Bengals only .500 heading into tough stretch

Published Oct. 15, 2012 4:44 p.m. ET

CINCINNATI (AP) -- An ugly performance in Cleveland has left the Cincinnati Bengals in trouble.

The Bengals self-destructed in the second half of a 34-24 loss to the Browns on Sunday that dropped them to 3-3. They wanted to be in much better shaping heading into the toughest part of their schedule.

The loss in Cleveland ended a stretch of five consecutive games against opponents with quarterbacks who were either rookies or in their second season. The Bengals went only 3-2 during that favorable part of the schedule.

Up next are home games against Pittsburgh, Denver and the Giants. Cincinnati finishes the season with games against San Diego, Dallas, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Baltimore, which leads the AFC North at 5-1 and has already beaten the Bengals.