Cardinals Express Regret Over Squandered Chances in 34-20 Defeat to Bengals

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Cardinals Express Regret Over Squandered Chances in 34-20 Defeat to Bengals

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In Glendale, Arizona, the Cardinals appeared to have a crucial defensive stop just before halftime against Cincinnati. They thwarted the Bengals on consecutive plays at the 1-yard line. However, their fortunes took a sharp turn when Josh Dobbs threw his first interception of the season just two plays later. Cam Taylor-Britt capitalized on the opportunity, returning the interception 11 yards for a touchdown. This sudden turn of events handed the Bengals a three-point lead instead of putting them at a deficit.

Despite many positive moments, the Cardinals’ critical mistakes at key junctures ultimately led to another frustrating loss, with a final score of 34-20 in favor of the Bengals on Sunday.

Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon expressed his disappointment, particularly highlighting the 3-1 takeaway disadvantage, saying, “When you lose the takeaway game 3-1, it’s a hard way to go. We’ve got to do a better job of protecting the football and that’s all 11.

Even though the Cardinals (1-4) left San Francisco the previous week with a glimmer of hope despite a 19-point loss, they faced the Bengals (2-3) with determination.

The Cardinals managed to rally from an early 10-point deficit, matching a Cincinnati touchdown early in the third quarter. At various points in the game, they found themselves in scoring positions during the second half.

Josh Dobbs, filling in for the injured Kyler Murray, contributed with two touchdown passes. However, his performance was marred by two interceptions due to overthrows and a lost fumble that led to a Bengals’ fourth-quarter field goal.

In the early stages of the fourth quarter, the Cardinals faced a pivotal moment when they turned the ball over on downs at the Cincinnati 17-yard line. Joe Burrow wasted no time, connecting with Ja’Marr Chase for a 3-yard touchdown, extending the Bengals’ lead to 31-20.

Josh Dobbs, reflecting on the turnovers, acknowledged their impact, saying, “Turnovers are tough. We take pride in taking care of the football. I have to be extremely smart and take care of the football, no matter what the circumstance is.

Arizona attempted to apply early pressure on Burrow, testing his calf injury. Despite facing three early sacks, the NFL’s highest-paid player showcased his mobility, using his legs to extend plays and find open receivers downfield.

Burrow had an impressive game, throwing for 317 yards and three touchdowns on 36-of-46 passing. Ja’Marr Chase had a standout performance, recording a team-record 15 catches for 192 yards and three touchdowns, particularly filling the void left by Tee Higgins (ribs).

Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon acknowledged the challenge of containing the opposing team’s star player, saying, “You can’t let their best player beat you, and that’s what we just did. That falls solely on me, and we can’t let that happen again.

For the second consecutive week, the Cardinals found themselves in an early deficit, trailing 10-0 after Burrow connected with Chase on a 2-yard touchdown and the Bengals added a field goal on the next drive.

Arizona’s offense gradually found a better rhythm after a couple of three-and-outs, taking a 14-10 lead with Dobbs’ 25-yard TD pass to Marquise Brown and a 4-yard touchdown pass to Zach Ertz.

However, the momentum shifted with the first-half pick-6, and the Cardinals conceded a 63-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to Chase early in the third quarter. Arizona responded with a quick touchdown, narrowing the gap to 24-20 on Emari Demercado’s first NFL touchdown, an 11-yard run.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, that would be the end of their comeback efforts.

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In a crucial decision, Gannon chose to go for it on fourth-and-almost-2 from the Cincinnati 16-yard line, but the Bengals thwarted Arizona’s running play, taking control of the game on downs. In the following 10 minutes, the Cardinals managed just a single play – Dobbs’ interception – and Cincinnati capitalized with two scores, securing a 34-20 lead.

The Cardinals struggled to establish a strong running game after James Conner suffered a knee injury in the second quarter. Dobbs had an inconsistent performance, amassing 166 passing yards and two touchdowns on 15-of-32 attempts, but also turning the ball over three times.

Reflecting on the importance of ball security, Dobbs remarked, When we take care of the football, we have a chance and we are in games.

Reference:

https://www.leadertelegram.com/sports/nfl/cardinals-lament-missed-opportunities-in-34-20-loss-to-bengals/article_b2bebfaa-29bc-53b5-9c27-48dfafb2ace0.html

https://apnews.com/article/bengals-cardinals-28a9e6bdf3087e35f8a9495f4973822e

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