The Bengals were in prime position to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history, but the Rams got the better of them in the fourth quarter.
Very suspect officiating in the final two minutes of the game led to a late Rams touchdown, and the Bengals couldn’t climb out of the three-point deficit.
Taylor knew exactly what this game meant to the team after the Bengals’ season-long hard-fought journey to achieve some semblance of national glory, and he visibly choked up during the post-game press conference.
Cincinnati Bengals’ Zac Taylor reflects on Super Bowl LVI loss
While the referees will be under fire for making controversial calls, Taylor believed it was a “well-officiated game,” and chose not to throw the officials under the bus.
Taylor, too, will face the scrutiny of his own arguably poor decisions at the end of the game. Taylor made a questionable 3rd-and-1 call at the end of the fourth quarter when he had Samaje Perine run straight down the middle, believing that the Rams’ run D was “getting a little softer.”
Nevertheless, thus ends the Bengals’ Cinderella run. Cincinnati should have all the reason to upgrade its offensive line this offseason to keep Joe Burrow upright. Taylor called the quarterback “one of the toughest guys” he’s ever met and said the team would reevaluate Burrow’s injury in the coming months.
Taylor is currently the lowest-paid NFL head coach, but that will surely change this offseason when he negotiates a contract extension.
This isn’t the end for Zac Taylor and the Bengals — they’ll be back.