- Jay Morrison Staff Writer
The 13 penalties the Cincinnati Bengals committed Monday night in a 23-20 loss to Pittsburgh were their most in a non-overtime game since 2009.
And the 173 penalty yards were the most in franchise history and tied for the 14th most in the NFL since the 1970 merger.
The previous franchise record was 134 in a 20-17 overtime loss at Baltimore on Nov. 10, 2013.
The Bengals collected 70 of the 173 penalty yards in the fourth quarter as they blew a 10-point lead.
“Some of those I disagree with — I think everybody does,” said defensive end Chris Smith, who was not penalized. “But we have to not make those. If they are going to call it, we’ve got to find a way to not be in those situations. They hurt us down the stretch. Every game — not just this game, but every game — we have to learn not to beat ourselves.”
Only three times this year did the Bengals have more than 70 yards in a full game (81 at Tennessee, 77 at Jacksonville, 71 vs. Buffalo).
Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick had 68 penalty yards alone on a pair of pass interference calls — one in the second quarter, onee in the fourth — that led to 10 Pittsburgh points.
While those were the longest penalties, the biggest was running back Giovani Bernard’s holding call that negated a 61-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green that would have given the Bengals a 24-10 lead with 7:38 left in the third quarter.