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Bengals Prove Again Why They're Most Frustrating Team in NFL

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Bengals Prove Again Why They're Most Frustrating Team in NFL
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An apt summary of the Cincinnati Bengals’ 2012 campaign is that they have been equal parts promising and frustrating. Cincinnati has a young core with a defense that was playing at a high level entering the postseason, but it flopped against the Houston Texans for the second time in two years.

Since a four-game losing streak that covered the entire month of October and first week of November, Cincinnati has given up just 12.8 points per game. It scored 13 on Wild Card Saturday against Houston, but that’s not going to cut it when the Texans put 19 on the board.

The offense didn’t register a touchdown, which was a disappointing development as the Bengals have one of the best wide receivers in the game—already—in sophomore A.J. Green. Against Houston, however, it almost appeared as though they had forgotten that they had him at their disposal.

Of course, ignoring its No. 1 option resulted in a sub-zero passing game for a Cincinnati team entering the locker room at the half:

Green was targeted 11 times in the second half, but caught fewer than half the passes thrown his way: He finished with five receptions for 80 yards. Andy Dalton completed less than half of his attempts—the sophomore QB completed 14-of-30 passes for a modest 127 yards and an interception. At Houston last year in the playoffs, Dalton completed 27-of-42 balls for 257 yards and three picks.

Cincinnati will undoubtedly look to find the balance between continuing a streak while breaking another. The Bengals have now made the playoffs in two consecutive seasons, but they’ll be fighting a couple of nasty losing streaks should they make it again in 2013:

It may be surprising enough that bottom-dwellers like the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns have won playoff games more frequently than the Bengals. But their head coach has yet to walk away victorious from a postseason matchup, as well.

 

For more NFL analysis, follow Jamal on TwitterFollow @StatManJ

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