Bengals beat writers Fletcher Page and Paul Dehner Jr. preview the team’s Week 13 game against the Denver Broncos.
Kareem Elgazzar, firstname.lastname@example.org
Final: Denver 24, Bengals 10
What went right: The Bengals defense did a better job compared to recent weeks, forcing the Broncos to punt six times and recovering a fumble. Denver’s 352 total yards marks a major improvement.
What went wrong: The Bengals were flagged 12 times for 100 yards. They’ve committed 25 penalties the past two games. The flags contributed to a stunted offensive performance that took a major hit when A.J. Green left the game in the second quarter with a right foot injury.
Mid-fourth quarter update: Broncos 21, Bengals 10
The Bengals offense just can’t get it going.
Another punt — the seventh of the game — essentially puts this game on ice. Folks are headed for the exits, and Phillip Lindsay is gashing through the defense to run the clock out.
Update: Vontaze Burfict has been declared out with a concussion.
THIRD QUARTER WRAP: Broncos 21, Bengals 10
What went right: Hardy Nickerson forced a fumble that Nick Vigil recovered. That set the offense with field position near midfield to begin the fourth quarter.
What went wrong: The Broncos hit on big-play scores. Phillip Lindsay had a 65-yard touchdown run and Courtland Sutton caught a 30-yard touchdown.
Did you notice? Vontaze Burfict went to the locker room near the end of the quarter.
Mid-third quarter update: Broncos 21, Bengals 10
Flex it out, Cody Core.
The Bengals finally got into the end zone on a Driskel 30-yard pass to Core.
That was Core’s first career receiving touchdown.
So… there’s hope. Joe Mixon has had a strong game, with 81 yards on 11 carries (7.4 yards per), and Tyler Boyd has 97 receiving yards on six catches. If the Bengals defense can get a stop, there’s at least recent success for the offense to build on.
Mid-third quarter update: Broncos 21, Bengals 3
Add another Phillip Lindsay touchdown run to the board. This time the rookie running back ran for 65 yards to the end zone. He has 129 total yards (127 rushing), and this one is officially over.
The Bengals previous offensive drive ended with an inexcusable interception thrown by Jeff Driskel. He was under pressure and should have taken the sack. Instead, he lobbed up what was essentially a punt right to Broncos defensive back Justin Simmons. You can’t do that.
Mid-third quarter update: Broncos 14, Bengals 3
What a sad-feeling atmosphere.
The Broncos scored another touchdown. This time it was rookie wideout Courtland Sutton hauling in a pass over rookie corner Darius Phillips. The score came after Alex Erikson muffed a punt, forcing the defense back to the field after previously getting a stop.
Hard to predict the Bengals can muster two scoring drives to keep up in this one. The 10 penalties are nearing a season-high, and the crowd, understandably, has lost interest.
HALFTIME WRAP: Broncos 7, Bengals 3
What went right: The Bengals defense was, mostly, good, allowing just seven points and seven first downs. Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon had 59 yards on eight carries.
What went wrong: The Bengals offense struggled, and that was before A.J. Green was declared out with a right foot injury. The unit was 2 of 7 on third down and averaged just 4.1 yards per play.
Did you notice? The Bengals had eight first-half penalties, on pace to pass last week’s 13 as the most in a game this season. That’s the most penalties on the Bengals in a first half since 2009.
Mid-second quarter update: Broncos 7, Bengals 3.
A.J. Green suffered another injury. He had to be helped off the field after hurting his right foot and required a cart to get to the locker room.
Didn’t look good.
The Broncos, meanwhile, scored a touchdown on a Phillip Lindsay run, and the Bengals answered with a Randy Bullock field near the end of the quarter.
FIRST QUARTER WRAP: Broncos 0, Bengals 0
What went right: The Bengals made stops on 2 of 3 third downs despite allowing Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay to rush for eight yards per carry
What went wrong: The Bengals were flagged for three penalties, which contributed to the offense punting on both drives.
Did you notice? The Bengals defense forced punts on consecutive drives to start a game for the first time since Week 5 against the Dolphins.
Mid-first quarter update: Broncos 0, Bengals 0
The Broncos punted first. And the Bengals followed suit.
The Bengals moved past the 50 with a few nice gains, including a 23-yard run by Joe Mixon. But a pair of penalties, an illegal shift and a block in the back, on third-and-long essentially ended the chance for points.
Mid-first quarter update: Broncos 0, Bengals 0
Lot of empty seats here in Paul Brown Stadium. The banner usually with witty phrases hung by fans in the upper section is blank. A white flag on a season gone bad.
Still, two 5-6 teams will battle it out. On the opening drive, the Bengals defense forced a first-half punt in a home game for the first time since Oct. 28.
Jeff Driskel is on the field. A.J. Green is, too. Let’s see what the offense can do.
The Cincinnati Bengals will be without Cordy Glenn due to a back injury for a second consecutive game Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
So who’s going to play left tackle?
The job goes to Clint Boling. The veteran will slide from left guard, with Trey Hopkins moving into the starting lineup in Boling’s customary spot. Boling started two games at left tackle last season.
Cedric Ogbuehi, who played 54 snaps in relief last week against the Browns, is inactive. That means Andre Smith will likely get the nod should Boling need replaced. Smith arrived in Cincinnati on Thursday for his third stint with the Bengals after the Cardinals cut him earlier this week. Christian Westerman is the expected backup at guard.
Jake Fisher, who started in Glenn’s place last week, was placed on injured reserve earlier this week with a back injury.
OL Cordy Glenn
OL Cedric Ogbuehi
WR Josh Malone
DB Tony McRae
WR Auden Tate
LB Brandon Bell
DL Kasim Edebali
LB Shaquil Barrett
CB Tramaine Brock
OL Nico Falah
LB Jeff Holland
OL Sam Jones
LB Brandon Marshall
DE Demarcus Walker
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. It can be seen on CBS.