advantage of it. The Bengals drove down the field in the beginning of the 4th quarter and got another field goal to make the game 17-16. Hope was restored! Could they do this and actually beat the Cowboys and maybe save their season?
On the ensuing kickoff the Bengals on side kicked it and recovered the kick. They were only down 1 in the 4th quarter with the ball back! On the first play of the drive Carson hit Chad Johnson for a first down and the Bengals were on the Cowboys 37 yard line. On first in 10 the wheels fell off. The Bengals ran a sweep with Chris Perry and he fumbled for the fifth straight game killing all the momentum they had just fought so hard to get back. The Cowboys scored two more TD's in the 4th quarter to put the Bengals away 31-22. The Bengals had a chance to tie the game at 24 after another Housh TD catch but the Bengals threw a low percentage fade pass to Ben Utecht, which was incomplete.
The Bengals fought hard but mistakes and red zone errors doomed them to their fifth straight loss. The Bengals are 0-5 and are almost already out of post-season contention. They would have to go at least 9-2 and get help over the next 11 games to have any chance at the playoffs. It would seem the 08' season is a loss. It would seem that it is time for the Bengals to start playing their young guys and see what they have for the 09' season. The real question is at 0-5 where do you go from here? What changes are in-store for the Bengals? Is it time to plan for 09'? At this point it would seem so? Can they get a little Colorado Rockies in them and rip off 11 straight wins? You would probably have a better chance of hitting the lottery back-to-back times!
Thoughts from the game:
- The play of Keith Rivers and his development.
- The fight left in the players even though they were 0-4 and down 17-0.
- Cedric Benson's running and Antonio Chatman slot play.
- The play calling on offense.
- The play of the secondary on run and pass defense.
- The Running game.
- Chris Henry's zero catches.
- Chris Perry and his "fumble-itis"
- Carson Palmer's pass to Chris Perry.
- The 2 point conversion play to Utecht.
- The red zone struggles.