The Cincinnati Bengals' 19-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night is one that's going to be hard for Bengals fans to get over. When the only thing that really irked the fan base was how poor the play-calling was (Thanks Zac Taylor), it becomes an even more frustrating loss because it felt as though everything else went well.
The defense played tremendous, the run game finally got going, the sacks and turnovers were limited, but the damn play-calling cost the stripes a chance to move to 3-2 and lead the competitive AFC North.
Why don't we look at the stats that drove us crazy?
4 of 10 on third down
It wasn't a good night for the stripes on third down, as they only attempted four times on 10 attempts. Of course, a big reason why the third downs weren't getting converted is that the play-calling was abysmal. Zac Taylor continued to make baffling play calls in the biggest moments.
The Ravens didn't have a great night in this department either, going 5-of-11 on third downs but they still managed to win the game.
89 yards receiving to Mark Andrews
Listen, I know that Andrews is one of the best tight ends in the league and it's hard to slow him down but it was disappointing to see the strong Bengals defense continue to get cooked by him on those last few drives.
At that point in the game, the Bengals had to know where Lamar Jackson was going with the football but they still couldn't stop it from happening. Andrews finished the game with eight catches for 89 yards and a touchdown while averaging 11.1 yards per catch. Oof.
Only 1 sack on Lamar Jackson
The Bengals defense played really well so this feels like nitpicking but with the pass-rushing group of Sam Hubbard, Trey Hendrickson, and B.J. Hill, one sack on the Ravens quarterback was a bummer. Hubbard got home in the first half but the Bengals were blanked in the sack category afterwards.
It was hard to find stats that truly drove fans mad this week considering how well the defense played but this is what I'd go with. Not converting on third downs was just another frustrating example of how this offense isn't living up to its potential while the big plays to Andrews and lack of pressure on Jackson allowed for the Ravens to make it down the field in crunch time.
What stats made you mad?