3 winners and 3 losers from Bengals demoralizing week 14 loss to 49ers

Leigh Oleszczak
Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Darius Phillips, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Bengals losers from week 14

Darius Phillips and return specialists

Woof this was bad. Darius Phillips has been on thin ice for quite some time but he should lose his job after his dreadful performance on Sunday. Phillips took the field as a return specialist and coughed up the football twice. The 49ers scored on both of those extra possessions, so Phillips gifted the opponent 10 extra points. Not a good night.

Jessie Bates

Jessie Bates bounced back somewhat after a really bad game vs. the Chargers in week 13 but I’m including him in the losers category because of a mistake he made late in regulation.

After the Bengals tied things up late in the fourth quarter, the 49ers were marching down the field and hoping to win the game in walk-off fashion. Jimmy G dropped back to pass and let the football fly and the ball sailed right into the loving arms of Bates, who then proceeded to drop what would have been a walk-off pick-six.

Had Bates held onto that football, the Bengals wouldn’t have had to go to overtime. They’d have won the game because he had a clear route to the end zone. It’s hard not to be frustrated with Bates for that drop.

Zac Taylor

Zac Taylor probably won’t be fired at the end of the season barring an epic collapse (missing the playoffs won’t be enough to get him fired but losing the rest of the way might be enough) but he did not have a good day on Sunday.

We’ll start with the play calling, which was absolutely terrible. The 49ers had a slew of rookies in the secondary yet Taylor kept electing to run the ball instead of having Burrow air it out and test those Niner rookies. The run game has been good for Cincinnati this season but this wasn’t a game where they should have been leaning on Joe Mixon.

On their first drive of the second half, the Bengals ran the ball three straight times and couldn’t get the first down. That was arguably the most frustrating part of the game because Taylor saw it wasn’t working, had the half to readjust, but didn’t. He looked overwhelmed in this game once again.

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This was a demoralizing loss for Cincinnati but they’re still in the AFC North hunt. Someone has to win the division.