Bengals fans everywhere no doubt had the same queasy feeling when Josh Brown kicked the 52-yard field goal that gave Cincinnati a 19-10 lead over the Cowboys with 6:45 left in the third quarter Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.
That was the same score the Bengals took into the fourth quarter a year ago this Sunday and got beat by the Texans, 20-19, on a T.J. Yates touchdown pass with two seconds left in Week 14 to drop to 7-6.
"Like food poisoning," said right end Michael Johnson. "Worse."
It was a hard one to take, that's for sure, in a locker room that emptied as if there were a rattler loose after Dallas repeated history, 20-19.
The Cowboys got the ball on their own 32 down nine with 9:32 left Sunday and this time ended up a Week 14 winner at the gun on Dan Bailey's 40-yarder with no time left that dropped the Bengals to 7-6.
The big difference is that the Bengals got that second and final wild card last season because they controlled the tiebreakers. Not so this year and they missed a great chance to move ahead of Pittsburgh for that last spot with San Diego routing the Steelers.
But the Bengals are still knotted at 7-6 with Pittsburgh and in the hunt with three games left that includes the Dec. 23 game in Pittsburgh.
Even though they had more yards than Dallas. Even though they got into the red zone twice as many times as the Cowboys. Even though one of the two Cowboys touchdown drives went longer than 27 yards. Even though Dallas rushed for just two yards per carry. the Bengals ended up losing.
"This loss is just tough period," said safety Reggie Nelson. "It stings the hell out of me. Especially when you work so hard and it just hurts so bad."
All you had to do was look at the face of Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis in his postgame news conference.
"We had too many opportunities to put more points on the board, make stops, and we had too many dropped balls," Lewis said. "We didn't score touchdowns, but we moved the ball effectively. The one interception hurt us because they got points after that, but it's disappointing to lose a game that you have in hand, and then lose in the last two drives."
Lewis admitted he had flashbacks to Dec. 11, 2011 and Houston.
"Unfortunately I thought about that," Lewis said. "We've got to move forward. We learned how to fix it then, and we'll fix it here too. It's a quick turnaround."
Like last year, the Bengals go on the road for Week 15 to a losing NFC club. Last year they won in St. Louis. But this year they only have two days get ready for a trip to Philadelphia for a Thursday night game on NFL Network.
Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga thought it was more like last week in San Diego, when the visiting Bengals came back to post a fourth-quarter comeback.
"When you think about it, it flip-flopped," Maualuga said. "The momentum shifts. The crowd is all into it because they're up in the fourth quarter. We just kept our composure and fought back and won."