The Bengals lost to the Browns. That cannot happen. The Browns are terrible yet they always seem to find a way to play us tough. Football takes a different turn when you play in the Division. There is so much familiarity within the Division it is tough to win every game (which makes what last years team did even more impressive.) But this Cincinnati team should not lose to the Browns, plain and simple.
Thinking back on the game what do you attribute the loss to? Carson Palmer has been the whipping boy in losses (and wins) this season. But yesterday Palmer played pretty good throwing for 371 yards, two TD's and 0 INT's (although there was a botched handoff and a fumble from Palmer.) But here is an interesting statistic that I read on Cincinnati.com. When Palmer throws for more than 300 yards the Bengals have lost 3 straight and seven of their last eight games. This team is built for the run and they need to utilize our backfield to be successful.
There were a few costly penalties yesterday that really hurt the Bengals as they tried to come back. The call on Chinedum Ndukwe on Ben Watson was a joke. Ndukwe did not lead with his helmet did not unnecessarily hit Watson, it was a standard play from a safety trying to knock the ball loose. It turned a 21 yard catch into a 36 yard gain. Another big penalty came on the offense, with the Bengals driving in the 4th on 3rd and 3 Ochocinco gets called for offensive pass interference which pushed us back out of Field Goal range.
I would have to say that overall the game was sloppy. There were some dumb plays, some bad plays, and just overall bad game for the Bengals. You cannot put yourself in that much of a hole against any team in the NFL. There are a lot of things not clicking right now for Cincinnati and they will need to figure that out very soon.