Even before Joe Burrow’s season-ending wrist injury As announced, the Cincinnati Bengals were already facing a tough road in trying to get back to the playoffs for a third straight season.
Without Buro, this might be too big a hill to climb.
Thursday night’s 34-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens He evened the Bengals’ record at 5-5. When Jake Browning enters the complex on Monday to begin preparations for the Nov. 26 game against Pittsburgh, it will be for a team just one game away from a wild-card spot.
However, the Bengals are the worst team in the AFC at 1-5 in conference play and are winless in their matchups in all three divisions.
Cincinnati’s remaining six opponents — playing the Steelers twice — are at .500 or better. If there’s any hope, it’s that Indianapolis, Minnesota and Cleveland will also field backup quarterbacks.
“I don’t feel a lot of weight. I’m probably the only one who has that assessment,” Browning told reporters on Friday. “I think I’d be doing myself a disservice if I started jumping into all the different narratives about the downfall of a good player. Not really my job. My job is to keep trying to get better, focusing on day to day, week to week, match to match.
“It sounds kind of repetitive, but there are a lot of different ways your mind can go. If you take everything and narrow it down to: ‘Hey, this is what I really need to focus on.’ That’s what actually matters, everything else It is in the right place.
Browning spent the past two seasons on the Bengals’ practice squad before being promoted to Burrow’s backup this season. Against the Ravens, Browning was 8 of 14 for 68 yards and threw a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter.
Browning played at the University of Washington, where he was a four-year starter and led the Huskies to two Pac-12 titles. However, he went undrafted, spending the 2019 and ’20 seasons on Minnesota’s practice squad.
Taylor getting a lot of snaps during training camp, when Burrow was out with a calf injury, and being in Cincinnati for three seasons was helpful when trying to nail down the game plan, coach Zac Taylor said.
“I feel real comfortable that he can do all the things we ask our guys to do in our offense. So, it doesn’t take anything off the table,” Taylor said. “Obviously you want to continue to play to his strengths. You keep changing the conversations from “Hey Joe, what do you like about the plan?” For more, “Hey, Jake, what do you feel most comfortable with in these situations?” That’s the only thing that’s really changing in our crime scene. “Everything stays on the table.”
What to do
Browning showed he could be crafty when pressured. He was sacked three times, but also gained 40 yards on four quarterback tussles, including two for first downs.
What needs help?
Logan Wilson’s reputation. The linebacker was given the assignment by some Ravens players and coach John Harbaugh after Wilson appeared to use a hip tackle to bring down Mark Andrews on the opening drive of the game. Andrews suffered a season-ending ankle injury on the play, when he fumbled the ball and Wilson recovered on the Bengals 4-yard line.
“I’m caught by the narrative that’s out there now, which I think is completely reckless. He’s playing the game the right way. People have gotten ahead of themselves. They’ve described him a certain way. It’s frustrating to see that,” Taylor said Friday. “I know what this guy means and that players They play the game the right way. It is unfortunate for any player to get injured. But he’s a guy I’m proud to coach and proud to be a part of this team.
Rookie safety Jordan Battle had a season-high 11 tackles, including 10 solo stops. He also saw the season’s best 57 snaps.
Offensive tackle Orlando Brown allowed five quarterback pressures in 14 individual plays against Baltimore linebacker Odavi Oweh. According to NFL Next Generation Stats, Brown has allowed 31 rushing pressures this season, seven more than any other offensive lineman in the NFL. Snap pressures are defined as a quarterback being pressured within two and a half seconds after the snap.
Taylor did not have any updates on CB Cam Taylor-Britt, who left the game with a groin bruise, as well as WR Tee Higgins (hamstring) and DE Sam Hubbard (ankle), who were inactive.
5 – Seasons since 2008 in which the Bangladeshi midfielder has not been able to finish the season. There was Carson Palmer in 2008, Andy Dalton in 2015-18 and Burrow in 2020 before this season.
The Bengals look to avoid losing their first four games in the AFC North for the first time since 2020 when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 26.
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