Joe Burrow throws 3 straight interceptions as Bengals fall to Bears
Posted On September 19, 2021
CHICAGO –– When the Cincinnati Bengals won the team’s opener for the 2021 season, it looked like anything was possible for the Bengals’ offense. Running back Joe Mixon led the NFL in rushing yards. Wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase was named Rookie of the Week. The offensive tackles did not allow a single pressure.
But in Week 2, the Bengals lost 20-17 to the Chicago Bears. And the Bengals’ offense didn’t find a rhythm until the last five minutes of the game.
Before that, the Bengals offense was on the verge of having one of its worst games of the past two seasons. Chase only opened the court towards the end. The offensive line allowed five sacks in the first three quarters.
Rookie kicker Evan McPherson put in a 53-yard field goal in the third quarter, but the Bengals didn’t cross the Bears’ 35-yard line before the Bears took a 14-point lead.
The Bears took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to a near-perfect push from quarterback Andy Dalton. The Bengals’ defense got saves in their next four discs, but the attack couldn’t find anything that worked.
Burrow was fortunate enough to lead the Bengals on a tying touchdown early in the fourth quarter. On the third and third from midfield, the Bears defense executed a game similar to that used by the Bengals defense in training camp to take out Burrow for the first time this season.
Bears linebacker Roquan Smith fell back into the cover and caught a pass intended for wide receiver Tyler Boyd. Smith returned for a 53-yard touchdown, giving the Bears a 17-3 lead.
When the Bengals recovered the ball, on Burrow’s next pass attempt, Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson chose a route intended for wide receiver Tee Higgins. Burrow recovered the ball two minutes later, and after poor protection from the Bengals’ offensive line, Burrow was hit as he was throwing.
Bears defensive tackle Angelo Blackson pulled off that pass, ending any chance the Bengals had to win. Burrow had made 200 pitches without an interception, but on Sunday he made three consecutive passes.
Against a Bears defensive line with multiple explosive passers, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor failed to call up some of the same plays on the field that led the Bengals to a win in Game 1. The Bengals have run five sets of wide receivers more often, but Burrow has almost never had an open receiver on the pitch.
After the Bears took a 20-3 lead, the Bengals’ offense finally erupted for a big play. Burrow threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Chase in midfield. On the next drive, Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson caught a pass inside the Bears’ 20-yard line.
Higgins hit a touchdown the next game, making it a 20-17 lead for the Bears with 3:43 left. But Chicago ran out of time to give the Bengals their first loss of the season. Burrow finished with a 19 for 30 pass line with 207 yards.