The Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football. It wasn’t just a loss but an absolute beatdown as the Bengals took an 11-0 deficit into the half and a 25-0 deficit into the final period.
It was all ugly, and to add to the pain, Cincinnati lost its best cornerback, Chidobe Awuzie, for the season. He suffered a torn ACL.
Joe Burrow also struggled and was taken down often. The star ended the game with 232 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception. The offense only put together 10 rushes for 36 yards as well.
The Bengals were also eaten alive by Nick Chubb. He ran for 101 yards on 23 carries and had 2 touchdowns as well. It was a difficult day at the office for the defensive line, one that is seriously missing star nose tackle DJ Reader.
That said, the Bengals have dropped to 4-4, and with a tough back half of the season, things certainly aren’t looking up in the Queen City. With that in mind, let’s dive into where national media power rankings have the Bengals.
NFL.com — No. 10 - down from No. 5
Life without Ja’Marr Chase did not begin well. The Bengals were completely flummoxed by a Browns defense that’s struggled mightily for most of the season in a 32-13 loss on Halloween night. Joe Burrow salvaged his night statistically with two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, but Cincinnati had no answers when the game was still in the balance. The defense — which entered Monday having not allowed a touchdown in the second half all season — surrendered back-to-back scores to begin the third quarter, putting the contest out of reach. A ”Bury The Ball” game is not the preferred way to head into November.
Fox News — No. 14
CBS Sports — No. 11 - down from No. 9
Adjusting to life without Ja’Marr Chase might be tougher than expected. The offense was disjointed against the Browns.
NBC Sports — No. 10
Ja’Marr Chase’s injury puts the pressure on Joe Burrow and Zac Taylor to keep the ship steady until No. 1 returns. That’s a tall task in the brutal AFC.
ESPN — No. 12 - down from No. 9
Ja’Marr Chase’s hip injury certainly puts a damper on the offensive uptick the past couple of weeks. But with how well Joe Burrow looked prior to “Monday Night Football,” coupled with the depth at the top with receivers Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati should still have enough firepower to continue to have one of the league’s best offenses. After a slow start, the Bengals ranked fourth in the NFL in points and touchdowns per drive entering Monday. That efficiency level is what Cincinnati lacked during last season’s run to the Super Bowl. — Ben Baby
Yahoo! Sports — No. 12 - down from No. 10
I don’t think the Bengals are bad just because they got demolished on Monday night. Most teams have bad games, though the Bengals took that to an extreme. The Bengals aren’t bad, but Monday night hammered home the idea that there are no more than three or four true contenders halfway into this season. Everyone else is pretty mediocre.
The Ringer — No. 10 - down from No. 6
Life without Ja’Marr Chase is off to a horrendous start in Cincinnati. The Bengals averaged just 3.8 yards per play and scored zero points through three quarters in their 32-13 loss to the Browns on Monday Night Football. Joe Burrow took four sacks and averaged minus-0.45 EPA per dropback in those same three quarters. No late surge from the offense was going to overcome the punch in the mouth they took early against Cleveland, and the Bengals can’t afford to have many more performances like this with or without Chase.
Sporting News — No. 13 - down from No. 7
The Bengals will be without Ja’Marr Chase for a while and his absence hurt right away in the loss to the Browns in which the offense was lifeless until the second half. The defense also needs to pick up the pieces, stat, after a rough night.