All sorts of history was made during today’s Bengals vs. Browns shootout, a game that saw the road team escape with a last-second 37-34 victory.
Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow hit several passing milestones, which is a good piece of history to make.
Unfortunately, the Bengals also made some bad history by losing to the Browns in the manner they did. By scoring 34 points and not punting once vs. Cleveland, Cincinnati became the first team in the Super Bowl era to lose such a game.
Prior to today, teams that scored at least 33 points and had zero punts were 55-0 in the Super Bowl era.— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) October 25, 2020
This comes one week after the Bengals made some not-so-good history in their collapse vs. the Colts, a game that saw the road team build a 21-0 lead before falling 31-27 in Indy.
Since the start of the 2016 season, teams that had built leads of at least 21 points in the first half were 93-0, according to The Athletic reporter Jay Morrison.
Following the conclusion of Week 6, that record was 95-1, the lone defeat being by the Bengals.
While there’s plenty of blame to go around for both losses, the one common theme in both defeats was the defense coming undone. They allowed Baker Mayfield and Phillip Rivers — both of whom have struggled in games not vs. Cincinnati this season — to combine for 668 passing yards and eight touchdowns vs. two interceptions while completing 51/72 passes (71%).
It also has likely put defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo firmly on the hot seat with Cincinnati’s bye coming in Week 9. If things don’t improve next week vs. the Titans, we could see a new defensive play-caller coming out of the bye.
And regardless of what happens there, if the Bengals keep losing and can’t string together some wins over the second half of the season, head coach Zac Taylor may also be looking for a new job.