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Everything Zac Taylor Had To Say After The Bengals-Chiefs Game in Week 17 of the 2023 Season

OPENING STATEMENT: "I just feel for our guys. You ask them to fight all week and come in here and play together in a tough road environment. That is what they did today. Every guy left it on the field. It was an emotional game, a physical game. Things we knew were going to happen happened, and we came up short. You have to give Kansas City credit. They got it done there in the second half down the stretch. Our guys left it on the field, and we came up short today."

Q: On defense covering big plays from Kansas City…
TAYLOR: "Big plays are always a big factor."

Q: On second half offense…
TAYLOR: "You know we got stopped on the 4th-and-1 there on the goal line. We just struggled to get some rhythm. I don't know how many series we had after that. You have to give them credit. It was 4th-and-1. You are just trying to get some points there. I just feel like at 4th-and-1 we need to go for it there. They played a goal line front. It was a little further situation than we expected. It was a good play by them. They did good making the play off the front."

Q: Did you consider calling a timeout or getting out of the play?
TAYLOR: "We didn't know what was going to happen until after the fact. We knew the personnel was in the game, but the way they played it, after you see it, it is tough." 

Q: Was the strategy coming in based off ball control and time of possession?
TAYLOR: "That is really how their defense is set up. People have not really scored points on them. I think they are second in defense with points scored. They don't give up a lot of big plays. They do a good job rushing the passer. We try to be mindful of all of that. We moved it efficiently obviously in the first half. In the second half, we just wanted to maintain that rhythm."

Q: Were they doing anything to take away your receivers?
TAYLOR: "I just didn't think we did a good job finding rhythm in the second half."

Q: How was the blitz a factor in those last two drives?
TAYLOR: "I will have to see if it was blitzes or one-on-ones. When it happens, you just try to move on to the next play and the next call. I can't give you a great answer on exactly what happened there."

Q: On giving up big plays over weeks and the plan to stop them
TAYLOR: "Something we have to do better at."

Q: How frustrating is it to be knocked out of playoff contention?
TAYLOR: "That was not our goal to be out of contention."

Q: On losing Joe Burrow for the season
TAYLOR: "He is one of the best players on planet Earth. That is just a part of life. You have to be able to deal with it and move on. We are not the only team that deals with losing good players. I am proud of the way this team is able to fight and the way Jake (Browning) has stepped in to take the lead. This team has not laid down for anybody. It has not gone our way the last two weeks, but that doesn't mean I am not proud of what these guys have done for us."

Q: How do you feel about the team's future?
TAYLOR: "Extremely bright. I just got done telling these guys that not every locker room is like this in this league. Guys that play for each other and work every day since July 25th out there practicing. We just came up a little bit short. Unfortunately, not every year is your year. We still have one more game to play. It is big game for us at home against a divisional team. We are not sitting here like our season is over because we still have one big game left. We are looking forward to playing in front of our fans and our guys will give their best effort."

Q: On the high emotions in today's game
TAYLOR: "It is an emotional game. It is just the way it goes. These guys are doing everything they can, fighting everything. Sometimes it gets emotional."

Q: On Ja'Marr Chase's workload after injury
TAYLOR: "He certainly isn't 100% healthy."

Q: On Tee Higgins' injury
TAYLOR: "He pulled his hamstring early on, but again, it was another guy that wanted to help us. Not 100 percent when he goes back in there, but he was doing everything he can because he knew what this game meant for us as a team. We have plenty of guys like that in no way shape or form looking for a way out. They are looking for a way in. That is just what this team is all about."

Q: Why was Isiah Pacheco so successful today?
TAYLOR: "We will have to watch the tape."