Pre-season NFL football games aren't typically things of beauty and tonight's Bengals/Patriots tilt at Paul Brown Stadium has been no exception.
Missed tackles, dropped interceptions and mental mistakes have been numerous.
Marvin Lewis, who has guided the Bengals to consecutive 8-8 seasons since taking over as head coach, is in the final year of a purported three-year "plan".
Had it not been for consecutive 1-4 starts, the Bengals might be working on their third straight playoff appearance. A good start to the season is imperative for a team which hasn't qualified for the postseason since 1990.
Carson Palmer threw an interception on the game's first play from scrimmage. The Bengals trailed 10-6 at halftime.
"We had opportunities, but we didn't take advantage of them," said Lewis at halftime. "We missed some chances on offense, we had chances for interceptions on defense that we didn't convert. Some guys played well, but overall, we've got to do better."
Game-time temperature in the Queen City: 94-degrees. Not exactly football weather.