The Cincinnati Bengals pulled off an all-time win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today.
In the first half, the Bengals came out flat and slept walked to a 14-point deficit by the end of the first half. The defense looked banged up and tired, and the offense simply couldn’t get out of neutral. That makes what happened next even more impressive.
The second half is where things all started to change for both of these teams. The Bengals defense completely reversed course by not only holding the Bucs offense to a three-and-out, but they also forced them into a botched fake punt attempt.
Guessing Gio missed fake punt call#GoBucs #Buccaneers #CINvsTB #NFL pic.twitter.com/V1JUXVMOag— len martez (@LMart810) December 18, 2022
This was the opportunity everyone thought Cincinnati needed to get back into this game. However, they had to settle for a field goal. It left many fans frustrated they didn’t go for the touchdown on fourth down.
It didn’t take long for the Lou Anarumo defense to give the offense another chance to get some points. The defense came into this week very thin and only got thinner. Cornerback Mike Hilton and pass rusher Trey Hendrickson were inactive. They also lost defensive end Sam Hubbard and corner back Cam Taylor-Britt during the game.
That didn’t stop their replacements from making huge plays the entire second half with Tre Flowers kicking off the turnover party.
Anarumo shows 0 and then drops to a funky drop 8 cover 3. Tre Flowers comes away with the INT. Bengals are back in it!— Mike (@bengals_sans) December 18, 2022
Lou Anarumo has made his adjustments. Bengals dropping more into coverage.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) December 18, 2022
Then it continued with a forced fumble and a botched hand off from Tom Brady to give the Bengals 20 unanswered points and taking an improbable lead insanely quickly in the second half.
That ball is out and this is Bengals ball.— Andre Perrotta (@andreperrotta13) December 18, 2022
Remember, friends, a football game is 60 minutes (at least).
WHAT A SECOND HALF PERFORMANCE BY THIS DEFENSE— Mike (@bengals_sans) December 18, 2022
Second Half Savagery— Chidobe Awuzie ℗ (@ChidobeAwuzie) December 18, 2022
Unreal. Another fumble recovery for the Bengals. Bouncing ball luck tilting HARD to the Bengals in this third quarter. Just as I said Fournette was having a good game, he and Brady fumble an exchange and the Bengals start in Tampa territory for the FOURTH TIME.— Jake Liscow (@JakeLiscow) December 18, 2022
The Bengals offense and Joe Burrow also came alive in the second half. They never really left a doubt on who was going to win after they came storming back. Several times they were in situations that could have been turning points, but Burrow and the offense found ways to score touchdowns or get first downs to put the game well out of reach.
Griddy time!! Chase is the slot is easy money.— Andre Perrotta (@andreperrotta13) December 18, 2022
Joe Burrow is the 1st Bengals QB with multiple seasons of 30 pass TD in franchise history.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) December 18, 2022
Linebacker Germaine Pratt caught some flack this week for tweeting after last week’s win about wanting to stay on the field during third downs. Some fans viewed it as selfish, but the coaching staff viewed it as how much of a competitor he is. He helped put the game over the edge with an insane effort to pick off a tipped pass and instantly showed his support for the staff by handing it to head coach Zac Taylor.
What a pick from Pratt!!! Ossai with the pressure to force the wobbler.— Mike (@bengals_sans) December 18, 2022
I'd like all the Coach Zac haters out there to notice what Pratt immediately did with the intercepted ball— Dr. Hodgie the Electric Smodgie (@hodgiesmodgie) December 18, 2022
This was a hell of a statement win, and doing it against Brady of all quarterbacks makes it even sweeter. Brady now knows how Matt Ryan feels after all those years, and Burrow has propelled himself into a more serious MVP candidate in the national scope of things.
We just killed a 45 year old quarterback— Isabelle (@IsabelleMM2) December 18, 2022
At this rate Lou is going to be a head coach before this game ends.— Lindsay Patterson (@LndsPatterson) December 18, 2022
Popular over/under win totals for the Bengals was 9.5 to 10 wins.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) December 19, 2022
They just hit their 10th win with three games to go.
Dang my bad moms! You right. ♂️ https://t.co/MOJzRCGGGN— Tee Higgins⁵ (@teehiggins5) December 19, 2022
December 19, 2022
Words can't explain how fitting it is that that one loss came against Burrow https://t.co/KGypPhT0Sq— Dadio Makdook (@dadiodefacto) December 19, 2022
Eli Apple: “Tom is the GOAT. But today he wasn’t.”— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) December 19, 2022
#Bengals DBs Cam Taylor-Britt and Mike Hilton both told me they are going to play next week against the Patriots.— Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) December 19, 2022
Four tuddies and a win over Tom Brady help Burrow's MVP case? Or we still ignoring him?— Chris Roling (@Chris_Roling) December 19, 2022
Is it regression if you match last year's win total three weeks earlier? #WhoDey— Dadio Makdook (@dadiodefacto) December 19, 2022
“We needed a game like that. … we were punched in the mouth.” Zac Taylor #Bengals pic.twitter.com/azcPthamvH— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) December 19, 2022
YOU ALREADY KNOW HOW WE DO @joseph_ossai | #RuleTheJungle pic.twitter.com/2n26lW4Fio— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) December 19, 2022
BIG WHO DEY @Djread98 | #RuleTheJungle pic.twitter.com/hiwesmtSNB— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) December 19, 2022
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