Zac Taylor and the Cincinnati Bengals fell to the Cleveland Browns 21-16 in a game that didn’t mean much. The storyline was that the Bengals wouldn’t be playing their starters and Taylor addressed that in his press conference.
When asked about playing backups, Taylor defended his decision and mentioned that a lot of things were out of the team’s control. All he truly cared about entering the playoffs, which is the first time he’s made it there as the head coach of the Bengals, is his squad being healthy.
Highlighting the inactives for this game was quarterback Joe Burrow, who got the week off. Brandon Allen got the start for the first time this season and didn’t look very good, but that’s not what’s important here. Taylor looks forward to getting the best out of Burrow next week.
Zac Taylor doesn’t regret resting his starters.
The media also zeroed in on the franchise’s playoff history, as the team is riding a 31-year streak of not winning a postseason game. It’s an ugly stat and certainly a monkey this organization would like to have off its back but Taylor said his guys aren’t thinking about that.
Taylor also talked a great deal about Ja’Marr Chase who has shattered all kinds of records this year as a rookie. The head coach said he wasn’t surprised to see this happen and that Chase himself predicted he’d be this good.
Taylor’s decision to rest the starters was the right one, as the team needed to heal up before the playoffs and, at worst, they’d be the 4-seed likely hosting the Patriots. This way, they’d likely avoid the Chiefs until the AFC Championship Game, as they’d go to Nashville in the Divisional Round and that’s a lot less intimidating than facing the Chiefs at Arrowhead.
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Taylor made the right choice to give his quarterback and star players a week of rest ahead of a huge Wild Card game for Cincinnati. The backups played hard and while the team lost, this game didn’t mean all that much in the grand scheme of things.