The Cincinnati Bengals lost two of their top three wideouts in last week’s game against the Cleveland Browns. While it would be expected to hinder the Bengals, they seemed to do just fine as Ja’Marr Chase was phenomenal all game and the depth of the wide receiver room stepped in to make big plays.
According to Browns defensive backs coach Jeff Howard, Boyd and Higgins being out actually hurt Cleveland’s defense.
#Browns pass game coordinator/DB coach Jeff Howard acknowledges it was tough adjustment vs. Bengals when WRs Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd left early. Weren't sure if they would come back, had planned all week to face all three WRs, not just Ja'Marr Chase.— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) December 15, 2022
#Browns DB coach and Passing Game Coordinator— Brad Ward (@WardonSports) December 16, 2022
Jeff Howard on adjustments to #Bengals personnel changes in WK14 via @Browns pic.twitter.com/U6Cmko85Oh
One can understand planning all week expecting one thing and then seeing another on game day, but it appears to be a bit of a reach to say that actually hurt your chances of winning. Cleveland has a talented defensive backfield and one would assume taking on the likes of Trent Taylor and Trenton Irwin would make for an easier day at the office.
The Bengal offense really didn’t seem to change all that much, anyway. This has always been a pass-heavy offense that does better when the running game is able to compliment it. Changing a game plan to account for two important wideouts not playing would typically be more of a detriment to the offense losing them, not the defense facing them.
With the rumors of coaching changes once again floating around Cleveland, Howard may just be grasping at straws to save face.
Isn’t life much better when the Bengals beat the Browns?