Fri, 26 Feb 2021

The Top 10 Plays From The Bengals 2020 Season

Cincinnati Bengals
21 Jan 2021, 20:58 GMT+10

Michael LaPlaca

From jaw-dropping catches and bone-crushing hits that elicited "oohs" and "ahhs" over the course of the year, the Bengals enjoyed a significant number of memorable moments during the 2020 season.

The Bengals made more than their share of significant plays this season in all three phases of the game.

Below is the Bengals.com ranking of those top plays based off the in-game importance and the highlight reel nature.

10. Jessie Bates III Leaps High For The Interception Versus Indianapolis

Bates earned a Second Team, All-Pro honor for his terrific play during the 2020 season. One of the plays that embodied how he elevated his game to the next level came in Week 6 against future Hall of Fame quarterback Phillip Rivers and the Colts. With the Bengals trailing by one early in the fourth quarter, Bates read the route by receiver Zach Pascal perfectly for an impressive interception.

9. Tee Higgins Toe Drag Swag Touchdown At Houston

This was one of the most impressive catches of the season as Higgins gave the Bengals offense a big second half boost at Houston. With the game tied at 17-17 and the Bengals at the Texans 20-yard line, quarterback Brandon Allen threw a perfect pass to the back left side of the end zone. That's where Higgins made a spectacular adjustment, kept both toes inbounds and held on for his sixth touchdown of the season.

8. Tyler Boyd's 72-Yard Touchdown At Miami

What turned out to be a simple play call to convert a third down and two turned out to be the longest offensive touchdown of the season. Allen found Tyler Boyd, and the wide receiver did the rest. Boyd took the short pass and run up the sideline for a 72-yard touchdown. Not only was it the longest play of Boyd's career, but it was the Bengals' longest offensive play from scrimmage since Andy Dalton's 77-yard touchdown to A.J. Green in 2017.

7. Joe Burrow's First Career NFL Touchdown Versus Chargers

With organized team activities, minicamp and preseason games wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many wondered how the Bengals' No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow would play in 2020. Those watching early on could see Burrow was ready for the moment. Burrow, thanks to a great block by center Trey Hopkins, zipped up the middle for a 23-yard touchdown, the first of his NFL career. Burrow became the first Bengals rookie quarterback to rush for a touchdown in a season opener since Paul Robinson did it in 1968, which also was against the Chargers.

6. Joe Mixon Takes It To The House For 34 Yards Against Jacksonville

With 181 total yards and three touchdowns, Joe Mixon balled out in Week 4 against the Jaguars. What was remarkable about Mixon's performance was he was a late addition to the injury report with a chest issue popping the day before. All three of Mixon's touchdowns were excellent plays against the Jaguars defense, but the second one was the most important. Mixon broke free at the line of scrimmage and tore down the right side for a 34-yard score to cap the first drive of the second half, giving the Bengals their first lead, 17-13. It proved to be the game's turning point as the Bengals defense stopped the Jaguars on the ensuing drive. That set up Mixon's third touchdown and helped seal win No. 1 of the 2020 season.

5. Jessie Bates III Interception In The End Zone Against The Titans

Typically top plays don't happen in the first quarter of games, but this one was a critical tone setter for the Bengals defense. After the Bengals went ahead 3-0 on their opening drive, Tennessee drove all the way down to the Cincinnati 8-yard line. Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who up to that point had 15 passing touchdowns to two interceptions, thought he had a mismatch with receiver A.J. Brown. However, Bates made a perfect read and closed in quickly to force the turnover and change the game's momentum en route to a Bengals victory.

4. Giovani Bernard's 3-yard Touchdown Versus The Browns

In Week 7 against the Cleveland Browns, Burrow completed 35 of 47 passes for 406 yards, the first 400-yard passing game of his pro career. One of his biggest plays came on fourth-and-1 when he connected on a 3-yard, go-ahead TD pass to Bernard with just over a minute to play. It was a play that featured terrific execution of Burrow reading the defense and Bernard's veteran route running to get the touchdown.

3. Sam Hubbard Seals The Win Over The Texans

After Samaje Perine scored his second touchdown of the game to put the Bengals up 34-31 with 1:57 remaining on the road at Houston. The Bengals defense needed a big-time play and got one from Sam Hubbard. Hubbard put a hit on the Texans' Deshaun Watson and forced a fumble that landed in the arms of Margus Hunt, enabling the Bengals to finish off a 37-31 victory.

2. Brandon Wilson's 103-Yard Kickoff Return

There were only seven kickoffs returned for a touchdown this season. Wilson's 103-yard return for a score not only brought a wave of energy, but set a new team record for the longest play in franchise history. It was also the second-longest return of the 2020 season Wilson now has two career kickoff returns for TDs, tied with Tremaine Mack for the most in team history.

1. Vonn Bell's Hit On JuJu Smith-Schuster

This play was set up well in advance when Bengals defensive back Vonn Bell took exception to Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster's pre-game dance routines on the logo at opposing stadiums. Bell had a chance to express his displeasure and did so in a big way. He rocked Smith-Schuster directly after he caught a first-quarter pass, forcing a fumble that was recovered by the Bengals. The Bengals scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive as it set the tone for a thrilling 27-17 triumph on Monday Night Football.

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