The entire city of Cincinnati might as well be nauseous.
The Cincinnati Bengals’ season might as well have ended after just nine games, two quarters, and about three minutes. That is how long Joe Burrow managed to last behind the Bengals’ rag-tag excuse of an offensive line.
When Burrow went down with an obvious season-ending knee injury, all hope of victory was carted off of the field with him. All hope of anything, really, from this all-but-lost season was immediately extinguished as soon as Burrow hit the turf for what felt like the 4,000th time this year.
Before the incident, a few players were playing pretty well in what was another solid game for Burrow. But there are so many more losers in this contest.
Carl Lawson: Cincinnati’s first drive on defense was capped off with Lawson’s first sack in seven weeks. Lawson had a good opportunity to record another sack in his impressive season this week against Morgan Moses playing out of position at left tackle.
A.J. Green: We saw a glimpse of the old A.J. at the end of the first quarter with a toe-tapping grab 19-yards down the field. His third reception became his first touchdown since Week 8 of the 2018 season and the first touchdown for the Bengals. At least he got one score with Burrow under his belt.
Tyler Boyd: Many thought Boyd would pop off last week on his birthday, but the now 26-year old Boyd looked much better this week. He hauled in all eight of his first-half targets for 71 yards, including a remarkable mid-air catch while contorting his body towards the ball. Boyd finished with nine catches and 85 yards.
Joe Burrow: :(
Joe Burrow’s offensive line: Unlike the Carson Palmer injury, Burrow’s catastrophic moment didn’t come off of a cheap shot. Michael Jordan allowed a Jonathan Allen pressure to Burrow’s left and Hakeem Adeniji allowed a Montez Sweat pressure to Burrow’s right. Both rushers bet at Burrow and an ugly high-low double hit led to Burrow’s injury.
All season long, it felt like Burrow was barely surviving behind a line that was getting him hit at an all-time rate. This was the result of playing him behind multiple blockers that aren’t worth anybody’s time.
Joe Burrow’s coaches: With six games left in the season, Zac Taylor and his staff won’t have anymore quality quarterback play to hide their faults. Taylor and offensive line coach Jim Turner felt confident in this offensive line being good enough for their rookie quarterback. This is the bed they made.
The front office: That last statement can be applied to the decision makers overlooking it all. The worst thing this franchise could do is damage the franchise quarterback, and now we’re living in this reality. What is going to happen? Probably not enough in terms of accountability.
First half red zone offense: The Bengals’ had a two-point lead at halftime, and it could’ve been a lot more if the offense could’ve finished their drives. After a missed field goal concluded their first red zone opportunity, the Bengals followed it with a fumble at the goal-line.
Randy Bullock: The Bengals’ much-maligned kicker had a rough day. He doinked a 34-yard field goal on the first drive, and missed the extra point after A.J. Green’s touchdown. His 53-yard field goal on the following drive was great, but when given another opportunity to hit from beyond 50 yards, Bullock’s kick met the upright again.
The morale of anyone sporting Bengals gear on Sunday: What a terrifying and deflating day. Just horrific.