For the first since 2010 when former quarterback Carson Palmer wore it (along with Bobbie Williams, Domata Peko and Dhani Jones), the Cincinnati Bengals finally handed out the "C" patch. And we're not talking about Game Captains selected to meet the opposition with a pounding of the gloves and deferring winning coin tosses. Authentic Captains, writes Geoff Hobson:
"To get that "C," on my jersey is unbelievable," Maualuga said. "I came here, saw that "C," and was at a loss for words."
It was Maualuga who saw it first on his jersey and told Dalton.
"They've been my captains for the last four games," said head coach Marvin Lewis on Monday. "We decided to go ahead and put the "Cs on the jerseys."
"It means a lot and it shows that we're going to be the guys for the rest of this thing," said Dalton of this season.
Since the Week Eight bye when head coach Marvin Lewis challenged his newly minted captains, Rey Maualuga has generated 30 tackles, a quarterback sack, pass defensed and fumble recovery. He's shown traces of his former aggression, finally showing gains from an early season weight loss regiment.
After generating 13 tackles against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, Bengals linebacker Paul Guenther told Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer:
Said Guenther: "I think it is his best game since he’s been here. Certainly as (middle linebacker). He played some good games as a rookie at (outside linebacker). Overall there was very little error. He made good plays and covered well."
"I think that was 90 percent why he wasn’t doing things the way we wanted him to, was fatigue," Guenther said. "You’ve got to get up off the ground, call the huddle, call the adjustments and play good. Now he’s doing it."
Dalton on the other hand has been killing it. In his last three games the franchise quarterback has thrown nine touchdowns without an interception, breaking an eight-game interception streak dating back to Week One.
Additionally Dalton has generated a passer rating of 100 or better five times this year; all of them wins for Cincinnati. And the sixth win of the season against the Jaguars, Dalton managed a meager rating of 96.7.