Well it can never be easy for the Cincinnati Bengals. They lost to the Chicago Bears this week by only three points, but those who watched from the beginning were probably surprised it ended so closely.
The Bengals were simply out played for roughly three quarters and change. The defense helped keep points off the board, but their struggles to get off the field on third down led to plenty of poor field position for a sputtering offense.
It all seemed lost in the fourth quarter when Joe Burrow threw three consecutive interceptions, which included one that was returned for a touchdown.
The team was seemingly brought back to life after Burrow connected with Ja’Marr Chase for another deep touchdown on the season. That play was quickly followed up by a Logan Wilson interception that set up another quick touchdown with a little over three minutes left to play.
However, the Bengals’ offense never got another opportunity as rookie quarterback Justin Fields was able to run out the clock in-place of an injured Andy Dalton.
Cincinnati had chances to shift the momentum of this game following a fourth down stop, missed fumble recoveries, fumbles from big playmakers and Burrow’s interceptions. They had plenty of opportunities wasted due to conservative play calling that saw Burrow basing his passes on pre-snap reads or rarely having receivers go down field.
This was one of those games that fairly had some fans wave the white flag a little early due to poor play and Burrow getting beat up. There were also fans who stuck with it until the end. A loss still remains the result regardless of what side you were on. However, the feelings from fans still seem pretty split on what can be taken away from this loss, and who is ultimately to blame.
One of the first questions on every fan’s mind is where this offensive explosion was all game long. We saw Burrow start calling plays at the line and turn to a more hurried up offense that proved to be more effective at moving the ball than what was called earlier in the game.
Fun display of fight from these young Bengals. They'll learn and be better for it. Will Zac Taylor after a brutal start to his day?— Chris Roling (@Chris_Roling) September 19, 2021
There were many others focused on just how many time the Bengals managed to give the ball away or just fall short of being able to create a difference making play for this team.
5 turnover from a very unimaginative offense against a secondary we were told was horrible.— Fire Duke Tobin (@Cincy_Suave) September 19, 2021
They lost because of every single part of the team https://t.co/YjKS57W3yU— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) September 19, 2021
Too little too late. That is one frustrating defeat.— Bengals UK (@WhoDey_UK) September 19, 2021
Still, there are many who are holding out hope that the late surge is more of a sign for things to come. There were all these opportunities for this young team to take control of this game, and maybe this is a sign of them learning how to do that.
Just one or two plays, and this is a big win. That's what I'm focusing on, absolutely don't like the loss, but this is a team that can win next week.— (@BengalsCaptain) September 19, 2021
This one stings for the Bengals, but Steelers lose at home to the Raiders and Ravens play the Chiefs tonight.— Anthony Cosenza (@CJAnthonyCUI) September 19, 2021
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh next week is HUGE for the AFCN.
Logan Wilson on missed scoop and score opportunity: “It sucks.”— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) September 19, 2021
I didn’t see anyone around so I thought the opportunity was there to scoop and score. At the end of the day, I wish I had that one.
Ja'Marr Chase has two deep touchdowns and two deep targets where he was open but the ball went out of bounds.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) September 19, 2021
Two deep targets a game is pretty nice, but with how often he's winning them, I'm ready to see even more chances.
DT Larry Ogunjobi on the defense: “We’re very resilient… A lot of dedication and want to win. An unselfish team.”— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) September 19, 2021
Burrow not pulling punches “got to come with big boy pants ready to go” pic.twitter.com/hj7winLFv5— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) September 19, 2021
How does Zac Taylor compare to previous Bengals coaches: pic.twitter.com/dM0gZGb5EP— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) September 19, 2021
What are your feelings? Is there light at the end of the tunnel, or is this the beginning of a long road we have all seen before many times here in Cincinnati? Sound off in the comments as we all get through this emotional rollercoaster that we have all strapped ourselves to for yet another season.
Beat Pittsburgh.— Nick Kirby (@Nicholaspkirby) September 19, 2021