Bengals' offense embarrassed in Cleveland

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 01, 2013
(Eds: With AP Photos.) By JOE KAY AP Sports Writer All of the Bengals' talent couldn't get them even one touchdown. And it captured their attention. A 17-6 loss in Cleveland on Sunday left the Bengals totally surprised and even a bit embarrassed. They felt very good about their offense heading into the game, but couldn't even get into the end zone once. Surprising? More like shocking. ''I still feel like we have a great offensive group in my room,'' coordinator Jay Gruden said on Monday. ''They're talented. Our offensive line is solid. Our receiving corps is excellent. We have great tight ends. We have backs to choose from, and our quarterback is a solid quarterback in the NFL. ''So for us to score six points anywhere against anybody is shocking, quite honestly. And it's something we have to fight out of.'' The Bengals (2-2) wasted a chance to take control of the AFC North, a division they want to win for a change. They've made the playoffs each of the last two seasons as a wild card, but believed they were ready to move ahead of Super Bowl-champion Baltimore and Pittsburgh this year and claim the title. They beat the Steelers 20-10 in the second week of the season, but came apart in Cleveland against the Browns (2-2), who prevented the Bengals' offense from doing anything consistently. It was the first time Cincinnati's offense failed to score a touchdown since a 19-13 loss at Houston in the first round of the playoffs last season. Leon Hall returned an interception for Cincinnati's only touchdown in that one. After adding rookie running back Giovani Bernard and tight end Tyler Eifert to help the passing game, the Bengals thought they had enough options to score points on anyone. The loss in Cleveland was an eye-opener. ''When you don't score a touchdown in a game in the NFL, you're going to be hard-pressed to win,'' coach Marvin Lewis said on Monday. ''Basically third down was our demise.'' The Bengals were only 4 of 14 on third down. Their biggest failing came on a fourth-and-1 play at the Cleveland 7-yard line in the second quarter, when Lewis decided to go for it trailing 7-3. BenJarvus Green-Ellis was dropped for a loss of 2 yards as the Browns swarmed into the backfield. Cincinnati ran only 20 times, including four scrambles by Dalton, for 63 yards. Dalton was 23 of 42 for 206 yards with one interception, two sacks and a passer rating of 58.2. ''We obviously have to be more effective running the football still, and continue to commit to running the football and stay with it, and make positive plays in the running game and not get spooked away from it too often,'' Lewis said. Dalton was off target at times and aimed for A.J. Green on 15 of his 42 throws. The All-Pro receiver caught seven of the passes for 51 yards, the longest catch only 16 yards. Bernard was the second-leading receiver, catching six passes out of the backfield for 38 yards. A lot of the focus is on Dalton, who is in his third season as the starter. He opened the season with one of his best games, completing a career-high 78.7 percent of his throws during a 24-21 loss at Chicago. He had two of the Bengals' four turnovers during a 34-30 win over Green Bay last week. Immediately after the loss at Cleveland, Lewis said he would reserve judgment about how Dalton played until after he could review the video. A day later, he said there was a lot of blame to go around. ''There's a lot of question about how Andy did,'' Lewis said. ''I thought he made a lot of good throws. He did a lot of good things. He stayed composed throughout the game. There are some things that he knows he can do better and that he will do better. ''We also have to help him out and make sure we're in the right spots all the time for him, so it doesn't all fall on his shoulders - as goes the quarterback's job in the NFL.'' The Bengals host the New England Patriots (4-0) on Sunday. --- AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Paul George extremely critical of Pacers following trade deadline

Chris Bosh joining TNT as analyst

Cameron Payne will have chance to shine with Bulls

Danny Ainge opens up about why Celtics didn’t make a trade before deadline

Kevin Durant wants to be NBA GM or owner after playing career

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Mavericks discussing buyout with Deron Williams

T-Wolves reportedly backed away from Ricky Rubio-Derrick Rose trade

DeMarcus Cousins calls duo with Anthony Davis ‘Fire and Ice’

Reasons why 76ers got so little for Nerlens Noel emerge

John Lynch: 49ers ‘absolutely’ need to improve at QB position

Report: Raptors trade Jared Sullinger, two future picks to Suns for P.J. Tucker

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/23: Gillon's buzzer-beater blast for the win

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker