Bengals at their worst on third downs

Bengals at their worst on third downs
October 8, 2012, 2:03 pm
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Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, bottom, is tackled by Miami Dolphins strong safety Chris Clemons and free safety Reshad Jones, top, after a gain in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)


CINCINNATI (AP) Third-and-1. Third-and-2. Might as well be third-and-50. The Bengals are at their worst on the most important down, and it's starting to catch up with them.

They were only 2 of 14 on third downs Sunday during a 17-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Given two chances to pull the game out in the closing minutes, the Bengals (3-2) couldn't keep moving the ball. They had to settle for a field goal attempt that Mike Nugent missed, then a game-ending interception by Andy Dalton.

In the last two games, the Bengals are only 4 of 25 on third down. They've come to rely on big plays for points. Forced to grind it out against the Dolphins, they couldn't do it. It's a focus preparing for their game Sunday in Cleveland.