Sanu: We came out flat

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Cornerback Adam Jones (above) and left end Carlos Dunlap were the Bengals best players in Sunday's 27-0 loss.

INDIANAPOLIS _ In a span of 14 days the Bengals have gone from swagger to stagger and 3-0 to 3-2-1 after Sunday's stunningly thorough 27-0 loss to the Colts sent the Bengals from Lucas Oil Stadium looking to regroup from their longest win-less streak in two years.

"It seems like we weren't ourselves," said wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. "We didn't have any energy or any enthusiasm...I don't know why. I really can't put my finger on it." ...

For the second time in three weeks the Bengals allowed more than 500 yards after not giving up a 500-yard game in seven years. They lost two more defensive starters early in the second quarter when Pro Bowl WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict (cervical strain) and cornerback Leon Hall (lower back strain) exited.

"I thought when we lost a couple of guys on defense we played back on our heels," said head coach Marvin Lewis....

Burfict has now left every game he's played this season. Two with a concussion, last week with a blow to the head and Sunday with the neck injury. He came back last week after he was cleared to finish, but even though Sunday didn't involve a neck injury, it came after he buried his helmet in Colts quarterback Andrew Luck's chest to make a tackle on a scramble.

With starting middle linebacker Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and starting SAM backer Emmanuel Lamur (shoulder) already not in the lineup, the Bengals ended up playing rookie Marquis Flowers and sophomore Jayson DiManche in his first NFL start flanking middle backer Vincent Rey in his seventh NFL start.

"With another rookie, things change a little bit and plan changes and things like that," said head coach Marvin Lewis. "Obviously it becomes critical, particularly when you have some third downs and things like that, don't play things exactly the way you should and you give up plays. Then everybody starts kind of doubting a little bit and trying to, then if they are at the point of attack, probably won't get it done. We've got to circle the  wagaons. That's the thing. We are who we are. We've got what we've got. We've got to get together and we've got to figure out a way to continue to ride it and go back and be a fundamentally sound attacking football team again and get on it and go." ...

n the last three games the Bengals have allowed 107 points, the most since they allowed 109 points during the 10-game losing streak in 2010. From Nov. 21 to Dec. 5, they lost to Buffalo, 49-31, the Jets, 26-10, and New Orleans, 34-30, when their secondary suffered a rash of injuries...

They've really struggled on the road in the last 10 quarters, getting outscored, 86-25. Their third-down percentage in their last two road games in New England Indy is at 1-for-20 after going 1-for-13 Sunday....

"That's not how we play  football. It's embarrassing," said cornerback Terence Newman. "We got flat-out embarrassed today. There's nothing else I can say about it…Like coach said, you have to play with your hair on fire. I don't have any hair. I have hair on my chest. I have to play like my hair's on fire. It's not the end of the world. It's what, our second loss in (six) games? We still have the other half of the season to compete. We have to go back to the drawing board, compete in practice and challenge each other." ... First-round pick Darqueze Dennard also got his first extended playing time Sunday when Hall went out and he took over the slot. He missed a tackle on running back Ahmad Bradshaw's 10-yard catch-and-run touchdown, but Newman thought Dennard held up.

"I thought he handled it well, which I already knew was going to be a fact," Newman said. "He's very polished. He's a veteran to me, not a rookie. He's a guy that doesn't let much get to him. He played hard, he played smart, I was proud of him." ...

The Bengals best players Sunday were cornerback Adam Jones and left end Carlos Dunlap. Jones recovered a fumble that Dunlap forced on the Bengals 11 in a 0-0 game in the first quarter to go along with five tackes and two passes defensed. He also returned two kicks in a game for the first time in years (he had a long of 38) while also returning three punts. He only had 14 yards, but after a week absence on top of the rankings he should be back on top because he has the minimum number of returns to qualify.

Dunlap tipped the first pass of the game and went on to record a sack, two QB hits, the huge red-zone strip that Jones recovered, and he recovered a fumble. "Sometimes they'll struggle and sometimes we'll struggle," Dunlap said of the offense. "Either way you've got to take care of your job, whatever it is.  We've just got to keep holding on to it like how we played in the first half.  We've got to keep fighting like that, and just giving them a chance. Can't give up 27 points."

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