The Bengals put forth maybe their best effort of the 2010 season Sunday, but against the Super Bowl champs it came up just short, as Drew Brees’ game-winning touchdown pass to Marques Colston with 31 seconds topped the Bengals 34-30 at Paul Brown Stadium.
Brees threw for 313 yards on 24-of-29 passing with two touchdowns and an interception for the Saints (9-3), who extended their winning streak to five, sending the Bengals to their 9th straight loss, and 10th loss overall of the season.
Up 30-27, the Saints drove to a fourth-and-2 at the Bengals 7-yard line. They called a timeout, huddled on the sideline, then ran onto the field hoping to draw the Bengals into an offsides penalty. Brees moved around and lined up under center as the play clock ran down, acting as if he was going to take a snap.
The risk worked, as Bengals DL Pat Sims jumped, giving the Saints another play. Brees then threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Colston with 31 seconds left.
Chris Ivory rushed for 117 yards with two scores on 15 carries and Colston caught three passes for 65 yards, including the game-winner. Robert Meachem caught three passes for 106 yards and a score, and Reggie Bush rushed had 26 yards on five carries.
Carson Palmer threw for 249 yards with a touchdown on 23-of-33 passing, and Cedric Benson rushed for 49 yards with two scores on 19 carries for the Bengals. Terrell Owens caught six passes for 47 yards and a score, and Chad Ochocinco had 96 yards on five receptions in the loss.
New kicker Clint Stitser’s 47-yard field goal gave Cincinnati its first lead, 30-27, with 4:25 left, but the defense crumbled on the cold day as Brees and the Saints marched down the field for the win.
The Bengals had another tough day, they dropped two passes in the first half and were penalized when an extra offensive lineman failed to report to the officials before a play. They also had a running-into-the-kicker penalty that set up a Saints field goal.
Next week they head to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers.