It took eight weeks, but the Cincinnati Bengals finally met the huge expectations they carried into the 2023-24 NFL season.
By absolutely crushing the San Francisco 49ers, one of the very best teams in the league, the Bengals got fans feeling good.
I feel like I’m dreaming; the Bengals just went on the road and delivered a cover-to-cover ass-whooping of the 49ers.— Willie Lutz (@willie_lutz) October 29, 2023
While there were a lot of great performances all around, it was quarterback Joe Burrow who looked the most back. This shouldn’t be a complete surprise, as, a little before the game, there were reports of him looking fully healthy for the first time this season.
Bengals have an OL.— Andrew Russell (@Andrew_Russell7) October 29, 2023
Joe Burrow: pic.twitter.com/6YlQLh5rW2
MVP game. I get why he's not the leader now, but he's back and the first 6 weeks just show how VALUABLE he is. https://t.co/sK5fFWnCrV— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) October 29, 2023
Some took the opportunity to take a victory lap after months of defending Bengals players.
Heard “No way the 9ers drop 3 straight” all week— Ace Boogie (@NewStripeCity) October 29, 2023
Milk carton missing: Orlando Brown's haters after silencing Nick Bosa. After recovering from an injury, no less.— Chris Roling (@Chris_Roling) October 29, 2023
TALK TO ME MIXON HATERS!!!!! ARE WE FUCKIN GOOD NOW?!!!! DO YOU BELIEVE!!!!!????? LETS FUCKIN GO!!! DONT STAY TIGHT LIPPED BOUT #28!!!! HES WITH US!!!!! GIVE ME A WHODEY!!!! pic.twitter.com/fSxaa7sfZc— ZIM (@zimwhodey) October 29, 2023
Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Ja'Marr Chase let em know after 31-17 Bengals win pic.twitter.com/lbzGE0OBYx— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) October 29, 2023
One of the most impressive parts of the game was the superior coaching of Cincinnati’s head coach Zac Taylor, offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, and defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, who completely outsmarted San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Zac Taylor just went head to head with Kyle Shannahan and outcoached him.— Drew Garrison (@DrewGarrison) October 29, 2023
Joe Burrow leads the NFL in dropback success rate from Week 5-8 (the 3 game winning streak), followed by Purdy, Mahomes, and Allen— Jake Liscow (@JakeLiscow) October 30, 2023
Also completion percentage (ahead of Mahomes, Hurts, Allen) and CPOE (Allen, Mahomes, Hurts)
EPA/play 7th, EPA+CPOE composite 4th
On any given Sunday, against an elite NFL offense, there is no defensive coordinator I would trust over Lou Anarumo.— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) October 29, 2023
The body of work is impossible to argue against.
Anarumo, of course, has been doing this over and over again. It’s still a shock someone hasn’t made him a head coach.
Naturally, the big win got fans thinking about the next step and a potential championship. And the missing piece seems to be a star tight end.
This win should make you want them to find a trade. Pedal to the floor.— Chris Roling (@Chris_Roling) October 29, 2023
You can look at this winning streak and realize that it's not perfect, but there's plenty of encouraging signs and this offensive performance emphatically adds to that.— Jake Liscow (@JakeLiscow) October 30, 2023
Let’s go get Gesicki. I’m all on the make a trade plan now.— DarthNoobSaibot (@DarthNoobSaibot) October 29, 2023