Cincinnati at Washington: Bengals suffer so much more than defeat

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 22: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals is injured during the third quarter against the Washington Football Team at FedExField on November 22, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 22: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals is injured during the third quarter against the Washington Football Team at FedExField on November 22, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Bengals fell to the Washington Football Team but the biggest loss of the afternoon was clearly star rookie quarterback Joe Burrow.

58. Final. 9. 56. 20

The Cincinnati Bengals suffered yet another defeat in week 11, this time to fellow NFL cellar-dwellers, The Washington Football Team. Of course, the seventh defeat of the 2020 campaign wasn’t the biggest loss Zac Taylor’s squad suffered on the afternoon, as it looks likely that star rookie quarterback Joe Burrow will be out for the rest of the season with a significant knee injury.

Abysmal offensive line play finally caught up to the Bengals and watching Burrow carted off the field clearly sucked the life out of the team. What once looked like an easier schedule down the stretch that provided an opportunity to build momentum for the future now appears to be a painful march to the finish line.

The Bengals’ priorities must entirely shift

If Joe Burrow is indeed done for the season, without him, a win in the upcoming stretch looks extremely unlikely, especially with Ryan Finley at the helm. The rest of the year is no longer about building momentum for the future, but serves as an evaluation period.

First up on the list is, of course, the coaching staff. If Cincinnati finds themselves winless the rest of the season, Zac Taylor will finish his second season as a head coach with as many wins as he did in his first. That’s inexcusable, even if the staff is dealing with the loss of their franchise quarterback.

Something must be done, whether it’s moving on from Taylor or pressuring him to put better assistants in place.

Next up is the offensive line that subjected Burrow to brutal hit after brutal hit. Jonah Williams and Trey Hopkins look to be serviceable, but are there any other answers on the roster? No matter what, Cincinnati absolutely must place more assured protection in front of their cornerstone.

There’s plenty of moves to be made that will clear cap space and free them up to target the big fish offensive linemen set to hit free agency this offseason. Not to mention, it looks likely the team will be drafting inside the top-five once again which puts them in contention to draft a tackle like Penei Sewell.

From there, you can take your pick on any number of issues the Bengals need to sort out and it needs to be done before Burrow returns from injury, whenever that may be.

As the team reels from the loss of their best player, they’ll be preparing to return home for a matchup against the New York Giants.

Next. 6 HC candidates if the Bengals replace Zac Taylor. dark

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