1 winner, 6 losers from Bengals Week 1 loss vs. Browns

  • Defense played well for the most part
  • What happened to Joey B?
  • Where was Tee Higgins?
  • Why did the Bengals punt on the Browns' 38-yard line?

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns
Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Zac Taylor

At one point during the game, the Bengals were trailing by just three points and had moved the ball to the Browns' 38-yard line. When they didn't convert on third down, they faced a 4th-and-3 on the 38-yard line and opted to punt the ball away. This was a highly-criticized move from the fans and for good reason. The Bengals then punted the ball and it went just 18 yards. This was a bad call from Zac Taylor and cost the team dearly.

Run Defense

Earlier, I praised the Bengals defense for their efforts in this game but one aspect of the Bengals defense that did not play well was their run D. Nick Chubb absolutely ate the Bengals up and spit them out on the ground, tallying 106 yards on 18 carries. Deshaun Watson also rushed for 45 yards and a touchdown. Overall, the run D surrendered 206 yards on the ground. Not ideal.

D.J. Reader is usually the X-factor for Cincinnati when it comes to stopping the run but Chubb had no problem gaining yards on the ground. He finished with an average of 5.9 yards per play. The run D is going to have to be better down the road.

Offensive Line

Burrow was sacked twice but pressured often in this one. The Browns defensive line was going after Burrow all day long and he was getting wrecked. The starting o-line didn't play a single snap together during the preseason so this was their first time working together and well... we saw how that went. It'll take some time for them to gel but when you have the highest-paid player in the league being punished for the lack of protection, it gets a little more frustrating.

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