3 takeaways from Bengals riveting Week 13 loss to Chargers

Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals are now 7-5 after losing a very weird game to the Los Angeles Chargers, who also move to 7-5. In a game where the Bengals looked dead in the water in the first quarter, the boys battled back hard but it wasn’t enough.

Let’s check out some takeaways from the 41-22 loss.

Bengals showed fight after falling behind early

The first quarter went about as poorly as it could have with Cincinnati falling behind 16-0 before any of us could really settle in. At one point, it was 24-0 Chargers and Cincy fans wondered if maybe today would be better spent doing chores around the house.

Well, hopefully, they hung around and continued to watch the game, as the stripes battled back. After falling behind 24-0, the Bengals scored 22 unanswered points to make it a two-point game but that was as close as things got, unfortunately.

After Joe Mixon fumbled the football and the Chargers’ defense took it to the house to go up 31-22, the momentum shifted and from there, it was all downhill.

Old Bengals teams would have lost this one 41-10 or worse but these guys fought hard. There aren’t moral victories in the NFL but there’s still a lot to be proud of with this team for what they did on Sunday.

Injury bug starting to bite

Through the first 12 weeks of the season, the Bengals avoided the injury bug for the most part but that came back to bite them this week. First and foremost, they were without center Trey Hopkins and right tackle Riley Reiff, which definitely impacted the play of the offensive line.

Secondly and most importantly, Joe Burrow sustained an injury to his pinky finger on his throwing hand during the game. His pinky was clearly swollen but the guy went out there and fought hard despite clearly being in a lot of pain.

The Bengals also lost Logan Wilson, Samaje Perine, Chidobe Awuzie, and Joe Mixon during portions of the game with Wilson not returning after he was carted off. It’s hard for teams to stay healthy in the NFL but the Bengals had dodged the injury bug for the most part. Now it’s caught up to them all in one week, unfortunately.

Burrow is a tough S.O.B.

We all knew this but it’s worth mentioning again, as Burrow continued to play despite his pinky hanging off to the side. Imagine not only gripping a football in that situation but having to throw it accurately as well. Burrow didn’t have to imagine on Sunday, as that was real life for him.

We’ll continue to monitor his injury this week but there’s no questioning Joey Franchise’s toughness. The dude is all grit and no quit.

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This was a tough game to lose because Cincinnati needed this one for the playoff seedings. Now, they’ll likely drop to the No. 7 seed in the playoff picture while LA will vault up to the No. 5 spot. With such a tough schedule remaining, this was a win the Bengals needed to have. Their path to the playoffs is still very much clear but it’ll be more difficult now.