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Defense helps Bengals score first win of the season

Even when Cedric Benson ran from seven yards out to score the Bengals third touchdown of the game, with 9:20 left in the third quarter, a 21-3 lead, a possession after Dhani Jones picked off a David Garrard pass, I was nervous. With the Bengals winning the game 21-3, leading into the fourth quarter, I was nervous. When the Jaguars recovered a Glenn Holt fumble with 13:27 left in the game returning the turnover for a touchdown, I got really nervous. The score was 21-13 with over thirteen minutes left in the game. When the Jaguars went on an 11-play, 73 yard drive in 4:39 leaving a two-point try to tie the game, I was so nervous my hands violently shook.

The Bengals offense went nine plays on the ensuing possession, punting after wiping over four minutes off the clock. Then, the Bengals defense kept the pressure on David Garrard, making him uncomfortable in the pocket, rushing passes for incompletes; even a few passes that should have been picked off. It wasn't until the six minute mark that the Bengals allowed the Jaguars offense to move the ball with any consistency. Charting their drives, they go:

Plays Yards Results
9 34 Punt
3 8 Punt
5 7 Punt
6 15 FG
3 17 End of Half
7 42 Interception
3 0 Punt
3 -6 Punt
10 54 FG
3 -1 Punt
11 73 Touchdown
1 6 End of Game

The Bengals defense forced the Jaguars to go three-and-out four times, including two possessions that compiled negative yardage; which includes a long rushing play of eight yards (Maurice Jones-Drew). Six Jaguars possessions never accumulated more than nine yards. The Bengals rushing defense limited the Jaguars to 68 yards rushing on 21 rushing plays (3.2 yards per rush).

Chinedum Ndukwe, Pat Sims and Robert Geathers recorded sacks and Dhani Jones recorded an interception and made a great stop during the Bengals goal line stand that forced the Jaguars into a third-and-three with 13:40 left in the game -- which ended in an incomplete, false start and 26-yard field goal -- which includes 15 rushes for 45 yards rushing between Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor combined.

In the end, it was Johnathan Joseph and Marvin White disrupting a three-yard pass that would have given the Jaguars two points on conversion and the tie. It was also a consistent pass rush on Garrard by Geathers, Antwan Odom, Domata Peko, John Thornton and Pat Sims that kept the Jaguars offense off-balanced -- likely due to a group of linemen that are patched together. Though you can't argue that for much of the game, the Bengals secondary kept Jacksonville receivers covered unlike any other game this season. Regardless, the Bengals defense showed up without two-hand touch practices that embarrassed us so much last week.