Just when Bengals fans thought the offensive line might be turning a corner, they had a stinker of a game. Alex Cappa got destroyed by Sheldon Rankins (who finished with three sacks) and Burrow was taken to the ground four times in total and hit nine times. It was a brutal day for the Bengals o-line and they have to play better if this team wants to go places this season.
The run defense woes are back and the Texans took advantage of it. They gashed the Bengals on the ground, rushing for 188 yards on 34 carries and averaging 5.5 yards per carry. This is even worse when you realize that Dameon Pierce wasn't even active for this game. Devin Singletary carried the rock 30 times for 150 yards and one touchdown while averaging five yards per carry. Abysmal.
With the Bengals dropping to 5-4, they're all alone at the bottom of the AFC North, as the Browns and Steelers both won moving to 6-3. The Ravens might have lost but they still have three losses versus the Bengals' four losses so Thursday's game isn't playing for a potential division lead as it would have been had Cincinnati managed to win this one.
At this point, the Bengals' best chance to get into the playoffs will be winning the division because they currently have just one win against the AFC. Conference record will come into play in tiebreaker scenarios so being 1-4 in the division is not going to help them if they have the same record as other playoff contenders down the stretch.