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Turnovers Doom Cincinnati Bengals in Loss Against Cleveland Browns

The Cincinnati Bengals had costly turnovers against the Cleveland Browns that turned into a recipe for disaster in a Week 9 loss.

The Cincinnati Bengals have done mostly well in protecting the ball through eight weeks of their NFL season. Against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals had costly turnovers at inopportune times that led to a loss. Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase have been one of the best quarterback, wide receiver duos in the NFL. They were never really on the same page against the Browns. This included a pick-six, multiple drops, interceptions, a fumble, and several missed big-play opportunities. Add all these factors together and you have one frustratingly poor performance at the hands of a divisional rival. The Bengals head to their bye week at 5-4 and are reeling after losing two straight after a fantastic start to the season. This time off should allow for some much-needed rest but also the opportunity to self-scout themselves on both sides of the ball.

Costly Turnovers Doom Cincinnati Bengals Against Cleveland Browns

Right from the jump, the Bengals offense was humming. They received the ball first to start the game and promptly drove the length of the field on 11 plays. On the 12th play, disaster struck. Cleveland defensive back, Denzel Ward made a fantastic interception on a ball to Chase in the endzone. Ward then ran the length of the field for a 99-yard touchdown.

This set the tone for the entire game. It spotted the Browns defense seven points and took the sails out of a sold-out stadium. Burrow noted after the game “I left it inside a little bit and you do that to Denzel he’s going to make you pay, I didn’t play very well. If I play better we’re in that game and we have a chance to win that game. I just didn’t play well, that’s all there is to it.” The Bengals would come back after the interception to tie the game at seven in a similar fashion when they once again drove the length of the field to score. This play was foreshadowing though of what was to come on a lackluster performance for Cincinnati.

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Learning to Chase

Chase who has been otherworldly for the Bengals finally looked like a rookie against Cleveland. The Browns held Chase to 49 receiving yards, no touchdowns, and also kept him from beating them on intermediate and deep routes that he’s feasted on all season long. The lack of focus for Chase was also evident when the Bengals were clawing to get back in the game. Halfway through the second quarter, Chase fumbled as the Bengals were driving. Subsequently, halfway through the third quarter, Burrow was intercepted on a ball right off of Chase’s hands. These are important lessons for the young rookie to learn as the stretch run of the season comes into focus. The Bengals hope he quickly puts this game to bed and comes back after the bye with a vengeance.

Lessons Learned

The Bengals still have eight games left in their season. They are a young team that seems to still be a year ahead of schedule in regards to their on-field performance. But now, expectations in Cincinnati have been raised because of Chase and Burrow. They still have an opportunity to control their own destiny, make the playoffs, and even win the division outright. It’s imperative they take the lessons from the first nine weeks of the season, learn from them and return a more complete football team. If they are good students, they can still be at the top of the class.

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