CINCINNATI — Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow Sitting at his locker, legs stretched out, he looked ahead at a mostly empty room.
If he’s trying to make sense of what happened in Cincinnati’s season opener, he’s not alone. The Bengals endured a day that featured multiple turnovers, a punting game and a ruckout in a 23-20 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In Cincinnati’s first game since Super Bowl LVI, Burrow committed five turnovers, the Bengals missed two chances to win the game and left with a sad ending.
“We had our chances,” Bengals coach Zach Taylor said. “To be down five to nothing in the turnover battle, to have the kick operations wiped out on two kicks that should have won the game, is disappointing in that sense.”
Chris BoswellA 53-yard field goal late in overtime allowed the Steelers to escape with a win and snap a three-game losing streak against their AFC North rivals.
Burrow threw a career-high four interceptions and lost a fumble in the team’s loss. He was also sacked six times. Still, Bengal was still in position to pull off an improbable win.
“Obviously, you don’t want to throw four picks,” Burrow said. “But I never panicked. We were even and we’re going to come back and make ourselves win.”
At the end of regulation, Burrow threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to a wide receiver Jammer Chase to tie the game at 20 with two seconds left. But the Steelers turned to defense Minka Fitzpatrick, who intercepted Cincinnati’s first drive of the game for a touchdown, blocking a potential game-winning extra point. Cincinnati’s special-teams unit got a reprieve in overtime. Bengals kicker Evan McPherson He missed a 29-yard field goal that could have won the game in overtime.
On both of those kicks, Cincinnati used a tight end Mitchell Wilcox As a long snapper. Clark Harris, who earned a spot on the first team since 2009, suffered a right biceps injury that sidelined him at the end of regulation and overtime. Wilcox said he was a long snapper in high school and a backup in college at South Florida.
“We had a chance at first,” Wilcox said. “It’s blocked now, and the second, it’s on me. I have to give.” [punter Kevin Huber] A great photo there.”
Boswell also missed a 55-yard field goal and could have ended the game with 2:27 left in overtime. His kick went wide and rattled the left upright, leaving the game undecided until he finished at the end of overtime.
Pittsburgh couldn’t pull away despite a huge turnover advantage. Cincinnati’s defense limited the Steelers to 267 total yards. In his debut with the team, the Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky 21-of-38 for 194 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Steelers running back Najee Harris He was held to 23 yards on 10 carries and did not finish the game due to a leg injury.
“It was good enough,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of the team’s offensive performance.
The Bengals beat the Steelers twice last year, leading to their first playoff berth since 2015. That postseason run gave the team its first postseason win in 31 years and the team’s first Super Bowl appearance since 1989.
In several instances last season, Cincinnati was able to do enough to earn a win. On Sunday, the Bengals almost had a positive outcome in a game that featured several unfortunate events.
Instead, they tried to piece together a wild season-opening loss.
“A loss is a loss,” Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd said. “It hurts all the same.” We had a chance and didn’t pull it off.”