The Cincinnati Bengals kicked off their five-game losing streak with the Pittsburgh Steelers and ended it with them as well.
Entering halftime up 17-0, the Bengals fanbase were gifted an early Christmas present in the form of a win over their rivals. The Bengals looked sharp defensively, holding the Steelers to just 17 points, all in the second half.
Although Ryan Finley, who took over for Brandon Allen, failed to eclipse 100 yards passing, he made up for it with 40 on the ground, oftentimes spurring the Bengals offense. He made big-time throws at absolutely crucial times.
The Bengals came to play, and while this doesn’t change much, it should give their fanbase hope. Now with three wins on the season, let’s dive into how the national media view them respective to the league as whole following their dominant performance.
Outside of Cincinnati, Bates doesn’t get nearly enough credit for what he does. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Bates leads all safeties with 15 pass deflections and has the lowest expected points added of any safety when targeted (minus-10.9). The big knock against Bates this season is that he hasn’t been able to convert on some big interception opportunities. Then again, the fact that Bates has been in position for a couple of potential pick-sixes shows how well he has played this season. If Bates played for a good team, he probably would get the recognition he deserves. — Ben Baby
They looked good in beating the Steelers Monday night. That’s a good sign for next season.
What a nice moment for the Bengals and their fans on Monday night. A once-promising season turned painful in the aftermath of Joe Burrow’s terrible knee injury, but beating up the Steelers and sending thousands of Pittsburgh fans out of Paul Brown Stadium with scowls on their faces was a special kind of Christmas present for the people of Cincinnati. After all, the Bengals didn’t just beat the mighty Steelers — they sent the entire organization into a state of panic. That’s the good stuff. ”We needed this,” quarterback Ryan Finley said after a solid two-touchdown performance. “We needed to have this feeling. We needed to share that in the locker room.” We get it.
Great win for Zac Taylor & Co. Even better: it didn’t jeopardize the team’s draft pick, which could bring massive Oregon OT Penei Sewell to protect Joe Burrow.
I don’t believe Zac Taylor was in much trouble. If he was, Monday night should save him. That’s a great win near the end of a season.
Ryan Finley won’t be able to get out of bed until Friday, but it was worth it.
Somehow appropriate that, with second-stringers all over the field, they crafted second-biggest upset of Week 15 against Pittsburgh.