Mercifully, it appears that Dre Kirkpatrick is finally ready to make his debut in Cincinnati against Denver. Naturally, it's unclear how effective he'll be, but having Kirkpatrick and Hall on the field is the best cornerback duo the Bengals can offer.
Hey, if it gets Nate Clements and Terence Newman off the field, it has to be kind of good.
Still, Rey Maualuga is going to be the starting inside linebacker, which will continue to be an issue. He's steadily declined year after year, can't defend the pass—it's an issue that could ruin the Bengals.
While the defense only allowed three points in the first quarter, Peyton Manning and the Denver offense hasn't had a whole lot of issues moving the football. A couple of dropped passes kept the Broncos' second drive from moving down the field.
Dre Kirkpatrick's presence hasn't been felt—yet.
Manning has been firing on all cylinders, and had very few problems in the second half. He put up an easy score to Eric Decker, and has only had five incompletions thus far. Three of those definitely could have been caught.
I'm not sure why I'm continuing to see Terence Newman and Nate Clements in the secondary. Neither of them are very effective, and isn't Dre Kirkpatrick supposed to be playing today? He has not been in on any plays yet.
On the good news side, undrafted rookie Emmanuel Lamur had a deflected pass—always good to see the newbies come to play.
Finally, the defense put some pressure on the Broncos. The running game has been shut down all day, but Manning has been running wild.
Until now. Thanks to Terence Newman's two picks in the quarter, the Bengals have a lot of momentum working for them. They'll enter the fourth quarter with the ball, and the defense didn't allow an offensive touchdown in this quarter.
Hey, small victories for this struggling defense.
From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. The Cincinnati defense was abysmal in the fourth quarter, which proved to be extremely detrimental to the Bengals.
Suddenly, Denver's running game was unstoppable, and the most anti-clutch defense in the league destroyed Cincinnati's hopes at the upset.