CINCINNATI – The Bengals played have Trick-or-Treat all season. They have not waited unit October 31 to celebrate, they have observed this since Week One of the NFL season.
They are dressed up like a professional football team, but struggle to resemble one on the field.
This Sunday, they had a golden opportunity to post their first win, but failed and lost 27-17 to visiting Jacksonville in the Paul Brown Stadium.
I had hoped to see a victory for my birthday, but I suppose the high school game I called on WPAY when Wheelersburg defeated Waverly on Friday will have to hold me over. Now, that was a fantastic contest.
But then came Sunday.
Only about 42,784 people showed up on a gorgeous day at the Jungle to watch quarterback Andy Dalton throw a season-high three interceptions within five plays in the fourth quarter.
“There were times we moved the ball,” he Dalton said. “But negative plays hurt us. You can’t turn then ball over, I know that.”
He finished the game 22 of 43 for 276 yards, one TD and three interceptions.
Cincinnati now stands at 0-7 and travels to London to face the Los Angeles Rams. It seems like a long way to go to get beat and a win doesn’t seem likely any time soon.
When they return, they host Baltimore, then travel to Oakland and come back home when Pittsburgh rolls into town.
But, anything can happen on any given Sunday.
The next seemingly possible chance for a win will be on Nov. 24 against the Jets.
Sunday’s running attack was non-existent in the first period as the Bengals netted 11 yards in ten plays. When the game ended, they had a whopping 33 yards on the ground.
“It was a frustrating loss,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “We knew this was going to come down to field positions and turnovers.”
Cincinnati’s defense did play well in the beginning. The Jaguars drove 74 yards with the opening kickoff to the Bengal one. The Jags went for it on fourth-and-goal. But Preston Brown and Nick Vigil stuffed Leonard Fournette at the line.
The momentum did not last long as the Bengals went three-and-out. Thus began the battle of the punters.
“Our defense did a good job getting some stops and minimizing the points, and on offense, we didn’t do enough to take advantage of it, “Taylor said. “We had several three-and-outs in the first two quarters and we just didn’t stand up and make enough plays. That was frustrating.”
The only bright spot on Sunday was Alex Ericson’s performance.
The wide receiver finished with a career-high eight catches for a career-high 137 yards.
For the first seven games, the Bengals have shown up dressed in their uniforms to look like a football team. They have knocked at the door of the opponent and just when it appears they are ready to score. Then they scream Trick-or-Treat, and throw an interception.
They look scary, and play even scarier.
It’s Halloween in Cincinnati.