Thoughts and observations on Bengals OT loss

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Packers 25 Bengals 22

A matchup that saw five straight field goals MISSED in the final 2:16 of regulation and OT ended in frustrating fashion as Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby finally hit a 49-yard field goal to win it 25-22.

Billed as a measuring stick game and a showdown of QB's, the Bengals (3-2) went toe-to-toe with the Packers (4-1) for 70 minutes + Sunday at PBS.

It only figures the day came down to the foot of each kicker. And....(one last cliche).... it was Green Bay that had the leg up.

Ultimately, the Bengals missed an opportunity on a day the Packers were without three defensive starters, including All-Pro CB Jaire Alexander and three starting OL....AND.....missed three field goals and a PAT.

The Bengals led 7-0 in the 1st QT. The Packers went on a 16-0 run to lead 16-7. Trailing 22-14, the Bengals marched 13 plays/75 yards to tie it on a Joe Mixon TD run and Tee Higgins 2-point conversion with 3:27 left in the game.

What happened after that is hard to remember and probably best forgotten.

Let's count the misses:

  1. Tied at 22 with 2:14 left in regulation, Crosby missed a 39-yarder.
  2. Tied at 22 with :26 left in regulation, Bengals kicker Evan McPherson missed a 57-yarder
  3. After Rodgers had hit Adams for a 20-yard gain, Crosby missed a 51-yarder with :00 left in regulation....
  4. Burrow threw a pick on the first play of OT, but Crosby missed a 40-yarder with 8:10 left in OT.
  5. McPherson missed a 49-yarder with 4:19 left in OT. (He was celebrating believing it was good)

Crosby made the winner from 49-yards with 1:58 remaining in OT. He entered the game having connected on 27 consecutive field goals. He'd miss 3 FG and a PAT.

Where's the O? That Bengals offense scored 22 points vs GB? They have failed to top 24 points in regulation this season. They ranked 18th in points per game at 22.8. Last season they were 29th at 19.4.

Head scratchers:

They converted just 2 of 7 3rd downs of 3 yards or less. Taylor got conservative to hand McPherson long FG attempts in 4th and OT.

Could not convert 3rd & 2 at GB 30 end of 3rd QT....went for it on 4th down and a penalty forced a punt.

Tied w/ :31 left in regulation: Ran Perine 3rd & 5 from GB 42. Gained two yards. McPherson missed 57-yarder.

Failed to convert 3rd & 2 from GB 33 at 5:08 of OT.....Mixon gained 1 yard...The only WR in personnel group was Auden Tate? McPherson missed (49 yd)

QB comparison:

Joe Burrow: 26-38-281, 2 TD, 2 INT, 3 sacks, rating 85.5. He extended a play (7.81 seconds/per ESPN) and threw a 70-yard TD to Chase. Burrow was crushed when he left the pocket. It was a hold your breath moment. He went to the tent, was examined, but returned. He forced a pass that was picked on the third play of the second half and threw a pick on the first play of OT. He did not have a postgame interview session. He was instead taken to the hospital for a possible throat contusion.

Aaron Rodgers: 27-39-344, 2 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks rating 103.0. Man, he made some throws.

Big day, again: Ja'Marr Chase 6 for 159 on 10 targets. He had a 70-yard TD catch to cut the deficit to 16-14 at the half. Per ESPN, he covered 103 yards on the play, reaching 20.2 mph on his route. He also had a catch on a ball he tipped and caught falling to the ground. It was his fifth straight game with a reception of 34 yards or longer. He's on pace for 78 catches, 1,550 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Dual action ground game: 24 rushes/103 (4.1)....but only 3 first half rushes by RB. Joe Mixon started (10-33), including a sweet stutter-step, zig-zag TD run with 3:27 left in the game. Perine (11-59) + 4 catches/24 yards.

Defense: The Bengals D got hit with 8 plays of 20+ yards, two plus 50. Rushing: 22-133-6.0. Passing: 344. But.....allowed just 22 points in regulation. A blitzing Vonn Bell whiffed on Aaron Jones and when Jessie Bates missed, Jones went 57 yards late in the game. Trey Hendrickson had 2 sacks, including a big one that shutdown the final drive of the half for Green Bay. Down 19-14, they held GB to a 4th QT redzone FG that kept it a one score game at 22-14. Rodgers flicked a 16-yard floater to Randall Cobb to set up the winning FG. Mike Hilton and Chido Awuzie made some big play blowups of screens. Chido had a pick that flipped the field on a 42-yard return....but the Bengals lost 9 yards on a sack of Burrow and went three-and-out. He'd leave the game with an injury, but returned.

Dynamite: Devonta Adams torched the Bengals for 11 catches/206 yards, TD on 16 targets, including a 59-yarder.

Better late than never: Tyler Boyd 4 catches/24 yards after not recording his first target/catch until 3:39 left in 3rd.

Who? Drew Sample had two catches. I'd forgotten about him.

Circle that one sequence: Trailing 19-14 with :58 left in 3rd QT, Bengals passed on 49-yd FG. Burrow scrambled for a 1st down, but a Quinton Spain hold wipe out the gain. Taylor then punted on 4th and 12, bypassing a 58-yd attempt.

That hurts: Special teams ace Jordan Evans suffered a knee injury and was carted off.

Lady luck: The Bengals won the coin toss to start the game and to start OT. That's 10 consecutive tosses won? What?

Numbers of note: The Bengals are 0-21 in games they trail going to the 4th QT under Zac Taylor.

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