How Bengals’ Playoff Hopes are Jeopardized After Tough Loss…

The Cincinnati Bengals are facing an uphill battle to make the playoffs for the third consecutive season, and Joe Burrow’s recent season-ending wrist injury only adds to their challenges.

The team’s record is now 5-5 after a 34-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, and with Burrow sidelined, the road to the playoffs seems even more difficult.

Despite being only one game out of a wild-card spot, the Bengals have struggled in conference games with a 1-5 record and have not won any of their three division matchups. The remaining schedule includes six opponents with a .500 or better record, including two games against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Backup quarterback Jake Browning, who has been elevated to the starting role in Burrow’s absence, remains focused on improvement and taking each game as it comes. Browning, who spent the last two seasons on the Bengals’ practice squad, expressed confidence in his ability to handle the responsibilities of the starting quarterback.

Coach Zac Taylor believes Browning’s experience during training camp and his three seasons in Cincinnati will contribute to his ability to execute the team’s game plan effectively. Despite the challenges, Taylor emphasizes that the team will continue to play to Browning’s strengths.

In the recent game against the Ravens, Browning showcased his agility under pressure, gaining 40 yards on four quarterback scrambles. However, the Bengals need to address issues, including criticism of linebacker Logan Wilson’s tackle technique, which led to an injury for Mark Andrews.

Rookie safety Jordan Battle’s performance stood out positively with a season-high 11 tackles, while offensive tackle Orlando Brown faced challenges, allowing five quarterback pressures in the matchup against the Ravens.

The team faces uncertainties with injuries to CB Cam Taylor-Britt, WR Tee Higgins, and DE Sam Hubbard. The Bengals aim to avoid a four-game losing streak in the AFC North when they play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 26. The article also notes the rarity of Bengals starting quarterbacks not finishing the season, with the last instance occurring in 2020 when Burrow was injured.

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