Sunday, October 20, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cincinnati Bengals
By Coley Harvey
DETROIT -- A few thoughts on the Cincinnati Bengals' 27-24 win over the Detroit Lions:
What it means: The Bengals' win showed what we discovered last week: This team knows how to win at the buzzer and in the clutch. With the game on the line, kicker Mike Nugent buried his second game-winning field goal in as many weeks, slamming through a 54-yard field goal as time expired. He hit a 43-yard field goal to end the Bengals' overtime win over the Bills last week. He also missed a field goal earlier in Sunday's game. Now 5-2, Cincinnati appears to be gaining some momentum.
Stock watch: Training room -- Falling. Just when it seemed the Bengals were becoming the envy of the NFL by returning to the closest thing there is in the league to a fully healthy team, they suffered a series of injuries Sunday. In all, six Bengals required some level of visible evaluation. First, it was cornerback Leon Hall, who left the game and didn't return after hurting his right Achilles late in the first quarter. Not long after, defensive tackle Devon Still was carted off with a game-ending elbow injury. In the fourth quarter, linebacker Rey Maualuga left with injury. Receiver Marvin Jones and defensive ends Michael Johnson and Wallace Gilberry also were checked out on the field for injuries but continued to play. While it might seem laughable to call the training room a stock-worthy group, just ask coach Marvin Lewis if the injuries have given him anything to smile about.
Streak stopped: With Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford's game-tying 50-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson early in the fourth quarter, the Bengals had a streak spanning parts of two seasons snapped. They entered the ballgame having held opposing quarterbacks to fewer than 300 yards passing in 20 straight games. It had been the longest active streak in the league. Stafford reached 319 yards on the touchdown pass before finishing with 357 for the day. During the Bengals' streak, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady were among those who didn't cross the 300-yard plateau.
What's next? The Bengals head home next Sunday, where they will host the New York Jets. The game will be Cincinnati's first at Paul Brown Stadium in three weeks and interrupts a five-week stretch that includes four road games. The Bengals are undefeated at home this season, beating Pittsburgh, Green Bay and New England.