Well that was a tough pill to swallow.
The Bengals seemingly had won their matchup with the Chargers when A.J. Green caught the go-ahead touchdown pass from Joe Burrow. However, Green was flagged for OPI, which led to the Bengals settling for a 31-yard Randy Bullock field goal with seven seconds left.
But Bullock botched the kick, and the Bengals lost their 2020 opener 16-13.
Now, let’s see what Twitter had to say about Cincinnati’s first game of the Joe Burrow era.
First look at Burrow
There isn’t a secret as to who all the eyes were on for this game. Bengals’ fans have been waiting for this moment since about midway through the 2019 season. Burrow didn’t disappoint by arriving in style.
Bengals, Chargers all locked arms on opposite goal lines during "Lift Every Voice and Sing." pic.twitter.com/HSKgefizRt— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) September 13, 2020
Message on Bengals WR A.J. Green's shirt: "Injustice against one of us is injustice against all of us." https://t.co/vtM4OT7YWp— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) September 13, 2020
Burrow makes a huge play after slow start
The playcall was a result of the way the Chargers didn’t keep enough men in the middle of the defense to stop the threat of Burrow running. Prior to that, you could tell the rookie was still working through some early jitters. It ended up being the only touchdown for either team in the first half.
Look at Burrow set up the block and Hopkins finish it. https://t.co/m9CRKynP9R— Anthony Cosenza (@CJAnthonyCUI) September 13, 2020
What a playcall to go with the QB draw there. The Chargers have one player in the middle of the field, Hopkins puts him on his ass, and Burrow just strolls into the endzone for 6.— Jake (@Jake_NFL) September 13, 2020
First of many to come! pic.twitter.com/bkO8bMjBZ9— Rebecca Toback (@Rebecca_Toback) September 13, 2020
Everyone should be loving the run by Burrow and his first NFL TD and all that is great. But how about Trey Hopkins with the block that ends up taking out two guys (Burrow patiently letting him do it). https://t.co/KV0FhWqGUp— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 13, 2020
Here are the dots Joe Burrow's first NFL TD, via NFL Next Gen. pic.twitter.com/k2Ad5RK9a1— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) September 13, 2020
Way to go Joe! Big run for 1st NFL TD— Ken Anderson (@KenAndersonNFL) September 13, 2020
The one thing fans will remember about the first half is just how bad Bobby Hart was at right tackle. The entire offensive struggled, but Hart routinely got beat almost instantly or failed to put a hand on one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.
Bosa goes right to Hart to let him know how bad he just beat him for that sack.— President of John Ross fanclub (@PatrickJudis) September 13, 2020
Bobby Hart commits a false start and on the ensuing play Joey Bosa runs right around him for the sack. #Bengals— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) September 13, 2020
someone get fred’s helmet— john sheeran (@John__Sheeran) September 13, 2020
Jim Turner's favorite right tackle is still a major problem. Shocker.— Chris Roling (@Chris_Roling) September 13, 2020
I know Joey Bosa is a great player, but damn is Bobby Hart useless.— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) September 13, 2020
Bosa probably told Hart "you're getting my friend killed out here" https://t.co/i7RtRH63WF— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) September 13, 2020
This man is an actual professional who gets paid real money to play football. pic.twitter.com/M27vrm24gk— Rick Broering (@RickBroering) September 13, 2020
Press box just collectively groaned when Joe Burrow got licked after that hand-off.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) September 13, 2020
Zero love for Bobby Hart in my mentions I hope everyone improves, but the film don't lie...— BengalsCaptain (@BengalsCaptain) September 13, 2020
Free runners. Whiffed blocks. You name it. Burrow is getting hit on nearly every play. He's got no shot back there.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 13, 2020
mama, get the hot water running and the epsom salts ready. Joe's gonna need it.— Keenan Singleton (@KJMSingleton) September 13, 2020
Nah he needs to hear this. https://t.co/6NKeDjIcRX— President of John Ross fanclub (@PatrickJudis) September 13, 2020
Even one of the greatest Bengal tackles of all-time got in on the criticism of one of the worst starting right tackles in the NFL.
