Bengals head coach Zac Taylor made a call to go for it on fourth-and-goal in the second half against the Ravens and his decision got torched after the loss.
Just after the two-minute warning on Sunday Night Football, the Cincinnati Bengals took a 17-16 lead over the division-rival Baltimore Ravens. But that 1:58 remaining on the clock was more than enough time for Lamar Jackson to lead the offense down the field and get Justin Tucker into gimme range for one of the best kickers in NFL history.
He converted the 43-yard attempt as time expired, giving the Ravens the lead and ultimately the win. And while Jackson’s efforts leading the drive and Tucker’s kick secured the win for Baltimore, all anyone could talk about was the late-third-quarter decision by Bengals head coach Zac Taylor.
After a long Cincinnati drive, Joe Burrow faced a fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line. Rather than taking a near-free three points in a game the Bengals were trailing in, Taylor elected to go for it. But an ill-fated shovel pass from Burrow hit the turf and, instead, the club turned the ball over on downs.
Those three points given up to go for the touchdown proved to be pretty important after the final score was 19-17 in favor of the Ravens.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor roasted for fourth-down decision vs Ravens
That wasn’t lost on NFL fans watching the primetime contest and they let Zac Taylor have it after the conclusion of the game.
In the analytics boom of the NFL, the book says to go for it in that situation, so it’s hard to totally fault Taylor’s decision without heavily relying on hindsight.
With that said, it was also the plays that he called on that same drive that were making fans furious. And now that last year’s AFC representatives in the Super Bowl are a meager 2-3 to start the season, the fact of the matter is that Zac Taylor is going to be more under the microscope than ever before.