A game-opening quarterback sack by Domata Peko set a tone for Cincinnati that would generate Jaguar-sized heads for the offense and jeers from angry Jacksonville fans. Despite consecutive offsides by Michael Johnson and Rey Maualuga, wiping out the yards lost from Peko's hard-earned quarterback sack, the Jaguars would punt. Then Andy Dalton would throw an interception that was deflected off Chris Pressley's fingertips and linebacker Kyle Bosworth would fumble the interception to Andre Smith. A fairly predictable start to any NFL game. Cincinnati settled down with hitch routes to Andrew Hawkins and crossing patterns to backup rookie tight end Orson Charles.
And only minutes after recovering a fumble that negated a possible Jacksonville score, offensive tackle Andre Smith had the block of the drive. With 8:28 remaining in the first quarter, defensive end Austen Lane slanted inside. Smith slide inside to help, taking on Lane's power rush and establishing a base to neutralize the rush.
It really wasn't anything special, but we suspect it wasn't designed to feature Lane as a primary rusher. At that point the ever-vigalent Smith realized that C.J. Mosley, from the opposite side of the defensive line, looped around, setting himself up with a free shot on the quarterback. By this time Andy Dalton slide to his right running through his progressions, when an eye-full of Mosley. Dalton redirected to his left, with Smith having knocked Lane to the ground and Mosley follows in pursuit. Smith takes notice.
Even with Lane having recovered, Mosley was the immediate threat. Smith neutralized that threat.
The block freed Dalton to scramble five yards, picking up the first down while sustaining a drive.
Though Cincinnati's possession eventually stalls with a false start on Andrew Hawkins, a near-interception by Rashean Mathis and a 14-yard screen to Brian Leonard. But who says that the Bengals actually need convert a third down on their own? Antwon Blake hits Dalton around the knees on a blitz drawing a roughing the passer, pushing Cincinnati to the 22-yard line following the 15-yard penalty. A minimal four-yard run by Green-Ellis, followed by an incomplete and quick one-yard gain to A.J. Green forced Cincinnati to concede possession with a 35-yard Mike Nugent field goal, taking a 3-0 lead.