Can’t punch with 2 hands and your outside hand lands down the middle of the DE when he’s outside of you . You can only 2 hand punch when he runs down the middle of you . Even still it’s not a punch. Hands stab underneath #BengalsChargers— Willie Anderson (@BigWillie7179) September 13, 2020
Defense looks unrecognizable in the best way
The defense stole the show of the first half. Aside from two chunk plays that setup field goals, they looked like a completely different from its 2019 counter part. The biggest difference was the linebackers playing well and coming up big in some short yardage situations.
7-6 Bengals lead at the half. Young linebackers look like they belong. The offensive line looks like they needed some preseason work. @WCPO— Keenan Singleton (@KJMSingleton) September 13, 2020
Bengals winning after that half of football is a huge testament to this defense. Cincinnati wpuldve easily been down two scores by this point last year.— President of John Ross fanclub (@PatrickJudis) September 13, 2020
And yet another fourth-down stop by the Bengals defense inside their own territory. Credit a much maligned unit from last year. Stepping up in first half today.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 13, 2020
Who Dey think they are trying to run on 4th and 2 on this defense?— Dadio Makdook (@dadiodefacto) September 13, 2020
Bengals defense against the misdirection and QB run stuff has been fantastic and that was highlighted there. Pratt, Lawson and then on fourth down Sam Hubbard all with big plays to stop the Chargers drive in Bengals territory.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 13, 2020
Rookie Kareem Khalid gets to Taylor first, then Carl Lawson cleans it up for a sack. #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) September 13, 2020
Every time Carl Lawson is on the field it's impossible not to have eyes gravitate to him. Star.— Chris Roling (@Chris_Roling) September 13, 2020
#Bengals continue to rotate linebackers. Rookie LBs Logan Wilson and Akeem Davis-Gaiter were in on third down.— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) September 13, 2020
Bengals LB Akeem Davis-Gaither comes up the middle as a free blitzer and forces a third-down stop.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) September 13, 2020
William Jackson with a pass defensed on the opening drive. Needs two more to match last season's almost impossible total.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 13, 2020
Seriously, though, WJ3 has been a star in camp.
The clock struck midnight a second too soon
Burrow and the Bengals got a shot to go down the field for a game-winning drive with just over two minutes left. Burrow didn’t look like a rookie on the drive either.
this is how legends are made— john sheeran (@John__Sheeran) September 13, 2020
Bengals out here living the 5WR life with Burrow on this drive with the game on the line.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 13, 2020
Let's see how big Burrow's bollocks are— Bengals UK (@WhoDey_UK) September 13, 2020
Joe Burrow taking command with 2 minutes to go in his NFL debut.— Rebecca Toback (@Rebecca_Toback) September 13, 2020
Ya'll feel that energy right now? That BDE? WHO DEY!— BengalsCaptain (@BengalsCaptain) September 13, 2020
Let's get some Burrow magic in his first start— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) September 13, 2020
Yolo— Matt Minich (@CoachMinich) September 13, 2020
Then the magic ended. Burrow connected with A.J. Green for a touchdown with seven seconds left inside the five-yard line. However, the play was called back. From there we saw a typical Cincinnati loss that most of us have become accustomed to.
Joe Burrow's potential game-winning TD to A.J. Green will be negated by offensive pass interference.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) September 13, 2020
That's a brutal call.— Lindsay Patterson (@LndsPatterson) September 13, 2020
So to sum up the last two plays:— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) September 13, 2020
-- Bengals' game-winnning TD gets negated by offensive pass interference.
-- Bengals miss the FG to send the game into overtime.
And Randy Bullock gagged it. Bullock looks hurt.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 13, 2020
Randy Bullock misses a 31-yarder. Chargers will escape Week 1 with a win.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) September 13, 2020
Welcome to Cincinnati, Joe.— Taylor Cornell (@_TaylorCornell) September 13, 2020
BENGALS FOOTBALL— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) September 13, 2020
Just a completely unfortunate ending to Joe Burrow’s debut.— Rebecca Toback (@Rebecca_Toback) September 13, 2020
Goddamn I feel sick to my stomach— Meg Burkhard (@Bengalsmanic) September 13, 2020
That drive by Joe Burrow is EXACTLY what you want to see out of the future of your franchise.— Jeremy Rauch (@FOX19Jeremy) September 13, 2020
A loss like that is just a Cincinnati sports welcome to the city.
This seems like a typical Bengal loss that ends in some unheard of fashion, but there is still plenty of reason to be excited. At least the team gets a quick turnaround with the Browns on Thursday Night Football.