CINCINNATI — The Chargers crushed the Bengals 41-22 on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.
Cincinnati falls to 7-5 on the season. Here are our winners and losers from the matchup.
For a second-straight week, Tee Higgins was the Bengals' most effective wide receiver. He finished with nine receptions for 138 yards and one touchdown.
He tweaked his ankle in the fourth quarter, but didn't seem concerned about the injury.
"Probably just a little tweak," Higgins said. "Nothing ice and stim can’t fix."
He could also fall in the loser category because of all the injuries his defense suffered, but Lou Anarumo did a good job adjusting throughout this game and gave the Bengals a chance to win.
It's not going to get any easier for him if key players miss extended time, but his guys forced three turnovers and held their own, despite being put in some tough positions.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor took plenty of blame after the game.
"It's inexcusable the positions I put us in," he said.
From getting called for a delay of game out of a timeout before a 2-point version attempt to mismanaging the clock at the end of the first half, Taylor had a rough day.
The Bengals' Injury Luck
Joe Burrow suffered a dislocated right pinkie finger on the Bengals' first drive. He played through the pain, but it clearly impacted his play and the rest of the offense.
Logan Wilson (shoulder), Chidobe Awuzie (foot) and Markus Bailey (shoulder) all left the game with injuries and didn't return.
The Bengals were one of the healthiest teams in the league for the first eight games of the season, but their luck might've ended. Sunday's game could have a major impact on Cincinnati's playoff chances if Wilson and Awuzie miss extended time.
Joe Mixon ran for 54 yards and one touchdown on 19 attempts. He also had the biggest turnover of the game.
Mixon dropped the ball after receiving a handoff from Joe Burrow early in the fourth quarter. Tevaughn Campbell picked it up and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown to give the Chargers a 31-22 lead with 13:53 remaining.
The Bengals' momentum was halted and they never responded. This was the play that changed the game.
Ja'Marr Chase's drop in the first quarter completely changed the game. He should've hauled in a 71-yard touchdown on a perfectly thrown by by Burrow. Instead he bobbled it and Michael Davis intercepted it. The Chargers scored a touchdown five plays later.
Chase finished with five receptions for 52 yards, but that play could've given the Bengals much-needed momentum early in the game.
The Bengals' Offensive Line
Burrow was sacked six times and hit another 11 times. Trey Hill and Isaiah Prince struggled at center and right guard, respectively.
This team needs to find a way to keep Burrow upright consistently. They might not be able to do that if Riley Reiff and Trey Hopkins continue to miss time.
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