Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis knew what type of questions were coming after Sunday's stunning 24-21 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So Lewis took the simple approach and accepted blame for everything.
Leading by a touchdown with less than three minutes remaining, the Bengals faced a third-and-13 at their 38-yard line and Tampa Bay had no timeouts. Instead of running the ball and keeping the clock moving, Cincinnati inexplicably got too aggressive and tried to pass for the first down. The result was a Carson Palmer interception that led to Tampa Bay's game-tying touchdown several plays later and eventually a Bengals defeat.
Whether you want to place blame on Lewis, offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski, who calls the plays, or Palmer, who failed to execute, is up for debate. But the AFC North's decisive moment now has Cincinnati sputtering into the bye week at 2-3.
Winning in the NFL is tough, and the Bengals found a way to implode late when victory was nearly in hand. The Week 5 loss could be the type of game Cincinnati, the defending division champion, looks back on and regrets all season.