Cincinnati Bengals: Sluggish Opener Leaves Joe Burrow and Offense Looking for Answers
Cincinnati started 0-2 last season and still won the AFC North.
However, the Bengals (0-1) are in danger of another 0-2 start as they prepare to host Baltimore (1-0) in Week 2.
Just a few days after reportedly becoming the NFL's highest-paid player, Joe Burrow had perhaps the worst game of his career in Cincinnati's 24-3 loss at Cleveland on Sunday. Burrow completed 14 of 31 passes for just 82 yards in rainy conditions, and none of Cincinnati's targets reached 40 yards in receiving.
Burrow tried to put the defeat in perspective, knowing there are 16 games left.
"Nobody's panicking," Burrow said via the team's website. "Week 1 doesn't define anybody's season. Obviously, not very good out there, anybody that watched saw that. But we've been in this spot before and we've come back stronger and had great years, so that's what we're going to do."
Bengals star receiver Ja'Marr Chase (five catches, 39 yards) referred to the Browns as "elves" during the week. Now Chase will be looking to come up bigger against Baltimore after being shut down in Cleveland.
"It's frustrating because I called their ass elves and we just lost to some elves," Chase said via ESPN's Cameron Wolfe. "I'm pissed on my part."
Cleveland Browns: Jack Conklin Suffered Season-Ending Knee Injury
The Browns' convincing Week 1 win over Cincinnati came with a price, as starting right tackle Jack Conklin suffered a season-ending torn ACL & MCL, Head Coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed Monday.
"Disappointed for him, but classic football, you never know when these things happen and it's going to be next man up type of thing," Stefanski said via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
Rookie fourth-round pick Dewand Jones took over after Conklin was injured and will now step into the starting role. The Browns didn't have a huge offensive day against Cincinnati, as Deshaun Watson threw for just 154 yards in the rain. However, Nick Chubb ran for 106 yards on 18 carries, and Watson also ran for a touchdown.
The Browns will have a chance to start 2-0 in the division when they travel to Pittsburgh on "Monday Night Football" next week.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Injuries Mount in One-Sided Loss to 49ers
The Steelers were thoroughly outplayed at home by San Francisco in Week 1 and suffered injuries to several key players. Wide receiver Diontae Johnson (hamstring), defensive tackle Cam Heyward (groin) and tight end Pat Freiermuth (chest) all left the game early with injuries.
Head Coach Mike Tomlin did not give a timetable for any of them to return, so the Steelers may be shorthanded when they host the Browns next week.
"We'll assess those things as we plan and move into next week," Tomlin said via the team’s website.
Tomlin admitted the Steelers were dominated by the 49ers, who rushed for 189 yards and controlled the line on both sides.
"It was a failure on our part in all areas," Tomlin said. "We've got to coach better. We've got to play better.
"We absorb the negativity that comes with how we performed today, and we go back to work. We've got to prepare them better. They've got to play better. That's just the reality of it. We got kicked in the teeth today in a lot of ways."