By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Cincinnati Bengals, to nobody’s surprise, had a difficult time moving the football through the air on Sunday vs. the Patriots. They weren’t the first team to struggle mightily against the best defense in the league, and they surely won’t be the last.READ MORE: Pfizer Says COVID-19 Vaccine Works In Kids Ages 5-11
After that game –a 34-13 Patriots win — Bengals head coach Zac Taylor spoke bluntly and honestly, saying his receivers got “bullied” by the Patriots’ secondary. He was telling the truth, as Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson had two interceptions apiece, and Andy Dalton completed just 17 of 31 passes for 151 yards. The Bengals became the ninth team to be held under 200 passing yards this season against the Patriots.
With a day of reflection, Taylor wishes that he had not said that.
“I wish I wouldn’t have phrased it like that, to be quite honest with you,” Taylor said, per The Enquirer in Cincinnati. “Because you’re emotional after a game like that, then you watch the tape, and there’s… We’ve just got to correct the technique. That’s what the conversation needs to be.”READ MORE: MCAS Would Be Scrapped As Graduation Requirement Under Proposed Bill
One receiver who likely didn’t enjoy hearing his head coach’s initial assessment was Tyler Boyd. He caught just 3 passes for 26 yards, as Stephon Gilmore blanketed him and recorded both of his interceptions while covering Boyd.
Despite that reality, Boyd boasted after the game that he had come out as the winner in most of his 1-on-1 matchups with Gilmore.
“It was just one-on-one,” Boyd casually explained. “I won the majority of my matchups.”
Understandably, someone who was suffocated by Gilmore all day yet still espoused such beliefs postgame likely did not agree with Taylor’s assessment that a bullying had taken place. And considering Boyd is approaching his second straight 1,000-yard season, Taylor likely needs to appease his 25-year-old receiver rather than antagonize him.MORE NEWS: Parents Call For Remote Learning Option For Mass. Students Not Yet Eligible To Be Vaccinated
And so, Taylor has some regret. But … he still wasn’t incorrect when he said what he said.