Champs and chumps from Bengals Week 12 loss to Steelers

  • Chump: Run Game
  • Champ: Ja'Marr Chase
  • Chump: Defense

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Bengals dropped their third straight game, moving them to 5-6 on the year. With the rest of the division sitting multiple games above .500, the chances of the team winning the AFC North are now slim to none. A Wild Card spot could still be possible for them but they have little room for error moving forward.

This was a winnable game for the Bengals and that's what makes this loss even more frustrating. The Bengals led 7-3 entering halftime, the Steelers scored a touchdown in the third quarter to go up 10-7 and then tacked on two more field goals. The Bengals had opportunities to win the game but not having their starting quarterback out there, the run game not working, and the defense a shell of itself, this just wasn't their day.

Let's take a look at the champs and chumps from the Week 12 loss. Since the Bengals lost, we'll start with the champs.

All game stats courtesy of ESPN

Champs

Ja'Marr Chase

Even with Burrow not on the field, Ja'Marr Chase still managed to ball out and have a typical Ja'Marr Chase kind of day. He finished the day with four catches for 81 yards while averaging 20.3 yards per catch. Browning needs to find Chase because he has shown that he can make plays time and time again. He's so good he can catch passes while holding his mouthguard.

Myles Murphy

Bengals fans have been disappointed with Myles Murphy so far and I get why. Usually, people expect the first-round picks to make an impact even during their rookie year but Murphy hasn't done that so far. However, Murphy played well against the Steelers, finishing the game with three tackles and one sack.

Jake Browning

Was Jake Browning spectacular in his first-ever NFL start? Certainly not. With that said, however, Browning played decent enough. The run game didn't help him out at all and he still managed to throw for over 220 yards and a touchdown.

The knock on Browning in this game was that he made some dumb mistakes at inopportune times. The interception that he threw was in the red zone when the Bengals had a chance to take the lead or at least tie the game. He also needed to get rid of the ball rather than just stand there and take a bad sack.

Be that as it may, I'm going to include Browning with the champs because this isn't an easy situation to step into and he did a serviceable job.