The Bengals are streaky because their offense has become so hot and cold.
During a three-game winning streak in September, Cincinnati averaged 33 points and 411.6 yards per game. In a three-game losing streak in October, the Bengals have averaged 18 points and 307 yards per game.
The lapses on the Cincinnati offense were never more evident than Sunday night on the national stage, where it managed a season-low 185 yards. In the final three quarters, the Bengals produced 105 yards and five first downs.
“We’ve lost some momentum," Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. "We had a lot going for us, and now we’ve lost three straight. We have to find a way to turn it around. We’ll use the bye week and the week after to come out and turn things around. We’re capable on this team. We have a lot of good players. We have to do whatever it takes to win these games.”
Dalton has been the barometer of success. In that three-game winning streak, he threw eight touchdowns and three interceptions. In this three-game skid, he has five touchdowns and six interceptions.
The one constant had been wide receiver A.J. Green. But he was held to one catch for 8 yards, which was 96 yards fewer than his per-game average in the first six weeks.
"There are always chances in a game," Green said. "If Andy doesn’t see it, he's not going to force the ball in there. They clouded to my side the whole game, they did a heck of a job with it."
STAT THAT STICKS: 6 -- Number of times in Marvin Lewis' 10 seasons that the Bengals have gone into a bye with a losing record.
OVERHEARD: "We have an opportunity to regroup. [It's] a chance to look at ourselves for a couple of days and move forward and come back get ready for two home games in a row, which are big. We can get back to even and go from there. That's what we have to do. Right now we have to focus on that." Lewis on the Bengals' third straight loss.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Bengals (3-4) are on a bye before playing the Manning brothers, Peyton on Nov. 4 and Eli on Nov. 11.