Conrad Clowers. File photo

By Conrad Clowers

Herald Sports Writer

Cincinnati Bengals are so use to starting out in holes they no longer need shovels. They just go right to the hole. For all the good things head coach Zac Taylor has done since being in Cincinnati, his teams are 1-9 since he took over for Marvin Lewis in his first two games. This past weekend the Bengals fell for the second weekend in a row. This time it was to division rival Baltimore Ravens.

Unlike the weekend before, where the team was put in the dust by the Cleveland Browns 24-3, the team showed life. Joe Burrow tossed his first touchdown pass. Tee Higgins got his first set of receptions. The Bengal offense moved the ball. At the end of the day none of it was enough. After defeating the Baltimore Ravens two weeks in a row last season (once to end the season and once in the first round of the playoffs) the luck ran out. This time Raven’s super QB Lamar Jackson was healthy and playing. Cincinnati was bullied on the ground by the Baltimore rushing attack. As a matter of fact, Baltimore bested Cincinnati in every category. Baltimore had more total yards, passing yards, rushing yards, and yards per play.

Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow appeared as if the calf that kept the star QB out of training camp was bothering him. He did show flashes of the all-world Joe Burrow hitting his receivers on crucial passes. But they say you live by the pass, you die by the pass. The new 275 million dollar QB threw a crucial second half red zone pic that may have cost the Bengals the game.  Though the final score ended Baltimore at 27 and Cincinnati at 24, the game didn’t seem that close.

Last season Cincinnati started out 0-2 as well. An overtime battle against the Pittsburg Steelers and a loss in Dallas to the Cowboys put the team in the hole. Cincinnati would turn the tide and go on to win 12 of their next 15 games in route to a championship appearance.

This season QB Joe Burrow is playing with an injury that only he knows how bad it is. The next four games are Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee, Seattle and Arizona. The team is certainly as capable of winning all four as they are as losing. Bengal defense is playing with several new players. It would be great if it was 2022.   But this is 2023. Different team and different year.    

Fans and players have confidence things can go their way, but as they say in the flight business, Cincy is in a holding pattern. A rematch of the 2022 Super Bowl will take place when the Los Angeles Rams come to town. Nothing restores faith faster than winning. Hopefully Who-Dey Nation can experience their first.

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