CINCINNATI – It wasn’t A.J. Green reinjuring his right toe in the second quarter that cost the Bengals a chance to win Sunday.
It was all the times the Bengals shot themselves in the foot with turnovers, penalties and misplays that led to their fourth straight loss, 24-10, to the Broncos.
As the Bengals' season continued to implode, a tearful Green was carted off the field, and in the absence of an official word from the team, it looks like the star wide receiver might join quarterback Andy Dalton on the sidelines for the rest of the season.
A muffed punt by Alex Erickson and a lazy Jeff Driskel pass intercepted by Justin Simmons led to two Broncos’ TDs in the third quarter.
Another Driskel misplay forced the Bengals to take a field goal after their deepest drive of the first half to the Denver 7. Under pressure all day from Von Miller & Co., the first-time NFL starter was called for intentional grounding on first down, and two more passes went incomplete.
A 30-yard pass connection from Driskel to Cody Core in the third quarter accounted for the only Bengals’ touchdown.
Driskel, who led the Bengals to two late TDs last week after Dalton got hurt, had trouble getting the offense untracked, primarily because of penalties. The Bengals were called 12 times - eight in the first half - for 100 yards.
Driskel was 25 of 38 for 237 yards with a fumble and four sacks.
Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict went out with a concussion in the second half.
Meanwhile, Broncos rookie Phillip Lindsay ran for a career-high 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns – including a 65-yard run in which he sped past several Bengals defenders.
Case Keenum completed 12 of 21 passes for 151 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown pass to Courtland Sutton.
With fans' playoff hopes dashed, the crowd of 44,392 was the smallest at Paul Brown Stadium since 2011.
The Bengals fell to 5-7 with their sixth loss in seven games, while the Broncos improved to 6-6. The Bengals play at the Chargers next Sunday.
WCPO will update this story.