The Cincinnati Bengals' slow start put them in an unprecedented predicament that made the Week 5 game against the Arizona Cardinals a must-win. The Bengals entered the weekend 1-3 and were without star wideout Tee Higgins who is battling a rib injury.
The Stripes headed into the desert with a motive to get a win by any means necessary. The Bengals' offense did their job for the first time all season, and the defense came up with some game-changing plays. Where did the turning point happen and why did it set the tone for Sunday's win?
All player personnel courtesy of Pro Football Reference*
What was the turning point in the Bengals' Week 5 win?
After stalling out on the 1-yard line on fourth and goal, the Bengals turned the ball over on downs and trailed the Cardinals 14-10 with just over two minutes to play in the half.
Joshua Dobbs backed up in his own end zone and threw the ball into a tight window. Cam Taylor-Britt came up with an interception and returned it for a touchdown, giving the Bengals a 17-14 lead.
After that interception, Cincinnati never gave up the lead again. They had some adversity but ultimately responded every time after the Taylor-Britt interception.
The biggest thing about Cam Taylor-Britt stepping up is that it showed what his capabilities are being the number one cornerback on the field. Chidobe Awuzie was out with a back injury, which pushed Taylor-Britt and rookie DJ Turner into vital roles, and they both rose to the occasion.
Arizona may not have the most talented roster, but they do have weapons on the outside with Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore, Michael Wilson, and Zach Ertz. The threats were definitely there for the young secondary.
Cincinnati retained possession to start the second half, in which they went down and scored, and then Arizona responded with a touchdown but missed the extra point. From that point on, the Bengals held a 24-20 lead, and for the third time in the game, Joe Burrow found Ja'Marr Chase, who was the clear-cut player of the game and maybe the player of the entire weekend, sparking the Bengals offense with 15 catches for 192 yards and three touchdowns.
After Cincinnati pushed the lead out to double digits, it stayed that way. The Bengals went on to force two more turnovers and win the game 34-20. The Bengals will now head back to Cincinnati and get a home matchup against the 3-1 Seattle Seahawks, the last week before Cincinnati's Week 7 bye.