Before he came out after the first half, Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton completed 10 of 15 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. He had a QB rating of 102.4. Against a division rival on the road in the first game of the season, you can't ask any more from a rookie in the most important position on the field.
Once Dalton left at halftime, Bruce Gradkowski came in the second half and led the team to victory. Gradkowski finished the game completing five of 12 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown for a QB rating of 96.5.
Jay Gruden was pleased with his rookie signal caller's play. Other than one minor mistake in checking to a run play, he felt Dalton did exactly what he wanted him to do.
"I thought he did outstanding. There was a miscue in the running game but other than that I think he was very good," Gruden said. "He was smart in the pocket and did some good things."
The "miscue" was when Dalton checked a run to the wrong side. Benson seemed to correct him on the field after the play was over.
Gruden said that was the "only head-scratcher."
Lewis was impressed with Gradkowski's poise coming off the bench in the second half of the game.
"I think there was a calmness to him, which was very helpful," Lewis said. "He's been there before and been in this situation, and so he came right in, stepped in and was ready to go and that was great."
Both quarterbacks combined to have a 99.8 passer rating in the first game of the season. You can't ask for much more from a rookie starter and his backup.