The Cincinnati Bengals kicked off their regular season with a 24-3 loss to the in-state rival Cleveland Browns. It was not a good performance from the Bengals, especially on the offensive side of the ball, as they mustered up just three points and Joe Burrow threw for just 82 yards.
These are the kind of games teams just need to flush down the toilet and move on from. Head coach Zac Taylor spoke to his team after the game and delivered an important message to them following his team's double-digit loss.
Taylor told the media following the game that he told his team this isn't who they're going to be this year. "We all understand that" Taylor said.
Zac Taylor: "This isn't the team that we are going to be."
The Bengals started last year 0-1 and eventually 0-2 and still found their way to the AFC title game so they're used to slow starts. The loss was frustrating though because of just how bad the offense looked out there. The weather was a factor, yes, and Zac Taylor commented on that during the press conference, noting that his guys didn't handle the conditions well enough.
Taylor gave props to his defense, noting that they gave his guys a winning performance. It was the offense that didn't hold up their end of the bargain.
At the end of the day, this was just Game 1 of a possible 20 games. Taylor has seen his guys start off winless with this group of players before and it hasn't stopped them from making a deep run in the playoffs.
This isn't a panic-inducing game for Bengals fans but it's certainly understandable why people would be frustrated. Joe Burrow just became the highest-paid player in the league a few days ago and he did not play like it. The play calling was bad and the special teams didn't look good either. It was a rough performance all-around but this team will be better.