3 winners, 3 losers from Bengals’ odd week 13 loss to Chargers
Cincinnati Bengals Losers
It felt like a lock at one point that Ja’Marr Chase would be the Offensive Rookie of the Year but that’s feeling like a lifetime ago now. Chase hasn’t been the same guy over the last month and while teams have figured him out more, the other receivers have had more opportunities to get open and make plays of their own.
Chase isn’t on the loser section due to his declining numbers, though. Instead, he’s on here because he had a chance to make a big impact on the game early on, but really messed up. Chase caught a pass from Burrow and bobbled the pass, which ended up landing in a Chargers defender’s hands instead. This would have been an easy touchdown for Chase had he secured the pass (and he had it in his hands) but it continued to bury the Bengals early in the game instead.
As the Bengals crawled their way back into this one and were trailing by just two points, it felt like they could go back to what’s gotten them to this point of the season — Running the ball and playing good defense.
Well, with that in mind, Burrow handed off to Joe Mixon and the running back — who had only fumbled two more times prior to this in his career — fumbled the football and the Chargers picked it up and ran it back the other way for six points.
All of the momentum Cincy had built up vanished in a matter of seconds. Mixon belongs in the loser category as a result of his deflating fumble, which took away all of the momentum the Bengals worked so hard to build.
Not having Trey Hopkins and Riley Reiff hurt the Bengals’ o-line badly, as Burrow was sacked six times and hit 11 times. Trey Hill struggled as the starting center, both with snapping the ball and with penalties. Isaiah Prince wasn’t much better at right tackle, also getting flags in his direction.
These two weren’t the only ones who struggled, however, as Jonah Williams had a tough day at the office. It was a bad day for the left tackle to not play well.
What does all of this say about Jackson Carman if the rookie wasn’t able to get on the field in a game as ugly as this one?
Props to Quinton Spain and Hakeem Adeniji for playing well, though.
This loss hurts and will for quite some time but this is a teachable moment for this young team. Let’s hope they learn from it and right the ship against the 49ers next week.