Here are two winners and three losers from Sunday’s game:
William Jackson III
William Jackson III was one of the few bright spots for the Bengals on Sunday. The 27-year-old limited Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker to just four receptions for 35 yards. Jackson looked great in coverage. He had a 3rd-and-goal pass break-up in the end zone. The former first-rounder is in a contract year. His stellar play on Sunday helps his case for a long-term deal.
Bates once again showed why he's one of the best safeties in the NFL. He finished with 13 tackles and a forced fumble. The 23-year-old has been a huge bright spot for Cincinnati this season. He was Pro Football Focus' highest-graded safety entering Week 13. Bates had a solid game in coverage as well, breaking up a couple passes to Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki.
Putting blame on a second year head coach without his star quarterback might seem harsh, but Sunday’s loss against the Dolphins was the icing on the cake. Zac Taylor falls to 4-23-1 as head coach of the Bengals and 0-14-1 on the road.
Not only was it another loss, but Taylor seemed to lose control early in the second half. Fights, ejections, and botched plays poured it on for the Bengals, making the bad loss even worse.
The Bengals only gained 30 yards of total offense in the second half. With Taylor potentially on the hot seat, he can’t afford to have games where the offense completely stalls out at halftime.
The Bengals offensive line gave up six sacks for 37 yards. Jonah Williams went down late in the game, and the protection got even worse. Quarterback Brandon Allen endured constant pressure in the second half up until his chest injury in the fourth quarter. It’s obvious offensive line should be the Bengals top priority going into this offseason, and Sunday’s game proved it even further.
The Bengals veteran wide out was a non-factor against Miami. He didn't have a catch for a second-straight game. He was only targeted once, even though Tyler Boyd was ejected late in the first half. The Bengals needed someone to step up on offense with Boyd out. Instead, they fell flat. Green is running out of opportunities to show that he deserves another contract this offseason.
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