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It took more than half a season for the Cincinnati Bengals' offense to wake up. They can not afford to have their defense fall asleep with hopes of returning to the playoffs hanging in the balance.

Associated Press

After an improbable second half in which they gave up 42 points, the Bengals will be looking for more consistent efforts on both sides of the ball Sunday when they meet the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome.

Behind Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson, the Bengals jumped out to a 28-7 halftime lead over the San Diego Chargers at home last Sunday and appeared on their way toward moving back over .500.

In the final 30 minutes, though, the defense gave up three of LaDainian Tomlinson's four rushing touchdowns and three TD passes by rookie quarterback Phillip Rivers - including a 5-yard strike to tight end Brandon Manumaleuna with 2:29 to play that sealed the Chargers' 49-41 victory.

Full Story - FoxSports.com
 

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