It might’ve been quarterback Justin Fields’ best throw against the Bengals, and it skipped off Darnell Mooney’s hand for an incomplete pass.
It was one of two exasperating misses, the other being a would-be 35-yard touchdown pass that went through Allen Robinson’s hands, and both wide receivers regretted that they didn’t come through for the rookie.
If they ran the same play over again, Mooney wouldn’t ask Fields to change a thing on a throw he placed perfectly to beat Bengals cornerback Eli Apple for 23 yards.
“If the ball hits my hand, I’ve got to catch it regardless,” Mooney said Thursday. “It’s all good. Wherever it’s at, I’m good with it.”
Robinson didn’t offer much about his drop, but said he needed to, “just try to make the play.”
There is an adjustment going from Andy Dalton to Fields, Mooney explained, and the first-string wide receivers hadn’t gotten many reps with Fields until this week.
“Both of them throw the ball differently,” Mooney said. “Justin likes to lay it over the top of you a little bit; Andy likes to put it on you sometimes. It’s just understanding who’s in and the chemistry we have with the quarterbacks.”
Fields took over for Dalton late in the first half of the 20-17 win over the Bengals and completed 6 of 13 passes for 60 yards with an interception, giving him a 27.7 passer rating. Had Mooney and Robinson caught those passes, they would’ve boosted Fields’ rating to 84.8.