The Cincinnati Bengals were supposed to play the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football but they decided not to show up. That almost would have been better had they just not shown up as opposed to what actually did happen. They got smoked. I mean, flat-out curb-stomped on primetime television for the entire world to see.
To make matters worse, this loss came against a team that had two wins heading into this game. TWO WINS. Now the team is 0-3 in the division and the Ravens continue to pull further away in the AFC North.
With this dumpster fire in the books, let's painfully look at what we learned from this debacle.
This offense needs Ja'Marr Chase
We all knew that not having Chase in the offense would mean that the team needed to make adjustments but I don't think anyone could have predicted that the unit would look as bad as they did on Monday night. Tee Higgins found the end zone in the fourth quarter but otherwise failed to show that he could truly be a WR1 when the team needed him the most.
Both Higgins and Boyd did end up scoring touchdowns but it took until the game was out of reach for them to do so. I know that Chase is a fantastic player but there's no reason for a team with as many weapons as the Bengals have on offense to play this poorly against a Browns defense that isn't even that good.
Rough night at the office for OL
The Bengals spent a lot of time and effort and money on improving their offensive line this offseason and they didn't play very well on Monday night. Jonah Williams, in particular, struggled to protect his quarterback and it's becoming clear that he isn't the answer at left tackle.
All in all, the o-line surrendered five sacks on Burrow. It's not the kind of effort you want to see from the offensive line ever but especially not when you paid three of them to come in and help make a major difference.
Defense finally looks human
After not surrendering a second-half touchdown in their first seven games, the defense coughed up not one, but three touchdowns to the Browns offense led by Jacoby Brissett. Not great.
The run defense has not looked good in recent weeks and we can finally call them out. The Browns rushed for over 160 yards while Nick Chubb had over 100 yards on the ground. As Kelsey Conway pointed out during the game, this could be a nightmare scenario for the stripes when they face the Titans in a few weeks.
0-3 in the division
The Bengals have lost to all three divisional opponents that they've faced this year, putting them at 0-3 in the AFC North right now. It's going to be tough for them to claw their way back from that rough start but they still have three more games to go in the division.
This was a tough loss and while the Bengals are now back to .500 with a 4-4 record, the season is far from lost. The team got beat up quite a bit and they're just two weeks out from a much-needed BYE week. The Browns just seem to have Cincinnati's number and that felt like the case once again on Monday night.
What did you learn about the Bengals in this blowout loss?