The Bengals and Chargers needed all 60 minutes to decide a winner, but a controversial finish left Cincinnati sitting at 0-1 after a 16-13 defeat.
The final two plays were about as painful of a sequence as Bengals fans have had to endure since...well, pretty much every season at some point, but this one was especially brutal.
With time winding down in the final seconds, Joe Burrow appeared to throw a game-winning touchdown to A.J. Green, but the veteran receiver was called for offensive pass interference, negating what would have put Cincinnati up 19-16 with seven seconds left.
Instead, the Bengals were forced to settle for a 31-yard field goal, which Randy Bullock missed as badly as you can from that distance.
While the issue of Bullock is something we can banter about all day, the real story should be the very controversial PI called on Green.
This is OPI? pic.twitter.com/I8kxPezW7N— Jason Marcum (@marcum89) September 13, 2020
Calling that OPI with the game on the line?
Heck, in this very game, Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams made a similar play and wasn’t flagged.
So it’s okay to create separation with a fully extended arm in the first half, but not always. Good to know. #bengals pic.twitter.com/Ti3wOdypSU— Timothy Spivy (@tbspivy) September 13, 2020
A similar play happened in last season’s Wild Card matchup between the Saints and Vikings where Kyle Rudolph seemingly pushed off with the game on the line, but no flag was thrown.
AJ Green was penalized for doing this . Kyle Rudolph, shown here, was not. https://t.co/JBuHKcEwlw— Taylor Bassett (@bassett_taylor) September 13, 2020
Oh well. We’re on to Cleveland.