In a heartbreaking overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor reflected on his team’s performance as well as his own coaching performance.
Many fans were understandably not happy when, in the Bengals’ first possession in overtime, quarterback Joe Burrow played a little too conservatively.
Burrow was coming off a hot hand after throwing the game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter to wideout buddy Ja’Marr Chase (he’s back, folks), but come overtime, Taylor often put the ball in Joe Mixon’s hands, opting to safely run the ball to get to field goal range.
Once the Bengals were around the 49ers’ 25-yard line, Burrow never attempted a pass, and Cincinnati settled with Evan McPherson’s field goal.
In retrospect, Taylor told reporters that he probably should have gone for the jugular.
Taylor also gave a nod to San Francisco’s man of the hour, tight end George Kittle, who hauled in 151 yards in total.
Following McPherson’s field goal, the 49ers quickly drove down the field with Kittle helping his team continually get new sets of fresh downs.
Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor reflects on Week 14 thrilling defeat
49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk’s walk-off touchdown sealed the Bengals’ fate, and fans will forever wonder what could have been if Cincinnati had tried harder for the early overtime game-winning touchdown.
What seemed like a blowout loss at the beginning of the game turned into a nail-biting overtime thriller, and you can’t fault Taylor for turning this game into exciting Sunday night football fodder.
Some Twitter users offered an explanation for why Taylor called the game the way he did in overtime:
To give credit to McPherson, though, the rookie made three of four field goals with a long of 41 and his nerves of steel kept the Bengals in the game.
Cincinnati missed a dear chance to supplant the Baltimore Ravens at the top of the AFC North. Taylor and his team will be thinking about this Week 14 game as the one that got away from them. Sad.