It has been a long road to Zac Taylor’s first win as a head coach. Many fans and players were more optimistic coming into the season, but avoiding 0-16 and getting that first win off their back clearly had this team as excited as they could possibly be. It just feels good to see these players who fought tooth and nail to get this win be able to celebrate it properly.
Taylor showing a glimpse of his leadership
Many fans may expect players to not try as hard in a season where your team is 0-11, but we saw the Bengals best effort on Sunday. How does that happen? You have a guy like Taylor as your head coach in your ear.
Sweet Victory!— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) December 1, 2019
Game for @andydalton14 & Coach Taylor. pic.twitter.com/zCzwKcYLp6
It isn’t hard to see why these players are still excited to play for Taylor. He just has such air around him that makes you want to run through a wall for him.
Just listen to that locker room erupt as Andy Dalton gives Taylor a game ball. That is a special moment between the players and their coach, and you can feel the connection between the two sides.
It is impressive how Taylor has kept this team from falling into complacency, which is usually the case with teams who struggle this far into the season. You have to credit players as much as Taylor, but we saw how a certain Ohio team fell apart in this same circumstance.
Dalton’s post game press conference gets some surprise visitors
It is no secret that Dalton was playing with a huge chip on his shoulder after being benched before the bye week, and the way this team played today, you could tell they were playing for their veteran quarterback. It comes as no surprise then that when Dalton took the podium after the game that a few players came to see him.
Now joining Andy at the podium, @Joe_MainMixon. #Bengals @WCPO pic.twitter.com/AuhQPnwGuI— Keenan Singleton (@KJMSingleton) December 1, 2019
This is one of the more entertaining Dalton pressers I’ve seen in my career covering the Bengals. pic.twitter.com/Sp6x63ubY2— Elise Jesse (@Elise_JesseWLWT) December 1, 2019
Carlos Dunlap and Joe Mixon deserve as much credit as anyone for keeping this team afloat. They have unabashedly have loved this team throughout this losing stretch, and they’ve tried to keep things light and fun.
Showing up like this helps show the excitement this team still has going down the stretch. This seems like the vibe this team has been shooting for the entire season.
Mixon and Dunlap are also showing their confidence in their veteran returning as the starter with this kind of move. It was never really received with open arms when Ryan Finley was named the starter, and it seemed like the overwhelming feeling was that the team had let Dalton down. To help him get a win in his return had to help add some fuel to the fire of excitement that was lit after the win.