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Bengals put up an early fight but ultimately fall to New England in Week 15

Despite a surprising early lead, the Cincinnati Bengals were no match for the Patriots in Week 15 as they fall to 1-13 and secure the top pick of the 2020 Draft.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Alex Erickson muffs the punt as New England Patriots defensive end John Simon and cornerback Tony McRae scramble for the loose ball during the second quarter at Paul Brown Stadium Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals have cemented themselves at the bottom of the NFL totem pole as they move to a record of 1-13 following a Week 15 loss to the New England Patriots. The Bengals held a 10-7 first quarter lead before the Patriots got on track and dominated the remainder of the game to secure a 34-13 victory. The Patriots managed to score from all angles, as they reached their final tally via two passing touchdowns, one rushing TD, a defensive TD, and two field goals.

Andy Dalton had a brutal day in which he completed 17 of 31 pass attempts for a meager 151 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions. Joe Mixon attempted to carry the team on his back, amassing 136 yards on 25 rushing attempts, but it was not nearly enough.

The 2-11 New York Giants beat the Miami Dolphins which brings them to 3-11. This means the Bengals are almost guaranteed to have the worst record in the NFL at the end of the season. The Bengals will secure their position at the bottom with a loss in either one of their last two games vs. Miami and Cleveland. The good news that comes with being the worst team in the league, is that the Bengals will secure the first pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Andy Dalton is not getting any younger and, if today is any indication, he is also not getting any better. The Bengals don’t have a better alternative at this time, as Ryan Finley’s brief stint as a starter did not go well at all in Cincinnati. Given this harsh reality, most expect the Bengals to target a quarterback if they have the first overall pick next year. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was just announced as the Heisman Trophy winner and is a likely target for the Bengals. Of note, Burrow is an Ohio native. Who doesn’t love a good homecoming story? There will be lots of speculation regarding who will be first pick of the draft in the months leading up to April, but there is one thing we now know: that pick will likely belong to Cincinnati.