The Cincinnati Bengals had two crucial fourth-down calls.
The first was in the middle of the third quarter when they went for it on 4th and 1 on their own 30. That one almost lost Zac Taylor the ballgame, and it certainly would’ve put him on the hot seat had the Bengals not pulled this one out.
An overtime call, one in which everyone and the Vikings were expecting a run, proved to be the difference as tight end CJ Uzomah ran for 32 yards and was able to get the team in field goal range.
Rookie Evan McPherson eventually ended the game with a 33-yard kick, but it was primarily set up by the play below.
CJ Uzomah with a 32 yard reception on 4th and one with :39 remaining in the game. pic.twitter.com/UFNfUVRgpL— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) September 12, 2021
This is exactly what Taylor needed. After a dominant performance from Joe Burrow and an eye-opening day by rookie Ja’Marr Chase, ending with a loss would’ve just been brutal for this fanbase.
Uzomah’s catch in overtime was arguably the most important play of the day for the home side. Here’s what he had to say on the virtually game-winning play.
Bengals TE CJ Uzomah said Joe Burrow wanted to run the fouth-down play in practice earlier this week. Said they they re-did the rep because of something in Uzomah's route. "In three years, I've never gotten that ball. It's a good thing that we did it again."— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) September 12, 2021
Let’s just say he’ll be hoping the play is run more often.
Uzomah, the team’s starting tight end, had a big game and was a crucial weapon for Burrow. He ended the game with two receptions for 35 yards, the third most receiving yards on the team.
Here is what Burrow had to say about the play via Bengals.com.
“We hit them with a QB sneak earlier in the game, so they put a guy on the center and two guys shading on the guards. It was going to be tough to run the ball up the middle,” said Burrow. “We had a second play called, that’s what we called to, and we’ve run that play multiple times over the last couple years and I don’t think we’ve thrown it to CJ one time. Credit to him, he was ready for it. Now over the last couple years I’ve hit everybody on that play, it’s a good play for us.”
You love to see it.