More of the same.
The Bengals got our hopes up, saw why Joe Burrow is going to be an MVP contender for the next ten years and then blew a seemingly certain win via a flurry of defensive and coaching miscues. Let’s just get to the recap.
Cincinnati did not punt in the first half and Joe Burrow threw for 234 yards. Sure, the score was just 17-10 Bengals, but it was one of the more enjoyable halves of football in the last half-decade of Cincy football.
We’ll start with the negative, which is that after Burrow and company stormed down the field on the opening drive, a wide-open touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd was tipped by a blitzing Denzel Ward and landed in the hands of another Brown for a goal-line interception. Unironically, just the start Bengals fans expected.
Burrow’s INT was undone by fellow former first pick Baker Mayfield two plays later as he aired a sideline fly to Odell Beckham Jr. but left it short and in the hands of cornerback Darius Phillips who turned his head at the last second to snag a pick. On his 21-yard return deep into Browns territory, OBJ injured his leg in a leaping tackling attempt and was ruled out for the rest of the game.
Baker Mayfield obviously missed his star wideout, as he finished the half with just five completions for 49 yards. Really, a Bengals fumble off a Myles Garrett sack and a few Kareem Hunt and Jarvis Landry breakout gains were all the Browns could muster to get to their 10 points.
Meanwhile, the Bengals and Joe Burrow were nearly flawless on offense, following up the fumble with a Randy Bullock field goal before marching down the field in two-minute-drill style, capping off the half with a Burrow strike to Boyd from 11 yards out that threaded between four Brown defenders. We’re feeling great after 30 minutes of play.
The Bengals invented another way to lose. Joe Burrow and Cincinnati never punted, Burrow threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns, made every gutsy play to give the defense a zillion chances to make just-one-stop. And they failed. The O-line is a group of busts, and the largest of the bunch, Billy Price, couldn’t stop messing up down the stretch with penalties and blown assignments.
The defense, notably without their only quality cornerback in William Jackson, continued to prove their haplessness. If the second half was graded like a test in school, it would be impossible not to give them a zero percent. Do you think I’m kidding? This is the second-half drive log:
Four drives, four touchdowns. Joe Burrow: flawless. Bengals defense: statistically, literally, could not have failed any harder. Cincinnati should hold reconciliation-style apologies between every defensive player and Joe Burrow. Shoot, include the D-coordinator too. I would say I’m surprised, but I’m a Cincinnati pro sports fan and a lifelong UK Football fan. 21st-century misery is all I know.
Have you ever received checks worth millions of dollars per year despite failing over and over again every week at your job? To a point where you can’t possibly fail any worse? That’s the Bengals coaching staff and defensive roster. Thieves. Give your checks to Joe Burrow and leave the city please, every Bengal fan would roar with applause.
Let’s look at four games this year Cincinnati had no business losing
- Chargers: Randy Bullock pulls a hammy and misses game-winning FG
- Eagles: Tied, after getting the ball first, Billy Price hold at midfield stops potential game-winning drive
- Colts: Led 21-0, enough said.
- Browns: Didn’t punt, defense allowed 22/23 straight passes and five consecutive TDs to end the game.
Two more stats to justify my thought that the coaching staff is incompetent:
- Record in games decided by less than 8 since 2019: 1-12-1.
- Record overall: 3-19-1.
Is there any other option if this continues? #FIREEVERYONE
One day, with zero of these coaches, a completely overhauled offensive line and a new generation of (probably still terrible) defenders, Joe Burrow and Cincinnati will win playoff games and possibly even a Super Bowl. Until then we’ll continue to stew in our own depression. It’s ok, we’ve been marinating for 30 years now, we’re used to this.