The Cincinnati Bengals went into and left Sunday’s game the same way. Starting and ending the game physically drained. Falling to a 33-7 defeat against the Chicago Bears.
The Cincinnati Bengals looked like an exhausted football team. Due to several different factors that came to a head on Sunday. After the first quarter their offense practically disappeared. The Bengals scored their only touchdown of the game in the first quarter. A 14 yard reception by wide receiver Brandon LaFell.
The defense had an unproductive second half. With the Bears scoring 21 unanswered points in that half. It was the second week in a row where the Bengals defense collapsed after halftime. After the Steelers came back from a 17 point deficit to win. That Steelers game leads into another reason why the Bengals lacked energy yesterday.
Given the way that game last Monday went. Along with the playoff implications it was a draining loss. It depleted the Bengals in several ways. It was a punch to the gut towards the Bengals morale. Along with the injuries suffered in that game.
Injuries were another reason why the Bengals looked exhausted in the second half. Six Bengal starters were sidelined by injuries going into the game. The injuries left an impact on both their offense and defense. Not having many of those starters left a noticeable void. Those healthy enough to play didn’t fill in that void effectively.
Meanwhile, AJ McCarron got a chance to play yesterday. Granted by the time he got out there, the game was practically over. Given McCarron’s performance he didn’t leave much of an impression. McCarron had a slightly better day than Andy Dalton did yesterday. With McCarron completing half of his pass attempts.
Dalton completed 14 of his 29 attempts. Finishing the day with a 48.3 completion percentage. McCarron didn’t make an overwhelming case for him to take Dalton’s job. Rather he did what many would expect of a backup quarterback in the situation he was in. Basically finish out the game without making it worse.
The Bengals have missed many opportunities over the course of the season. Yesterday’s game was another instance of this trend. The Bengals will finish at best with a .500 record. After losing to a Bears team that most playoff contending teams should beat. The Bengals not only lost this game, they got trounced by the Bears.
Now the focus turns on ending the season respectively. The Bengals face a challenging road closing out this regular season. With games against the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens. All three teams still have a shot at making it to the playoffs.