Joe Burrow takes blame for Bengals loss to Steelers

Nov 15, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 15, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

There were multiple reasons for the Bengals loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday, but rookie quarterback Joe Burrow shouldered the blame.

The Bengals 36-10 loss to the Steelers on Sunday came as a team, but rookie quarterback Joe Burrow took the blame in the postgame zoom call with reporters. Burrow had one of his worst games of the season, the offense was 0-13 and the defense allowed its second-highest point total of the season.

Burrow was 21-40 for 213 yards, a 76.4 passer rating and a 45.4 QBR. Sunday was the second time this season Burrow struggled against a good defense. In a 27-3 loss to Baltimore last month, Burrow finished with a 66.4 passer rating, had a six QBR, was 19-30 for 183 yards, no TDs and one interception.

Pittsburgh is fifth in passing yards per game and second in passer rating against, Baltimore is seventh in passing yards allowed per game and eighth in passer rating against. Learning how to succeed against good NFL defenses is all part of the process for Burrow in his maturation as a prime  NFL QB.

The Steelers and Ravens beat up on Burrow literally and figuratively. Baltimore sacked Burrow seven times and Pittsburgh four. Burrow spoke to the Bengals official website taking complete ownership for the loss on Sunday and his performance. Burrow has quickly emerged as the franchise leader.

"“I was talking on the sideline, and I think we’re in that game if I don’t suck in the second half and I’m not going to suck a lot…We’re going to come back to work every day, and I’m excited to go back to practice on Wednesday and start getting these kinks worked out and move on to Washington…You hear me talk and I’m not too down in the dumps because I know I’m not going to play like that very often…I’m not a quitter. I’m not going out of the game. Doesn’t matter if we’re down 100, down 10, down 20. I’m not going out…I just played terrible in the second half. A missed a lot of throws that I usually make.That was the game. I missed a lot of throws in the second half…I thought we got our rhythm and then we came out in the second half flat and I didn’t play very well. If I played better in the second half, I think we’d have a chance at the end. I missed a throw down the sideline there on the double move (to Higgins).That was a big play. I needed to hit that one. And then I missed TB on the sail route on the sideline that we ended up challenging, and he kind of bobbled it but that was a terrible throw from me that TB almost made a great play on. If I hit those two, I think the game is a little different.I might play like that hopefully never again but maybe once a year…There’s no — we’re not down in the dumps or anything like that. I’m excited to get back to work.”"

Burrow will be challenged against a good

Washington Football team

pass defense. Washington leads the NFL in passing yards allowed. The Bengals are second in attempts and 16th in passing yards this season. Burrow is going to have to prove he can move the ball against the best pass defense in the NFL.

The difference between Washington and Pittsburgh or Baltimore is a record of 2-7 versus 9-0 for the Steelers and 6-3 for the Ravens. Joe Mixon is expected to return for the Bengals on Sunday to give a boost to the rushing offense. Cincinnati is 17th in rushing attempts and 21st in rushing yards this season.

Mixon could share the carries with Giovanni Bernard in an attempt to ease him back in after missing the last three games and not playing for a month. Mixon and Bernard are both averaging 3.6 yards per carry this season. As a team, the Bengals are averaging 4.0 YPC which is 24th in the NFL.

Next. NBC NFL analyst credits how Steelers defended Burrow. dark

Burrow will share the field with 2005 NFL first overall pick Alex Smith. Smith has made an incredible comeback from a life-threatening injury suffered two years ago. Smith made his first start this past weekend since 2018. The Washington offense is 10th in passing attempts and 21st in yards and 30th in rushing yards in 2020.