There's 3:14 remaining in the first quarter when Andy Dalton breaks the huddle on third and two from the Bengals 49-yard line. Flanking to his left is wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, taking station where running back Brian Leonard would normally be positioned. Obviously this is going to be a passing play, probably leading Sanu into the flats, intending to clear out linebackers over the middle for an easy drag route.
Instead Andy Dalton made a few calls at the line, taking the snap from Trevor Robinson when the presnap reads were made. Kevin Zeitler, Andre Smith and Jermaine Gresham block down inside, leaving linebacker Michael Boley for pulling guard Clint Boling.
Initially Sanu followed Boling. Yet he redirected when defensive back Stevie Brown filled the gap. Instead Sanu powered through the A-gap behind Zeitler and Smith for the three-yard gain and the first down.
Sanu pieced together a career-game on Sunday against the New York Giants. With 10:12 remaining in the second quarter, the rookie receiver posted his first reception of the afternoon, hauling in a 12-yard reception to convert a third-and-eight. It was a comeback route with great coverage from Prince Amukamara, but a better job from Sanu using his body to block out the defensive back.
Later on the same drive the Bengals had fourth down with two yards to go on New York's 37-yard line with 7:44 left in the first half. Dalton takes the shotgun snap, feels a sense of mythological pressure and intends to rollout left. Suddenly he stops, finding Sanu over the middle splitting linebackers in coverage for a 15-yard gain and the first down.
Later in the game, with 4:26 remaining in the third quarter, Sanu converts another third and four, scoring a touchdown to give Cincinnati a 31-6 lead. Much like the earlier third down conversion, Sanu boxes out Amukamara in the endzone, perfect position for the touchdown.
Let's quickly recap. That's four plays, one run, converting three third downs (one of which was a touchdown) and a fourth down. Not bad at all, kid. Not bad at all. Sanu ended the game with a career-high four receptions for 47 yards receiving.