Head Coach Zac Taylor
(on the Bengals' defensive performance) "I thought the defense did a lot of really good things. The offense put the defense in a lot of tough positions with turnovers, penalties, and really, the defense gave up 20 points over the course of the game. We had a fumble for a touchdown at the end. They did a lot of good things we can build off of. If they play like that again, we can win a lot of football games. Again, this is one of those times when we didn't complement each other on both phases of the ball, and offensively, we have a lot of work to do. The one thing I can tell you is we are not going to panic. We know where the issues were. We knew we had to be efficient on first and second down. We had three turnovers, we had what felt like a ton of penalties that took us out of position, minus-yardage plays, which in some cases can be very avoidable. When you do that against the Baltimore Ravens, they are going to make you pay for it, and it is going to make you feel like that. But again, no time to hit the panic button. We can regroup and have a great week and go play well on Sunday."
(on Don "Wink" Martindale and his defensive creativity scheming specific blitzes against specific opponents) "It is difficult to hold up for too long. There are some instances where I saw some guys do some good things, and we just have to move on. There was some time where we had some errors, and it wasn't just on linemen. There were some free runners there that everyone needs to do their job. There were times where we had tight ends in protection, backs in protection, we have to make sure we are all dialed in. There are some times where there is going to be a free hitter that we have to be aware of as well. Again, it takes all of us, it takes me as the play caller for certain to make sure that we are put in better positions where we can manage that, take the pressure off. I am certainly accountable for that, there is no doubt about it."
(on the Bengals' struggles on third down) "We didn't do a great job on first, second down putting us in manageable third downs. When you get in a longer yardage, even third-and-7-plus against these guys, they are going to tee off on you. They probably have the highest blitz percentage of any team in the league on third-and-long. We knew that going in, [and] we wanted to do our best to stay out of it. We didn't do a good enough job there for a myriad of reasons. You do that, you are going to have a difficult time converting."
(on his offensive approach between keeping Joe Burrow healthy and scoring points in late-game scenarios) "You've got to be smart there. We are in the fourth quarter, we are down four scores, and he has taken a lot of hits. Again, they calmed down a little bit on defense, there were some pressures at the end, but I thought our guys did a good job regrouping on the last drive in the fourth quarter. [We] put together a nice drive, had to convert that fourth-and-1 on the throw. Guys did a nice job with some of the short-yardage situations. That was the world we wanted to be living in, to be honest with you. We were third-and-long, we wanted to be in those third-and-one, fourth-and-ones and be aggressive. We just didn't give ourselves that opportunity until it was too late. The one thing I was proud of with this team – there was no pointing fingers, there was no one trying to put blame on other people. Everyone was just trying to do their job, stay positive, and that is going to account for something next week [and] the week after as this season goes. This is a resilient team, very connected team. It is unfortunate that we put this performance on the field, playing and coaching. Again, we are not going to hit the panic button. We are going to regroup and be ready for the Colts."
(on if he thinks Joe Burrow took a step back today) "No. No, I do not. That's a tough, aggressive defense, and I have seen them do that a lot to a lot of quarterbacks in this league. There are certainly things that you can learn from. I expect that he will learn from that. But again, it is just one of those performances early in the season that you are going to have. You are going to have to learn from it, and I am very confident that he will do that."
(on when A.J. Green got hurt) "That is a great question. It was around [halftime], I can't pinpoint that."
(on if A.J. Green reaggravated his left hamstring) "I just know it was a soft tissue. That is all I know at this point."
(on if A.J. Green could have made a catch early in the game that resulted in an interception) "That was going to be tough. It was a zero blitz, we put a ball up there, and sometimes you just have to avoid disaster. That is one to learn from, and I was standing right there, on the line outside of A.J., and I did not think he could make that play. He probably didn't even know where the ball was, to be quite honest with you, when it went over his head."
(on if A.J. Green voiced any frustrations directed at him) "No. A.J. has been nothing but positive."
(on the team's aggressive approach choosing to receive the opening kickoff) "We knew there was potentially some weather coming in as well. There was a lot of things that factored into that. Yes, we wanted to be more aggressive, we wanted to get points on the opening drive, so there were a lot of factors that played into that."
(on if the Ravens' blitzing scheme sets a blueprint for how future teams will attack the Bengals) "A lot of teams have pressured us. Baltimore probably has more zero blitzes than anyone in the league up to this point. They zero blitzed Kansas City on the second or third play of the game. They are going to do it to anybody and everybody. If they smell blood in the water when they get a lead, which they do often times, it can make for a difficult day for you. The teams that have the blueprint to win [against the Ravens] get the lead early on them and do a good job holding the fort. Again, we did not put ourselves in a good position, but we feel very confident how we can handle the blitz and how we can attack it. Hats off to Baltimore, they had a great performance, great plan, and they took advantage of it."
(on if Joe Burrow's early struggles led to the team's overall poor performance throughout the day) "I don't like to think that. We will watch the tape and have a clear picture of how things went, but we still feel like we were in the game. 17-0 at halftime, we were not playing well on offense, our defense was doing some positive things. Come out and get a stop to start the second half, create a turnover, almost got their hands on a lot of balls. Sometimes it was four-man pressure, and guys were covering their tails off on the back-end, and when you see [Lamar Jackson] in person on the perimeter, he is like a magician out there. He can find the uncovered receiver even if he is not really uncovered. He makes great throws, but overall, I thought our defense gave us the opportunity to win if we had supported them in the other areas."
(on the difficulty of holding onto the ball when you get hit from behind) "That is just part of the job description, especially against a team that is quick like them up front, at back or at safety. They brought a lot of guys today. You just have to expect it at any moment. Sometimes you are on the perimeter, [Joe Burrow] has two hands on the ball, but those hits come from behind, and you just have to do a great job taking better care of it."
(on the Bengals' run defense and holding Lamar Jackson to a season low three yards rushing) "There are plusses there. Again, it is points that we are most concerned about. I thought they did some nice things. We gave them seven points on a turnover, we gave them good field position on two turnovers in the first half. For some of those rushing yards, you can see them come in the fourth quarter when they start to wear you down a little bit, and again, we have to do a better job keeping them off of the field."
(on if he has an update on D.J. Reader's injury) "I don't. No, I don't."
(on if he has an update on Sum Hubbard's injury) "I don't have an update on either of those guys yet. I have to talk to the trainers after this."
(on if he sees this game as a litmus test on where the team is, and where it needs to go) "Well, we certainly know that Baltimore is a great team. We expected better from our performance today. We know that today wasn't good enough. You give them a lead early, and you show that you are going to give up some pressure, and that is what they feed off of, and that is what they did today. I am still very confident in this team. I feel like we made great progress these last couple of weeks. Again, we are not going to hit the panic button, it is just one game. We know that we are going to refocus, and this is not indicative of what we want to put on tape."
QB Joe Burrow
(on the Raven's defensive plan) "He [Defensive Coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale] had a good plan. We just didn't execute our plan very well. I didn't play very well."
(on how to improve as a QB) "Personally, I can get the ball out of my hands faster. I wasn't very accurate today, which was disappointing to me. I thought we had a great week of practice, and it just didn't carry over."
(on Ravens' third-down dominance against Bengals' offense) "They were bringing a lot of different blitz looks. They brought some 'Cover Zero' that I personally didn't handle well. One positive on the day is our defense played really, really well. They played their tails off for us, and we've just got to give them a better showing on the offensive end."
(on keeping control of the football when getting hit from behind) "Unfortunately, I was pulling it twice…that happened when I was getting ready to pull through, and I didn't see the guy coming, so I've just got to hold the ball with two hands, harder."
(on constant pressure from Ravens' defense) "It wasn't tough mentally. Obviously, I was frustrated. We weren't playing very well, but we know how to handle pressure from a defense, and we've handled it the last three or four weeks. We just didn't handle it very well today."
(on his inability to get rid of ball quicker) "They do a good job of popping guys out into the middle to take away those middle throws and bringing guys you don't have accounted for and not bringing the guys you do have accounted for. They had a good plan, a good defense and a really good team."
(on Ravens' defensive schemes) "I just have to watch the film. It's tough to comment on specifics like that."
(on balance between extending plays and getting rid of the ball) "You have to find a balance. There's always plays to be had, and I consider myself a playmaker, and I didn't make any today that brought us down the field. I did hold the ball a little too long sometimes."
(on preparation moving forward) "No, I thought I prepared well. I thought our team prepared well. We work really hard throughout the week. It's just disappointing to come out here and play like that after you work so hard for seven or six days."
(on the confusion of offensive line against Ravens' blitz scheme) "I don't know about that. No, they had a good plan."
(on taking multiple sacks) "You just deal with it, come back and fight every play like I have been. We just didn't make the plays to win."
(on frustrations with the outcome of game) "It was a frustrating day. We didn't win. We didn't play well. We'll get it right."
(on bouncing back and dealing with loss) "We're building a culture here. We're moving in the right direction. Today obviously wasn't great, but we're going to look back on this day in a few years and say, 'Wow, that kind of propelled us forward.' We're going to keep working hard. We've got great people within the organization, on the team and a great coaching staff. We're going to keep working hard and keep coming to work every day to win games."
Jessie Bates III
(on the Bengals' gameplan to take [QB] Lamar Jackson out of the game) "Like I said at the beginning of the week, I think that we had a really good gameplan going into it to stop that zone read and the quarterback stuff, but we didn't do well on third down, which we didn't really emphasize on. [It's] emphasized every week, but we didn't do that well today. Early in the game,it was 3-0, and I think we had third-and-15, and they completed it, and I think they scored that drive as well. So, that's a huge, huge game-changer right there. But like I said, I think we did a good job defensively -- but when you're playing against really good teams like this, the room for error is just really small. I don't care how our offense isn't playing up to our standard, but I don't care how bad that is. We just have to keep it close; we've got to keep it close within how many points our offense is scoring."
(on how the Bengals' defense rebounded from a slow start and played better) "Like I said, we just didn't do well on the pass game on third down. I feel like we stopped the run early. I think they had the little reverse that kind of gashed us a little bit at the beginning, but other than that, we executed the gameplan very well. Obviously, their team scored more points than us,and that's a loss. So, we can really continue to go back to the drawing board. We've got Indy [Indianapolis] next week; excited to go back home and play Indianapolis. That's the blessing of this game. I mean, you have a hold of the game for about seven days. We're looking forward to that."
(on Baltimore TE Mark Andrews hurting them early, and the Bengals quieting him later) "It's just as simple as not letting him get the ball. We know where Lamar [Jackson] wants to go: either '15' [Marquise Brown] or '89' [Mark Andrews]. It showed up today as well. That's all he was really throwing to, was '15' or '89.' We didn't make the plays where it was at that point in time."
(on how frustrating that was for the Bengals) "It was very frustrating. Guys are in position to make plays; you've just got to make them. We challenge each other. We have a good culture that we're building here that we're about to hold each other accountable. We talk to each other. When [Mark] Andrews goes and catches the ball [on] Vonn Bell, I tell him, 'Lock his [butt] up.' We're just going to build on this; it's just a lot of good things that aren't showing up. We've just got to be more consistent."
(on how the defense was trying to make QB Lamar Jackson throw outside the numbers more) "That's what we knew coming into the game. [Mark Andrews] gets the ball in the middle of the field, and that's where all their completions come from. So, we're packing the middle of the field for sure. [Lamar Jackson] threw it outside the numbers, but unfortunately, we got off to a slow start."
(on CB Darius Phillips trying to spy on QB Lamar Jackson) "Darius showed up. He's a gamer, one of my best friends on the team. I'm not surprised at all that he showed up well."
(on reports that DT D.J. Reader suffered a possible season-ending injury) "That's new news to me as well. Obviously, that's a huge blow for the defense. Like I said in another interview, I think, early in the year, when stuff like this happens, it creates opportunities for other guys to come in and make an impact. So, we're going to be praying for D.J., and hopefully he can have a speedy recovery and whoever is next up has to play well just like D.J. has."
View photos of the Cincinnati Bengals in action against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.
WR Tyler Boyd
(on struggling to convert on third down) "Absolutely. We were just shooting ourselves in our own foot. We were turning the ball over. We were playing behind the chains – a couple false starts [and] a couple penalties. That's something we have to stay poised with, especially playing against a good defense like the Ravens. I feel like we came out there with a great, gameplan, because the first drive … We had a big play in the first play of the game. In our second drive, we came out with another big play. Then, we started going quiet again. But I don't know. We just have to find ways to always create a rhythm each and every drive."
(on the team practicing well but struggling in the game.) "Absolutely. It sucks, because we go out there, and we feel like we practice the best that we can, we always feel that we should translate that into the games – and the defense played a heck of a game. For us on the other side, it wasn't too pretty, and that's what really hurts me, because we put the time in, and we put so much time in and repetition to this. And it just didn't work for us."
(on how to fix their third-down struggles) "We just have to find a way to get open. We have to find ways to speed up the routes. We have to a way to just out-execute those guys. Like I said, it was tough, because we were backed up on a few of the third downs. So, we just have to find a way to out-execute those guys and figure out different schemes to win. [If] they want to send crazy stunts at us, we should be able to pick it up and just deliver a ball so that we can catch and run at least for the first down."
(on losing WR A.J. Green to injury) "It hurt a lot, because he's our leader. He's our role model, and he's a guy that will spark a play for this team to continue to excel. But I don't really know his situation. I hope that he heals quickly, and we get him next week."
(on if he spoke to WR A.J. Green following Green's injury) "I didn't really. … He has an injury that was bothering him, I guess – or whatever it was – and I just let him do his thing, because at the end of the day, we have a game to play. We have to go out there and finish playing. So, with all that, we'll just figure it out after the game."
(on if WR A.J. Green showed more frustration than usual) "No, not really. I think we were all frustrated at a point, so it's kind of hard to pick out individual guys. We were all upset, not about our targets or things like that, [but] because we all want to win. That's what it all comes down to. We felt that we left a lot out there, and that was the worst performance of the offense that we ever displayed. And I can tell you, that will never happen again."
(on his leaping attempt on a fourth-down throw) "First of all, it was a broken-up play. It was a play to kind of get a pick-and-rub, and I come back in. I just kept playing, because I knew it was fourth down. And if the ball was a little bit lower, then I'm sure I would have made that play."
(on if this was a step in the wrong direction) "No, I feel like we needed this, because [the Ravens] have one of the best defenses in the league. I felt, us going against them so early should let us know how much harder we should go, how much we should prepare, and never settle for less – never take anything for granted. Just continue to go out there and try to beat anybody. So, it's a learning lesson for us on offense, so now we know what to expect with anybody that we face in the near future and what they can throw at us. So, we should be good."
LB Logan Wilson
(on what he sees in pass coverage before he gets a deflected interception) "We just had a blitz dialed up there, and based on what the offense gave us, I could read it and drop back out of it. I just so happened to drop back out, and that's where Lamar [Jackson] ended up throwing it. But I'll trade those interceptions for wins anytime. I don't care, I just want to win." (Reporter: So, initially, you could've blitzed but based off of what you saw, you decided to drop into coverage?) "Yes."
(on what his indicator is to drop into coverage instead of blitz) "Just based on how the O-line protects it."
(on the defensive game plan) "We had a great week at practice, as you guys know. So, I think there's something that we could've always done better throughout this game. But for the most part, I think we executed our gameplan as well as we could've. There are some plays we'd like to have back. Lamar [Jackson] keeps a lot of plays alive with his feet. And sometimes, that's tough; that's why we have to cage him [and] keep him inside of the pocket. But then again, there's a reason why he's the former MVP."
(on what it was like chasing around QB Lamar Jackson) "There are some plays, like you said, I was spying him. It's kind of surreal, to be honest, to be in that position that you're about to tackle Lamar Jackson, because you see him on Sundays all the time, especially the last couple of years, where he's really stepped up his game. So, he's a force to be reckoned with. Obviously, he's very agile. I think he's a little bummed up with his knee. He's definitely very shifty, and he can get away from pretty much anyone. It was definitely a tough job."
(on what was CB Darius Phillips' role) "It was just based on what we called. Sometimes, depending on what package we're in. When he was in, he was playing some nickel. We had some blitzes dialed up for him to go make some plays. So, I think that's what he did."
(on how they were able to shut down TE Mark Andrews after the first quarter) "He's Lamar's go-to target. I think everyone knows that, especially in the red zone. So, we needed to adjust to that, knowing where he's going to be, Lamar is going to be looking for him. Like I said, I think we adjusted to that in the second half."
(on what was the difference between the defense's lack of success on the first three possessions and the success they had following) "I think early on, we struggled getting off the field on third down. Lamar [Jackson] kept some plays alive, and we needed to get off the field when we should've. I think in the second half when those drives happened, we ended up getting off the field on third down which helped us. I think that was the biggest thing."
(on how he would describe the team's defensive identity) "I would say that we're tough. We're physical, and we're just continuing to get better each and every day. Obviously, each gameplan is going to be different from week to week based on the offense we're playing. But we have guys that are coming in and working hard and believing in our defensive coaching staff that they're going to put us in the best position to be successful."
(on what head coach Zac Taylor said to the team after the game) "That was basically it; that we're not going to panic. We're not going to push the panic button. We're very capable of playing better in all three phases of the game. So, it's just a matter of putting that complete game together. We believe we can do it, but it starts this next week in practice."
(on if certain defensive schemes they ran were effective) "I definitely think it was. That was our gameplan coming into this week, and like I said, we had a good week in practice. So, we believed in that gameplan. There's always something we wanted to have back. But for the most part, I thought we executed that gameplan well."