Wrap-up: Saints 34, Bengals 30

December, 5, 2010
12/05/10
4:43
PM ET
Here are some thoughts on the New Orleans Saints' 34-30 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals:

What it means: Despite a solid effort, the Bengals fell to 2-10 and extended their losing streak to an NFL-high nine games. Cincinnati is now battling for draft position. Players and coaches in the locker room obviously want to win. But each loss gets this team closer to securing one of the top picks in next year's NFL draft.

What I liked: It's a shame this game was blacked out in the Cincinnati area, because it was the most entertaining Bengal games in weeks. Cincinnati's offense wasn't perfect, but it played well in the second half and put up 30 points against the defending Super Bowl champs. Bengals tailback Cedric Benson also had two rushing touchdowns. Cincinnati didn't turn over the football against New Orleans, which kept the Bengals in the game.

What I didn't like: The Bengals gave away this game by not paying attention to the small details, such as Pat Sims jumping offside on fourth down, Cincinnati missing an extra-point attempt and not getting a big fourth-down conversion near the end zone. Cincinnati had 10 days of preparation for this game and continues to make inexcusable mistakes. The Saints did not bring their 'A' game Sunday and were ripe for an upset. But Cincinnati kept finding ways to beat itself.

What's next: The road doesn't get easier for the downtrodden Bengals, who will travel next week to face the Pittsburgh Steelers. On paper, it doesn't appear Cincinnati will win many games the rest of the season. But if the Bengals put forth the same effort with less mistakes, they might have a chance to pull off an upset or two.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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