Skeltonmania almost did it again. Almost.
Down 23-0 to start the fourth quarter, the Cardinals fell short 23-16 against the Bengals after another improbable fourth quarter comeback came just short.
The Cardinals were in position to tie the game with under two minutes left. On a fourth down play, receiver Early Doucet streaked open on a busted coverage into the end zone. John Skelton seemed to surprise Doucet with the location of the ball, and Doucet tripped and fell.
The ball hit the ground, and the Cardinals’ small playoff hopes ended a few minutes later when another Arizona drive came up short.
The Bengals almost gave this away after an incredible defensive effort. Going into the fourth quarter, the Cardinals didn’t even have 100 yards of offense. They hadn’t crossed midfield. Cincinnati had five sacks, ten quarterback hits, and three interceptions.
It was the type of performance that marked Cincinnati’s fast start to the season. Combined with the Jets loss, the Bengals now control their playoff fate at 9-6. Win next week, and the Bengals are in.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that Bengals play the Ravens next week.
Just the fact the Bengals are in this position is one of the stories of the year. Especially now that Skeltonmania is finally over.