The Cincinnati Bengals came up short against the San Francisco 49ers in a game littered with self-inflicted wounds by Cincinnati. It seemed like they just couldn’t get out of their own way the entire game. Even when Joe Burrow willed them to an attempted comeback, they couldn’t deliver the killing blow.
Phillips may not see the field again for the Bengals, which is really saying something. The once promising young player hasn’t caught on with this staff, and muffing two punts that led directly to 10 points. In a game where the Bengals defense really stalled out the 49ers offense most of the game it was so much more noticeable.
Ton of guys have made their way over to console Phillips on the sideline after that fumble. Joe Mixon and Mike Daniels are over there talking to him now.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) December 12, 2021
Tyler Boyd needs to return punts.— Andre Perrotta (@andreperrotta13) December 12, 2021
That play is so costly for WP. Inexcusable by Phillips.
I’d put Tyler Boyd back there at this point.— Lindsay Patterson (@LndsPatterson) December 12, 2021
There were about 10 reason the Bengals lost today so trying to blame it all on one player/coach is ridiculous.— Mike (Sans) (@bengals_sans) December 13, 2021
That said Phillips needs to hit the bench as return man.
Stop putting Burrow in a corner
The Bengals were at the point of not even being considered to be in the game anymore, when Burrow orchestrated two touchdown drives to tie the game.
After a missed field goal from San Francisco, Cincinnati started off overtime with the ball driving down to the opponent’s 26-yard line. They did most of that damage via two passes from Burrow. Then the play calling went conservative with two runs and a passing play where Burrow didn’t have anywhere to throw.
The 49ers were able to go down to score a touchdown winning the game following the Bengals settling for a field goal. Fans were none too pleased to see their head coach take the ball out of the former Heisman winner’s hands when they had a chance to just end the game.
All that just to lose like that— Joey (@Joey27C) December 13, 2021
SON OF A …..— Bengal Jim’s BTR (@bengaljims_BTR) December 13, 2021
Again turnovers killed us.
I feel so bad for Joe Burrow.— Andrew Russell (@PFF_AndrewR) December 13, 2021
I get what their thought process was. Defense played well all game, but everyone could tell kittle was heating up. Surrendering to a field goal gives him more chances to kill you and he did.— John Sheeran (@John__Sheeran) December 13, 2021
With the way burrow was playing at the end, i think you keep the ball in his hands.
I'm ready to win or lose with Burrow.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) December 13, 2021
I hate that he doesn't get to throw it one time once you get into the RZ in overtime.
Bengals had no business winning that game, and yet Joe Burrow literally put the team on his back…. Only to take the ball out of his hands in overtime by running the ball— Tony Pike (@tony_pike15) December 13, 2021
I don’t like to armchair coach, but we all would have been happy to see an aggressive down the field shot on the first drive to exploit those rookie corners. Even if had went bad, it would have been respectable and shown grit. ATTACK, ZAC! #lfg #Bengals #SFvsCIN— Whitney (@BengalsWhitney) December 12, 2021
Bengals don't have the luxury of Zac Taylor "regretting" not giving the Burrow the ball in OT. This is very basic stuff.— Chris Roling (@Chris_Roling) December 13, 2021
The road ahead
The playoffs are never easy to get into, but the Bengals did all they could to make it as hard as possible to get in this season after looking like a certainty earlier this season. They are now out of the playoffs and “in the hunt” behind the Cleveland Browns. The next four games aren’t easy ones either.
This was a very disappointing three-game stretch at home. They beat up on the Pittsburgh Steelers, but then came out flat against two west coast teams playing on the east coast. If they had won just one of these past two games they would be at the top of the AFC North right now. Instead, they now face almost a do-or-die situation every week from here on out.
Bengals must now beat Denver, Baltimore and Cleveland.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) December 13, 2021
That's the roadmap.
Need to go 3-1 to make the playoffs.— Jay R (@JayRBP) December 13, 2021
Damn. 7-6 isn't bad, but so disappointing— Vance Meek (@vancemeek) December 13, 2021
It seems this team still has all the talent in the world, but they are still young and inexperienced in some areas that are crucial. The inconsistency from down-to-down and even game-to-game is maddening at some points. They are still figuring out how to come out and play at a full effort or execute properly early. It seems like too often they are getting punched in the face early and then left to swing wildly at the end to try and make up for the early damage. That just isn’t a consistent way to win football games in the NFL.
This team was thinking playoffs earlier this season. Now if they want in they’ll have to go out and earn that opportunity each week.