SEATTLE - Zac Taylor is 0-1 as a head coach thanks to the Bengals’ What-If 21-20 loss to the Seahawks in Sunday’s opener at CenturyLink Field, but he can see the first victory.
“I’m disappointed we lost the game, but not with the effort,” Taylor said. “That’s a tough crew in there. We’re going to win a lot of games with those guys if they play like they did (today).”
Taylor knows why didn’t win despite out-gaining Seattle, 429-233, and keeping the ball nearly 10 more minutes. They didn’t score a touchdown in three red-zone trips, they missed a 45-yard field goal and they missed two third-down tackles that turned into a Seattle touchdown instead of a field goal.
“We expected to win,” Taylor said. “That’s the NFL. A lot of games come down to one play and if you have to step up and make it in one of the three phases.”
- The theme of the postgame was disappointment, but there was an underlying sense of relief. They outplayed one of the best teams in the league in a graveyard and they think that’s a jumping off point.
“Obviously we’re disappointed with the loss,” said right end Sam Hubbard, whose two sacks punctuated a superb defensive effort. “But if we fight like that for all 16 games, we’re going to win a lot of them.”
- John Ross, the former CenturyLink Field security guard, had a career day with seven catches for 158 yards. He’s less than 100 from last year’s total already.
“It was nice to do it here,” Ross said.
- Taylor said Seattle took away the run right away by playing base defense and the Bengals could manage 34 yards on 14 carries. They also lost the bell cow, Joe Mixon, for the second half with an ankle injury. Taylor wouldn’t elaborate, but Mixon walked out of the locker room without a boot.
“We were still in a position to win,” said Taylor, who said Seattle’s roster moves in the last days of preseason and last week’s trade for defensive end Javedeon Clowney indicated they were going to rush the passer.
- Seattle dared Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to beat them and he nearly did on a career-high 418 yards on a career-high 35 completions on 51 attempts. It was the fifth most in Bengals history and most since Carson Palmer had 440 yards in 2006 but lost to Philip Rivers’ 42-point second half.
- How good was defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo’s sceheme? He stunned Seattle with rotations that included five linemen, three safeties and a couple of times he had no backers. He gave the communication helmets to safeties Shawn Williams and Jessie Bates with Williams wearing it most of the time.
They held the same offense that rushed for 160 yards per game last year to 72 Sunday on 2.9 per carry.
“The defensive tackles let the backers run and make tackles,” Hubbard said.
- Dalton said his lost fumble in the red zone was on a play on which he said was the only time a wet ball affected him on a day there was downpour in the third quarter that stopped and then became a drizzle before stopping in the fourth, when the sun came out. He went to throw it at the Seattle 12, but it slipped out before he got a handle on it and went right into the arms of Seattle's Al Woods.
- Dalton also said he didn't think he lost a fumble on the last play of the game. He thought his arm was moving forward and was an incomplete pass.
View game action photo of the Bengals' 2019 season opener against the Seattle Seahawks.