The Cincinnati Bengals defeating the Baltimore Ravens on the road was quickly the most significant win this season and probably the biggest win in Zac Taylor‘s three seasons as head coach. The Bengals executed at all phases, and Taylor truly had this team ready and prepared to play on Sunday on both sides of the ball.
One thing that stood out was the offense when Cincinnati started to pull away. For the first time this season, we didn’t see conservative play calling. Instead, the Bengals remained aggressive throughout, and you saw how much better the offensive unit looked as a whole.
Joe Burrow set a career-high in passing yards against a solid secondary, Ja’Marr Chase set a career-high in receiving yards, C.J. Uzomah found the end zone twice, and both Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine had rushing touchdowns that sealed the ball game.
Bengals fans have been waiting to see that type of play calling all season long. That was the only thing holding this team back from reaching its full potential. The run defense has been elite all season. The secondary has been pretty solid for the most part, even having to battle through some injuries. The linebackers have been excellent, led by Logan Wilson, who has had a phenomenal season so far in year two.
Why Zac Taylor has changed the culture
Taylor gets a lot of criticism and takes a lot of the blame during losses which sometimes is on him, and his overall record doesn’t help his case, but nobody can deny that he has this team and this locker room playing team-driven football for one another.
This is one of the more selfless groups of players who have bought into what he is preaching, and they are doing the work and their jobs on the field, and they’re having fun while doing it each week.
The relationship between Taylor and his players is significant, and the Bengals have that which will only make them play more complex and better football.
After the 41-17 route over the Ravens, the Bengals jumped to 5-2 overall, 2-0 in division play, first in the AFC North, and the No. 1 seed in the AFC, clinching a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs it the season was to end today.
Although the season does not end today, and there’s a lot of football to be played, Zac Taylor will need to keep this consistent play going this week against the New York Jets and so on if they want to accomplish their goals.
The team chemistry that Taylor has built and the culture change that has come to Cincinnati is something special that is only growing and all of it was on display vs. Baltimore.
That’s why Zac Taylor got an A+ grade for Sunday’s win over the Ravens.