CINCINNATI — Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow sat at his locker, legs outstretched, staring forward in a room that had largely emptied.
If he was attempting to make sense of what occurred in Cincinnati’s season opener, he wasn’t alone. The Bengals endured a day that featured a number of turnovers, an upended kicking game and a rocky outing in a 23-20 additional time loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In Cincinnati’s first game since Super Bowl LVI, Burrow dedicated 5 turnovers, the Bengals missed two possibilities to win the game and had been left with a bitter end result.
“We had our chances,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor mentioned. “To lose the turnover battle five to nothing, to have kick operations ruined on two kicks that both would have won the game, is disheartening in that way.”
Chris Boswell’s 53-yard subject purpose on the finish of additional time allowed the Steelers to flee with a win and snap a three-game shedding streak towards their AFC North rivals.
Burrow threw a career-high 4 interceptions and misplaced a fumble in the crew’s loss. He was additionally sacked six occasions. And but, the Bengals nonetheless had been in a place to drag off an inconceivable win.
“Obviously, you don’t want to throw four picks,” Burrow mentioned. “But I never panicked. We stayed even-keeled and we came back and put us in a position to win.”
At the tip of regulation, Burrow threw a 6-yard landing move to extensive receiver Ja’Marr Chase to tie the game at 20 with two seconds left. But Steelers defensive again Minkah Fitzpatrick, who returned an interception for a landing on Cincinnati’s first drive of the game, blocked the potential game-winning further level. Cincinnati’s special-teams unit had a shot at redemption in the additional interval. Bengals kicker Evan McPherson missed a 29-yard subject purpose that might have received the game in additional time.
On each of these kicks, Cincinnati was utilizing tight finish Mitchell Wilcox because the long-snapper. Clark Harris, who has had the place for the crew since 2009, suffered a proper biceps damage that dominated him out for the tip of regulation and additional time. Wilcox, who mentioned he was a long-snapper in highschool and a backup in school at South Florida, took over.
“We had a chance on the first one,” Wilcox mentioned. (*5*)
Boswell additionally missed a 55-yard subject purpose with 2:27 left in additional time that might have ended the game. His kick sailed left and smacked the left upright, leaving the game undecided till he ended it on the finish of additional time.
Pittsburgh was unable to drag away regardless of the huge turnover benefit. Cincinnati’s protection restricted the Steelers to 267 whole yards. In his debut with the crew, Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky was 21-of-38 for 194 yards, one landing and one interception. Steelers operating again Najee Harris was held to 23 yards on 10 carries and did not end the game due to a foot damage.
“It was enough,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin mentioned of the crew’s offensive efficiency.
Last yr the Bengals trounced the Steelers twice on their solution to a division title that led to their first playoff berth since 2015. That postseason run yielded the crew’s first postseason win in 31 years and the crew’s first Super Bowl look since 1989.
In many situations final season, Cincinnati was capable of just do sufficient to squeak out a victory. On Sunday, the Bengals virtually pulled a constructive end result out of a game that featured a number of unlucky occasions.
Instead, they had been left attempting to piece collectively a wild season-opening loss.
“A loss is a loss,” Bengals extensive receiver Tyler Boyd mentioned. “It hurts all the same. “We had a possibility and did not pull it off.”
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