Bengals coach admits Patriots corners “bullied” his wideouts on Sunday

Patriots CB JC Jackson (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Patriots CB JC Jackson (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor was critical of his wide receiver corps after his team’s loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday.

First-year Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor stated the obvious after his team fell to the New England Patriots at home, 34-13, on Sunday afternoon. When asked about what happened in the battle between the Bengals wideouts and the Patriots defensive backs, Taylor said that his players got “bullied” by New England.

Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton threw four interceptions against the Patriots – two that were picked off by Stephon Gilmore, and two that were nabbed by J.C. Jackson. One of Gilmore’s picks he returned to the house for a defensive touchdown, as well.

Despite Dalton being the person who threw all four balls, Taylor sounded as if most of the blame for the turnovers laid at the feet of his wideouts rather than his veteran quarterback.

“Three of them were against man-to-man coverage, one-on-ones,” Taylor said, according to ESPN reporter Ben Baby. “And we got bullied. We did. Guys could go compete, knock the ball down, go get a one-on-one [ball].”

The coach was clearly referring to receivers Tyler Boyd and Alex Erickson, in particular.

Gilmore shadowed Boyd for most of the afternoon and held him to just three catches for 26 yards on seven targets. Both of Gilmore’s INTs came while he was in coverage over Boyd.

Jackson held Erickson to just one catch for six yards on five targets.

No cornerbacks in the NFL have allowed a lower passer rating this season than the combined duo of Gilmore and Jackson. Jackson currently holds the top spot while Gilmore is a close second; Gilmore also leads the NFL in interceptions this year with six.

All in all, no Bengals wide receiver had more than three catches or 26 receiving yards on the day (both marks belonged to Boyd). Cincinnati tight end Tyler Eifert had a game-high 44 receiving yards on three catches as well.

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The Patriots currently boast the league’s top-ranked defense. New England is No. 1 in total yards allowed, No. 1 in total points allowed, No. 2 in passing yards allowed, and No. 7 in rushing yards allowed. Gilmore is also a leading candidate for the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award.