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Bengals unable to explain collapse

| Monday, Oct. 20, 2008

CINCINNATI -- Bengals receiver Chad Ocho Cinco -- formerly known as Chad Johnson -- donned chic white designer sunglasses before speaking with the media following Sunday's embarrassing 38-10 loss to the Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium.

Despite the fashion statement, he had a difficult time explaining how the 0-7 Bengals continue to look so bad during games.

"In practice, it's so smooth. It's there. Then it doesn't turn out (in the games)," said Ocho Cinco, who had major difficulty explaining how his team was ouscored 28-3 in the second half.

"The execution wasn't what it should have been," he said.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis had an explanation for his team's second-half meltdown, and it wasn't pretty.

"The point I just made in there was that the halftime score was 10-7. And after Cedric (Benson's) run in the fourth quarter, for whatever reason, we just seemed to dissolve in every area," Lewis said.

The run in question was Benson's 15-yard dart around right end early in the fourth quarter that resulted in a collision with Steelers safety Troy Polamalu that knocked off Polamalu's helmet and sent Polamalu to the sideline with a head injury.

However, what appeared to be a promising drive for Cincinnati stalled when linebacker Lawrence Timmons sacked quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for a 6-yard loss on third down.

From there, the bottom fell out for the Bengals.

"We had the momentum -- we had some energy and excitement -- and then we allowed a negative play to creep in," Lewis said. "It got us off schedule and off track, and we were never able to recover."

Bengals tackle Levi Jones disagreed with Lewis' postgame assestment.

"Guys are out there fighting, guys are out there trying to make plays, guys are out there trying their hardest," Jones said. "Every time we step out there, we play for pride."

Ocho Cinco, though, tended to side with Lewis. After all, he said, the Bengals remain winless this season.

"(Lewis) felt we sort of laid down a little bit. We had the momentum right there on that (run). I really thought things were going to turn in our favor," said Ocho Cinco, who had eight receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown.

"We're 0-7. We've got to do all we can. We've got to win to get that taste out of our mouth. Until we win, everybody's going to be scrutinized for everything that we do."

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