The Cincinnati Bengals let a win slip away against the Los Angeles Chargers in heartbreaking fashion to begin the Joe Burrow era.
The Cincinnati Bengals lost their home opener against the Los Angeles Chargers 16-13 in heartbreaking fashion. The club was in a position to tie the game and force overtime, but Randy Bullock missed the last-second kick, coming up injured.
In the low-scoring affair, Cincinnati’s defense really stood out and kept the team in the game. On multiple occasions, defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo’s revamped unit forced the opposition to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns in the red-zone.
With 3:08 left in the fourth quarter, Joe Burrow and the Bengals were in position to win the game, or at least tie it. The reigning Heisman showed no signs of being a rookie as he marched the offense down the field, ultimately ending up inside the five. A.J. Green had seemingly come down with a game-winning touchdown but was called for offensive pass interference, negating the play.
With time expiring, Zac Taylor opted to kick the field goal rather than give Burrow another shot at a touchdown with 7 seconds remaining. The kick went wide right, and with just two seconds left on the clock, the Chargers took possession, ending the hopes of beginning the new era of Bengals football with a victory.
Bengals still have plenty of positives to take away
There are plenty of aspects to clean up before the Battle of Ohio, but there are a lot of positives to take away from their first showing as well. For starters, the new-look defense seemed much-improved over what fans have grown accustomed to in recent years. D.J. Reader and Josh Bynes have clearly done wonders for the run defense and the young linebackers are already beginning to leave their mark.
Despite facing extreme pressure all day, Burrow looked mostly sharp in his debut as well. With some kinks being worked out to begin his tenure, he’ll look to put together another strong performance against his in-state rivals.
One thing is for certain, the Bengals will need to find a way to upgrade their offensive line or mask their deficiencies after a poor outing from the unit allowed Burrow to hit the turf far too often.
Although the loss stings, Cincinnati will have an opportunity to quickly make this defeat a distant memory, as they are slated to play the Cleveland Browns in just four days on Thursday night football.