5 Bengals who didn't bother showing up against Steelers in Week 16

  • What happened to Browning?
  • Awuzie got roasted
  • Offensive line struggling
  • Defense has regressed
  • Where's the run game?
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning (6) takes a snap in the first quarter as the offensive
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning (6) takes a snap in the first quarter as the offensive / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Cincinnati Bengals played a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday but it appears that the majority of the Bengals didn't come to play. Right off the bat, the Steelers scored on a 92-yard touchdown and even as early as it was, it felt like maybe this wasn't going to be Cincinnati's night.

It was 24-0 in favor of the Steelers at half time and again, it just didn't feel like this was the Bengals' game to win. They desperately needed to win this one too, as now their playoff odds are sitting at 16%. They'll have to win out to even have a chance at punching their ticket to the playoffs but with an 0-5 division record, it's going to be tough for them to be a true playoff contender.

It felt like the Bengals maybe forgot there was a game because this was just a laughably bad performance. These five Bengals, however, might have forgotten to even show up to the game.

All stats courtesy of ESPN

Jake Browning

After three tremendous starts, Browning finally came crashing down to Earth. His final stats don't look bad necessarily but that's because he was forced to air it out more due to his team being down 24-0 at the half. Browning was also responsible for the Steelers having extra opportunities to add points to their total, as he threw three interceptions and Pittsburgh scored two touchdowns and a field goal after those turnovers.

Browning had only thrown three picks in his previous four outings so seeing him match that total in one game was concerning. That being said, he is a backup quarterback so we knew that he was going to cool off at some point and that just so happened to be this week.

Chidobe Awuzie

This hasn't been the season Bengals fans were hoping for from Awuzie, who was nails during his first year and a half in Cincinnati. To his credit, he suffered an ACL injury midway through last season and he's been battling back from that injury.

Be that as it may, Awuzie had a bad night in Pittsburgh. The Bengals had finally gotten on the board in the second half but then as soon as the Steelers got the ball back, George Pickens beat Awuzie down the field for a 66-yard touchdown to put any chance of a comeback in the trash.

Offensive Line

The offensive line has been up and down this season, performing well against the Colts but then really riding the struggle bus over the past two weeks. In their match-up against the Steelers, the Bengals o-line allowed Browning to get taken to the ground three times and hit eight times in total.

Entire Defense

This might be a cop-out since I said there would be five Bengals in this post but can you blame me for including the entire defense here? The secondary allowed Mason Rudolph to torch them all evening long, as he threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns while George Pickens had nearly 200 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Pickens averaged 48.8 yards per reception.

The run defense wasn't much better. They've been bad all season long so it wasn't surprising to see them giving up over 100 yards on the ground but it was still disappointing.

Run Game

The Bengals were trailing 24-0 at halftime so I understand not running the ball much in the second half. Even when they were still in the game, however, the rushing attack just never got anything going. Joe Mixon finished the game with just 43 yards off 11 carries and the run game as a whole had just 16 carries for 59 yards.

When the Bengals were playing their best ball, it was because the run game was doing its part. That was not the case this week and it put the offense in an even worse spot.


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