Bengals coach Zac Taylor has had no time to process the Rams’ crushing Super Bowl LIII loss

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Don’t you always wonder what it’s like for a man to coach in the Super Bowl, then, a day or two later, get introduced as the new coach of Team X? It’s crazy. Happened twice last week. The Patriots found it odd that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was in their Atlanta lobby at 9 a.m. Monday, 5.5 hours after the Super Bowl victory party ended, to ferry new coach Brian Flores (ex-Patriots defensive coordinator) to south Florida to be introduced as coach Monday afternoon. Zac Taylor had a few more hours to get his family to Cincinnati. The former Rams quarterback coach’s introductory press conference was Tuesday.

So it was interesting to hear Taylor’s reaction over the weekend when I asked him: “How disappointing was it to play the way your offense played in the Super Bowl?”

“I haven’t had a chance to process it, quite honestly,” he said from Cincinnati. “There just hasn’t been time. I haven’t watched the game. Honestly, I’m conflicted. It’s devastating to work so hard to get to the championship game, and for your entire team to pour everything they’ve got into it, and then to lose like that.

“But five or six hours after the game, I’m on a plane to Cincinnati, on the way to fulfill a dream I’ve had for so long—to be a head coach in the NFL. And then your brain goes there. It’s just … it’s just the way it is, and you’ve got to turn the page.”

There was some discomfort in his voice, bordering on pain. It’s easy to sit back and say, Buck up, buddy. You’re about to make millions to coach a football team. True, but if you’ve been a football coach for a while, and you help your team get to the Super Bowl, regardless of the outcome, it’s got to be odd to just walk out the door a few hours after the biggest game of all of your lives, no time to process or adjust, and you move on while everyone else wallows.

One other question. I asked Taylor if he’d had much of a chance to consider how close the Rams came to taking a lead with four minutes left in the third quarter, when Jason McCourty, panic-stricken, ran 20 yards in 2.4 seconds (per NFL Next Gen Stats) to bat a decisive touchdown away from Brandin Cooks in the back of the end zone. If Jared Goff was a millisecond quicker with his throw, the touchdown would have given LA a 7-3 lead and put huge pressure on New England. Instead, the Rams settled for a field goal to tie it, 3-3.

Taylor: Sigh.

“In football, you just miss by inch sometimes,” he said. “You can be an inch from … “

Sigh again.

“That’s football in a nutshell. That’s football.”

I thought that would be it from Taylor, but he brightened, as his mentor Sean McVay would have. Taylor continued, “Criticism, pressure, adversity. We want our staff and our players to understand that this is the NFL. This is why you do this job. The energy, the camaraderie, can’t be duplicated, except maybe at the craps table in Vegas when you’re on a roll.”

The Bengals have needed some energy, and an offensive spur. I’m looking forward to seeing what Taylor can provide.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America by clicking here

Watch Bengals vs. Giants Monday Night Football – livestream online

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Eli Manning and the New York Giants (5-3) host Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1) on Monday Night Football. With two of the top-six offenses in the league, look for plenty of points to be scored.

Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green has made a living out of embarrassing NFL cornerbacks, Pro Bowlers and rookies alike. Green is second in the NFL in receiving yards with 896. Against a Giants secondary that continues to give up big plays, look for Dalton to target Green early and often.

For the Giants, Odell Beckham Jr. has been on a roll scoring touchdowns and has five TD grabs in his last four games. Don’t be surprised for that trend to continue.

Here’s how to watch the game:

When: 8:30 p.m. ET

Broadcast network: ESPN

Live Stream: ESPN.com

 

Watch Redskins vs. Bengals – live stream online

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A full day of NFL games begins with an inter-conference battle between the Washington Redskins (4-3) and Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) at Wembley Stadium. The Redskins look to avenge a loss to the Lions last week while the Bengals will try to climb to .500 and move to within a half game from the Steelers atop the AFC North.

The Redskins will look to contain Bengals receiver A.J. Green, who is second in the NFL with 775 yards through seven games.

When: 9:30 a.m. ET

Broadcast network: FOX

Live Stream: Foxsportsgo.com, NFL Game Pass