Nov 4, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker (87) runs during the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Bengals 31-23. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Bengals-Broncos: Monday Morning Hangover

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The Broncos came in to Cincinnati on a roll. The Broncos left Cincinnati on a roll. It is safe to say the Broncos are on a roll and rolling over everyone in their path. That includes Marvin Lewis and the Cincinnati Bengals in Paul Brown Stadium.

The Bengals entered Sunday’s matchup with their backs against the wall. Dropping their three previous games, Cincinnati knew that their time to make a move was on Sunday against a Denver team on the rise. They couldn’t get it done, though. Instead of putting an end to Denver’s win streak, they lengthened the distance between themselves and a playoff berth.

Cincinnati started the game slow, allowing the Broncos to go up 10-3 heading into halftime. Then, it seemed like all hope was lost as Cincinnati fans watched Denver’s Trindon Holliday return the kickoff to start the second half for a touchdown. Suddenly the game seemed to be getting out of hand and to start the third quarter the Broncos were already up 17-3 over the flailing Bengals.

As Dalton and the offense took the field, all of Paul Brown Stadium was holding their breath waiting for their young quarterback to show even a glimpse of the rookie that they got last year. He answered their call and put six points on the board to his side kick A.J. Green on a ten yard touchdown pass.

When Manning returned to the field, after gaining 74 yards, Terence Newman ended the Hall of Famer’s drive in the end zone with an interception for a touchback. The Bengals were able to take advantage of the turnover and bring the game closer with a score of 17-13 on a Mike Nugent field goal.

The field goal was followed up by another Newman interception and a BenJarvus Green-Ellis touchdown run. Just as soon as the Cincinnati fans counted them out, the Bengals were on top of the Broncos in the fourth quarter with a score of 20-17. Things were looking up on the Ohio River.

You can never count out Peyton Manning, though. The man has brought teams back from bigger deficits in the final seconds of a game, made it to the playoffs with no big name weapons, and he has had neck surgery that would send most guys into retirement and still h came back for another season of punishing hits. This man is bionic; he is the true great player of our time.

And just like in the past, Manning the field general, rallied his troops. He took his team on a 79 yard drive in just under two and a half minutes and scored a touchdown to put his team up 24-20. Then after an Andy Dalton interception, he led his team on yet another successful scoring drive. Manning lifted the Broncos to a score of 31-20, shaving five minutes off of the clock in the process.

Just like that, the game was out of control again for the Bengals who had fought hard to come back in the second half. As the Cincinnati offense took the field with only 3:36 left on the clock, the team knew it was now or never to get back into the game. The offense did what they could and they managed to get the ball to the Denver 23 yard line. Then on another questionable play call, Marvin Lewis decided to go for three points with 52 seconds on the clock and no time outs. Nugent came through to bring the score to 31-23, but after a failed on-side kick, the Bengals took another loss to bring their record to 3-5 for the season.

With Pittsburgh and Baltimore both winning their games on Sunday, Cincinnati’s hopes for another playoff run are further away than ever. The team has now dropped their last four games and they have not had a “W” in the win column since September 30th against the Jags.

This game was harder fought than some of the Bengals previous losses which made it sting a little more. The team came back, but couldn’t hold on despite two Manning turnovers and limiting Denver’s rushers to only 68 yards total for the game. Begging the question: Will Cincinnati ever be able to deliver consistently in consecutive seasons?

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Tags: A.J. Green AFC North Andy Dalton Bengals BenJarvus Green-Ellis BJGE Broncos Cincinnati Cincinnati Bengals Denver Broncos Football Marvin Lewis NFL Paul Brown Stadium Peyton Manning Ravens Steelers Terence Newman The Law Firm Trindon Holliday

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