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After a 6-24 record in his first two seasons as the Bengals’ head coach, Zac Taylor failed to inspire much confidence in Cincinnati heading into Year Three. Outside of a sophomore season from a fully healthy Joe Burrow, Bengals fans were realistically maintaining low expectations for the 2021-22 season.
Now, the Bengals sit at 3-1 — atop the AFC North — following a Week 4 Thursday night 24-21 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Burrow completed 25-of-32 passes, throwing for 348 yards and two touchdowns. The former No. 1 overall pick outplayed this year’s top pick, Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence, who threw for 204 yards off 17-of-24 completions.
Both teams had a nearly identical game with time of possession and running tally of first downs (21), but late-game heroics from Burrow and Bengals tight end CJ Uzomah commanded a final drive that sent kicker Evan McPherson out for a game-winning, 35-yard field goal.
With nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, Uzomah caught a 16-yard pass from Burrow and ran the remaining 16 up the sideline to tie the game 21-21. He followed up the score with a 25-yard gain off a screen pass that set up McPherson for the field goal.
The Bengals’ receiving corps had an all-around efficient night: Tyler Boyd ended the game with nine receptions for 118 yards and 2021 first-round receiver Ja’Marr Chase ended with six catches for 77 yards. Uzomah contributed nine catches for 95 yards and two scores. Jacksonville’s lone offensive standout was running back James Robinson, who rushed 18 times for 78 yards and two touchdowns.
Urban Meyer’s debut year as head coach for the Jags is off to a rocky start. He’s 0-4 and facing the Titans, Dolphins, Seahawks and Bills in the next four weeks.
The Bengals face the Packers, Lions, Ravens, Jets and Browns leading up to their Week 10 bye.
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Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela