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Everything Zac Taylor Said After the Bengals-Ravens Game

Head Coach Zac Taylor
Head Coach Zac Taylor

(on how the game played out) "It's a tough game. That's the way these AFC North games are going to be, especially on the road in these types of atmospheres. I'm really proud with the way the guys fought. I thought the defense played well from start to finish. Obviously, we'd like to get a stop on the last drive. They did a really good job against a really explosive, tough offense. The offense gave them the three points to start the second half with the turnover, and then they did a good job holding them, and they kicked the long field goal. The defense fought, and the offense found a rhythm. We had the turnover on the first play and then two possessions in the second half, which goes to show you how quickly these games can go when you're facing a team that can eat up a clock like that. We ate up the clock, too, with long drives. So, it's tough. We've lost three games now on the last play of the game, that's what I told the guys. We just have to keep taking our shots, and these things have a way of balancing out, and we are going to get some of these wins in these situations." 

(on the thinking of the four plays at the goal line) "It's a really tough structure of the front. So, we feel good about some of the stuff we called. Obviously, it didn't work. We took a sack on a specialty play, and then it didn't quite go how we wanted to on the shovel [pass] on the fourth-down play. I felt comfortable with our package going in. When it doesn't work, you wish you did something different." 

(on if you learned something for the next time near the goal line) "That's part of the gameplan. You're preparing against fronts, and you're seeing what teams have done and why they've had success. It wasn't really because teams are running downhill. It was kind of getting stuff on the perimeter. We tried that, and it didn't work for us. And it did on the one play once we got Joe [Burrow] downhill, and then we snuck it in on the next play." 

(on what he saw on the shovel pass call) "Just watching tape." 

(on how he balances the decision whether to go for it or kick on the fourth down) "We felt good from the two [-yard line], maybe any further we would have just kicked it there. We felt comfortable with what we had called. Obviously, it didn't work out. I'm not going to say in hindsight you'd do it differently. Obviously, we see that that play didn't work. You would run a different play. The way that we managed the situation, I thought we would go up 17-13 right there. Our defense is playing real good and keeping them out of the end zone, except for the one that they had, and we would find a way to get a win." 

(on why the defense couldn't start fast tonight) "We just couldn't get that first, first down. We got a first down on the first play of the game, and then we probably went three straight three-and-outs if you want to continue to count that drive. Again, it was just finding a rhythm on the first two plays. It wasn't necessarily a feeling-out process. We just couldn't find a rhythm, and once we got that first, first down, really the remainder of the game we moved the ball exactly how we wanted to. Again, we just didn't start as fast as we wanted to." 

(on if WR Tee Higgins reaggravated his ankle) "He tried to fight through that thing really the whole game. Even at halftime, he talked about giving it another whirl. He just didn't feel good enough to keep going." 

(on if there was any reason WR Tee Higgins stood on the sideline in uniform) "He wanted to keep giving it a shot. He's a tough guy. And even situational, he wanted to be an option if that came up. Even if he wasn't going to be in the core part of things, and that situation just didn't ride." 

(on how encouraged he was to see HB Joe Mixon) "I thought he ran really hard. He had some good downhill runs for us. I thought the offensive line did a good job managing their fronts. There were some good perimeter blocks as well. I thought Joe [Mixon] did a really nice job in the run game. We started finding a rhythm there with the run and pass really at the end of the second quarter and all the way through the rest of the game. It was just too little, too late." 

(on the interception and what QB Joe Burrow saw) "I think Patrick [Queen] just made a good play on the ball really to be honest with you. It looked like the window was going to be there. He fell back into it and made a good pick from my vantage point on the sideline. We'll look at the tape and see what else could have happened. I thought he was on time with the throw. I thought the linebacker made a good play, and we'll assess it once we watch more video." 

(on how frustrating it is to give up only one offensive touchdown and lose) "It's just frustrating to lose. It doesn't matter how it shakes out. There are games where the offense scores a lot of points, and we need to pick the defense up and vice versa. Again, we knew this was a tough team and a tough environment and a tough test to come in here and get a win. We were close, but not close enough. We just have to learn from the things that each guy can do a little better. That I can do better and be able to rebound next week." 

(on if he can put his finger on why offense hasn't found rhythm that they had the last five games last season) "We've given a lot of close games, and they've come down to the last play of the game. As a whole we have to do better." 

(on how big of a spark S Vonn Bell's play was to get offense going) "It is. You need a pick-me-up sometimes in one of the phases. The defense has done a good job providing that. Vonn [Bell] has done a really good job coming down with the ball three times in the last few weeks. That does give you a spark. It gives you some momentum. The team feels that. It's not just a phase thing, it's an entire team thing. You've got to capitalize on that quickly. I thought the offense did a good job of that." 

(on the defensive play) "They've done an excellent job all season of keeping teams out of the end zone. Ultimately, we feel like we're a good enough team. If we keep teams out of the end zone and win the turnover battle, then we should be winning the games. Again, like I said, we just got off to a slow start. We had limited possessions in the second half. So, when we have whatever it was, a 17-play drive, it eats up a lot of time. You come away with nothing. Ultimately, that hurts you." 

(on the last drive taking up time) "We were trying to score on every play." 

(on losing three games on the last play) "It's just a resilient bunch. We've been down in some of these games. We were down 10-0 today. We've been down 17-0. We've been down some different situations, and we fight back. Again, we can see that the recipe for success is to start faster and play with the lead, that's ultimately what we want to do. We've got to continue to find ways to do that. Obviously, it's going to be different every game for the opponent. It's a group that I love, that I believe in. It's a long season. Obviously, we wish we had got this win. We didn't. I'm confident these guys will rebound, and we'll attack the next game on the road the right way." 

(on the Baltimore Ravens defense being stubborn with the two deep) "Obviously, they didn't want to give up the explosive play. So, it gets to the point where we have to take what we can get. I thought we moved the ball really well. The turnover was at one possession. But, really our last four possessions all potentially ended in points all inside the tight red zone." 

(on if the Baltimore Ravens dictated their offense) "Uh, yeah. We wanted to be smart about it and be efficient with our play calls." 

(on if their offense changes not having WR Tee Higgins) "We moved guys around a little bit. Ja'Marr [Chase] takes some of that. Ja'Marr's done a really good job since the Pittsburgh game when Tee went out and in this game in particular. Moving around and being able to handle being tagged differently in concepts. He's just done a masterful job of handling that over the course of the game. Obviously, he's in the room, he's in the install. He knows the offense. He can do it. I think during the game, he's done a really good job of adjusting when we need him to. TB [Tyler Boyd], as well. With TB moving around playing different spots, TB handled it well."