Bengals: 4 quick takeaways after blowout Week 9 loss to Browns

Leigh Oleszczak
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) - Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) - Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t been the same since their huge win over the Ravens two weeks ago. It just goes to show that one game isn’t worth celebrating as if you won the Super Bowl and the Bengals have found that out the hard way. They were blown out by the Browns on Sunday in a game that now drops them to 5-4 heading into the Week 10 BYE.

Let’s take a look at four quick takeaways from this crushing defeat.

Defense has fallen off tremendously

After limiting Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense two weeks ago, the Bengals’ defense has faced a major decline. They were torched by Mike White and the Jets last week and then Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, and the Browns offense did whatever the heck they wanted to on Sunday.

I’m not sure what the issue is with the defense but if they don’t figure it out after the BYE, this team won’t end up sniffing the playoffs. I miss the unit that made the Ravens’ offense look foolish but there’s a chance we won’t see that group again this season.

Turnovers galore

Joe Burrow has been a good quarterback this year but the interceptions have been a problem for the former No. 1 overall pick. We saw that play out once again on Sunday, as Burrow threw a pick-6 on the first drive of the game that gave the Browns seven points before their offense even took the field.

Burrow threw another interception in the third quarter and at that point, his team was down 31-10 so it was a really bad time to throw a pick.

Along with those two picks, Ja’Marr Chase fumbled the football when trying to juke a defender, giving the Browns another possession.

Cleveland capitalized off of those turnovers. Meanwhile, Cincinnati’s defense failed to force a takeaway and it’s hard to win games when the offense is coughing up the football while the defense can’t stop anyone.

Bad day for Chase

Ja’Marr Chase has been sensational this season and when in doubt, fans could count on the rookie out of LSU coming up with a massive catch to bail out his squad. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case this week, as it just wasn’t happening for Burrow and Chase against the Browns.

As Lance McAlister notes in the tweet above, at least at the time of the tweet, Burrow targeted Chase eight times and it resulted in five catches, two picks, and one fumble. Not good numbers and this definitely is part of why the offense had no luck on Sunday. Chase is a huge piece in the offense and when his connection with Burrow is off, that’s not good for the Bengals offense.

Chase had some big drops in this one too, including what would have been a touchdown. Yes, it was a blowout at that point, but any points help, and Chase didn’t come up with what was a much-needed catch. The Jets and Browns found a way to limit Chase the past two weeks and it was bound to happen after such a hot start by the rookie.

This team has a long way to go

After beating the Ravens, Bengals fans were excited, and for good reason. They finally took down a team who had their number in recent years and it was a glorious feeling. Since then, however, Cincinnati is on a downward spiral and it’s understandable for fans to be heated toward Zac Taylor.

The good news is that the Bengals have a winning record entering the BYE week and they’re still in the running to win the AFC North. As we’ve seen, however, this team is far from being the contender we thought they were after Week 7. They’re looking more like a pretender at this point.

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It was another tough loss for the Bengals and their first blowout loss of the 2021 season. The BYE week couldn’t have come sooner though and now they’ll have a week off before hitting the road to Las Vegas in Week 11 for a date with the Raiders.