There were some brief glimmers of hope in the off-season that Ohio’s NFL teams would not be the laughing stock of football during the 2019 season. For the Cincinnati Bengals, that glimmer dimmed fairly early on; the Cleveland Browns were right behind them on the misery train though.
The Bengals finally losing head coach Marvin Lewis and hiring young buck Zac Taylor gave Cincinnati fans a boost in confidence going into the season. But the team is now, uh, whatever is the opposite of undefeated. They stand at zero wins and eight losses at the midpoint of the season and will definitely not have a chance to get that elusive playoff win this winter.
The Browns were recently in that embarrassingly-winless situation. The team had impressively maintained a 19-game losing streak across two seasons, but that ended last year when then-backup quarterback Baker Mayfield was put into a game, won it in heroic fashion and was declared by fans to be the second coming of Bernie Kosar. But Mayfield’s playing leveled off this year and even with the addition of star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland has not rewarded the die-hard Dawg Pound’s cautious optimism. They're currently 2-5.
This Sunday’s performances by the Buckeye State squads were remarkably on-brand. But at least each team could say their losses were at the hands of defending league champs/Super Bowl LIII competitors the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams.
The Browns didn’t have much of a shot against the undefeated Patriots. The most notable play from the Browns — earning them "Twitter trending" status under the banner “The Bad News Browns are in full effect against the Patriots” — was their spectacular run of turnovers in the first half. They lost the ball on three consecutive possessions, including one where Mayfield essentially handed it off to a Pats defender.
Yeah, don’t yuck it up too much, Bengals fans. The hometown team took their misery on the road and became an international embarrassment with their own one-team lowlight reel. Dropped passes, bad throws, mediocre defense, lethargy incarnate — the Bungles are back in full force, baby! And this time they crapped the bed in London, at a sold-out Wembley Stadium, where they were handily beaten by Taylor’s old team.
Did you miss it? Run this clip — where it appears four Bengals have a shot at an interception — on repeat for three hours and you’ve basically watched the entire game. Or just bash your head into a wall until you pass out.
The Bengals will remain 0-8 for at least 13 more days — mercifully, it's the team's bye-week.
The only other winless NFL team — the Miami Dolphins — have a chance to leave the Bengals in the basement all by their lonesome tonight when they play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football.
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