Missed opportunity: Bengals fall to Packers in OT

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) runs after a catch in front of Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) in the second half of an NFL football game in Cincinnati, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Caption
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) runs after a catch in front of Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) in the second half of an NFL football game in Cincinnati, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Credit: AJ Mast

Credit: AJ Mast

Green Bay’s Mason Crosby misses three field goals, but connects on game winner

CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals overcame a slow start to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, but even after being gifted extra opportunities to try to win the game, they eventually fell in overtime.

Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby missed three potential game-winning field goals before finally driving one through the uprights to deliver the Bengals a 25-22 overtime loss Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

Bengals rookie Evan McPherson also missed two field goals that could have won the game for Cincinnati, but Crosby’s 49-yarder with 1:55 left on the clock ended it. The Bengals fall to 3-2, while the Packers are 4-1.

“I didn’t really feel like (the wind) was right to left, and so I thought there was no chance I was missing left,” McPherson said of his miss in OT. “If anything, I thought the wind was blowing left to right, so I guess when the ball turned left, it kind of caught me off guard. And honestly, I thought the refs were playing a game with us when I looked down there and they were doing the no-good motion. Honestly thought they were playing a game because I struck it really well and I was real confident that it was going in.”

The comeback attempt was remarkable on a day the Bengals weren’t at their best. After trailing 16-7 late in the second quarter, they got a 70-yard touchdown reception from Ja’Marr Chase to cut the deficit going into halftime and eventually tied the game at 22 on a Joe Mixon touchdown run and Tee Higgins two-point conversion catch with 3:27 left.

Crosby missed two field goal attempts over the final two and a half minutes of regulation, McPherson hit the right upright on a 57-yarder in between, and both again missed tries in overtime. Crosby, who missed a point after attempt on the Packers’ first touchdown of the game, had missed a combined two field goal attempts the past two years.

McPherson had two game-winners earlier in the season.

Burrow struggled to find a rhythm and had to be taken to the hospital after the game to be evaluated for a throat contusion that likely resulted from a hit at the end of a scramble in the second quarter. The Bengals went three-and-out on four of their first five drives, and Burrow was picked off the first series of the second half, but they got some timely catches from Chase and Higgins to charge up the offense at important times.

Chase’s big touchdown, on which he made safety Darnell Savage whiff at the 25-yard line, came with 36 seconds left to make it a 16-14 deficit going into halftime after the Packers had scored 16 straight points in the second quarter.

Green Bay got two field goals from Crosby in the second half to make it a 22-14 lead with 11:40 left, but Chase and Higgins had a pair of big third-down catches to extend a drive in the fourth quarter before Mixon eventually punched in the tying score.

Mixon had been limited at times during the game, as Samaje Perine took on more of the workload with Mixon coming back from an ankle injury that kept him from practicing all week. Perine caught a pass to convert a fourth down in the first quarter and six plays later got the Bengals on the board with a 4-yard touchdown reception.

That touchdown was about as much life as the Bengals’ offense showed all first half until Chase’s touchdown. Cincinnati couldn’t even take advantage of a turnover in the first quarter, after Chidobe Awuzie intercepted Aaron Rodgers at the Bengals’ 16-yard line and returned it 42 yards to the Packers’ 42. The Bengals gained one yard and then punted.

After Perine’s touchdown, the Packers went right down the field with a scoring drive of their own, capped by Rodgers’ 12-yard pass to A.J. Dillon. Crosby hit the left upright on the point after attempt to allow the Bengals to hold the lead for a while longer, but Crosby hit a 44-yard field goal the next drive and Rodgers connected with Davante Adams in the corner of the endzone on the next series for the 16-7 lead with 1:07 left in the half.

The Bengals had outscored opponents 34-7 in the third quarter of their previous four games but couldn’t take advantage with possession coming out of halftime, as Burrow threw his first of two interceptions in the game that first drive of the third quarter. He also threw an interception to begin overtime, but the defense held the Packers to a field goal attempt to extend the game.

Burrow finished with 281 yards and two touchdowns and Mixon and Perine combined for 92 yards rushing. Rodgers threw for 344 yards and two touchdowns with one interception, while Adams was on the receiving end of 11 passes for 206 yards and one touchdown. Jones finished with 103 yards rushing.

“We didn’t need a moral victory to show us that we’re capable of beating great teams in this league,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “We just want to win them and put ourselves in better positions. But again, sometimes when it comes down to something like that.”

SUNDAY’S GAME

Bengals at Lions, 1 p.m., Fox, 700, 1530, 102.7, 104.7