They nearly gave it away, but after holding on to beat the struggling Jaguars 21-19 on Sunday, the Bengals are officially no longer on pace to be historically awful. They’ve been upgraded to ridiculously bad, and worse yet, are just another run-of-the mill team that will go on to win one or two games.
The Lions, on the other hand, dug deep and found a way to stay winless, blowing a 23-13 halftime lead in Chicago and getting beat by Rex Grossman. They might not have Matt Millen around anymore, but they’re (not) still coming through when it counts.
Leading 21-3 after three quarters, the Bengals allowed 16 fourth-quarter points, but stopped the Jags on a two-point conversion with 1:17 left to preserve the win. Jacksonville scored 10 points in 10 seconds early in the fourth, when the Bengals fumbled a kickoff after a Jags field goal and it was picked up by Montell Owens and returned for a touchdown.
The CINCINNATI ENQUIRER’s Mark Curnette sums up what have become pretty low expectations for the club:
The Bengals weren’t the worst team on the field this afternoon.
How demoralizing is this for Jacksonville? This team was picked by many to be a Super Bowl contender this year, and now it looks like they might not make the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Dan Orlovsky almost made the Lions think twice about bringing Daunte Culpepper on board, leading Detroit to 23 second-quarter points. Orlovsky threw for 292 yards, but killed any hopes of a win when he threw an interception at the Bears’ goal line in the fourth quarter.