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Postgame Observations: Bengals' Rally Falls Short, 49ers Win Overtime Thriller 26-23

Cincinnati falls to 7-6 on the season.

CINCINNATI — The Bengals had a chance to move into first place in the AFC North, but they let it slip right between their fingertips on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

San Francisco beat Cincinnati 26-23 in overtime following a furious fourth quarter rally by Cincinnati.

The Bengals fall to 7-6 on the season. They've lost back-to-back games. Here are some postgame observations.

Rally Falls Short

The Bengals’ rallied to force overtime, but it was too little, too late.

Cincinnati trailed 20-6 in the fourth quarter, but Joe Burrow found Ja'Marr Chase for touchdowns from 17 and 32-yards out, respectively.

The former college teammates have a special connection and brought the Bengals back in crunch time and ultimately forced overtime.

Cincinnati won the coin toss and Evan McPherson gave them a 23-20 lead with a 41-yard field goal, but the 49ers’ answered with a touchdown drive in overtime to secure the win. 

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Questionable Playcalling

Zac Taylor stuck with the run game in the second half, even though the Bengals trailed by two scores. 

Cincinnati ran the ball on 3-straight plays on their first possession, before ultimately punting. They trailed 17-6 and needed to grab momentum. 

Instead of putting the ball in Burrow's hands, they stuck with the ground game. Samaje Perine ran for two yards on 3rd-and 3. 

Ultimately the Bengals rallied, but if they had turn to the passing game earlier, they might've scored more points in the first three quarters.


The Bengals were sloppy on Sunday. From Darius Phillips' muffed punts to Vonn Bell getting called for taunting and Stanley Morgan's inability to safety return kicks, Cincinnati struggled to do the little things consistently. 

This team continues to struggle on offense and put the defense in bad spots. 

Most of the miscues were on special teams. This was their worst game of the season.

No Time

Burrow was under pressure for most of the game. He was sacked five times and hit six more times. 

The second-year quarterback was calm in the pocket, but the pressure limited what they could do offensively. 

A big part of it had to do with game script. The Bengals trailed by two possessions for most of the second half. It allowed Nick Bosa and the rest of the 49ers' pass rush to tee off on Burrow on passing downs. 

The 1,000-Yard Club

Joe Mixon also surpassed the 1,000-yard mark on Sunday. This is the third time he's accomplished that feat. 

He finished with 58 yards on 18 carries. 

Key Injury

Bengals defensive end Trey Hendrickson suffered a back injury late in the first half. 

The cart came out for him, but he shrugged it off and walked to the locker room under his own power. He didn't return to the game. 

Hendrickson did sack Jimmy Garoppolo in the first quarter. He has a sack in nine-straight games, which is a Bengals' franchise record.

Strong Defense

The Bengals' defense did their part for most of the game. They forced multiple key stops, despite being put in some tough spots. 

They sacked Garoppolo four times and hit him another nine times. 

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It was a group effort. Cam Sample, B.J. Hill, Larry Ogunjobi, D.J. Reader and Hendrickson each had a half or full sack. 

Up Next

The Bengals go to Denver to play the Broncos on Sunday, Dec. 19 at 4:05 ET. 

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