Unfortunately for the Cincinnati Bengals, this season is over. With their Week 17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs 25-17, they have officially been eliminated from playoff contention. What is most sad is the fact that the Bengals were in this one all the way to the bitter end until all the weaknesses of their team started to show.
The Bengals have a long road ahead if they're to ever bounce back from another disappointing season. It's no secret that they have some major areas of opportunity on their team with the most blatant weakness being their offensive line. They will easily need to focus this upcoming offseason on bolstering their offensive line, adding better depth at safety, and adding more offensive weapons to their arsenal.
Even if quarterback Joe Burrow was playing, he needs better weapons around him to get the job done if the Bengals ever hope to get back into being a playoff contender. They need offensive upgrades and better depth at running back, tight end, and wide receiver to ensure they can deliver consistently each week.
Immediately after Sunday's loss to the Chiefs, head coach Zac Taylor's first words to start the post-game press conference summed up all of Who Dey Nation. Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, he hit the nail right on the head with his first comment which you can see below...
Zac Taylor is "just sick for our guys" after Week 17 loss
"Just sick for our guys" is so very true since for the majority of this game, especially the first half, they were clicking on all cylinders. The fact that they kept Patrick Mahomes and company off the field for the majority of the first half gave hope to Bengals fans that they could shock the football world on Sunday.
Unfortunately, when it mattered most at the end of the 4th quarter with the game on the line, the Bengals fell short of achieving such a monumental victory. Their offense stalled, their abysmal offensive line wasn't able to protect quarterback Jake Browning from getting sacked and pressured in the heat of the moment, and their defense all of a sudden started to blow coverages and forget how to tackle.
In the grand scheme of things, the Bengals got close but didn't do enough to leave this game victorious. It was right there for the taking and when it comes to close games like this in the NFL, the better team will always find a way to win. The Chiefs were the better team today and all the Bengals can do is move on to their season finale at home against the Cleveland Browns next week, and head into the offseason ready to bounce back in 2024.