Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton launched the football towards A.J. Green on the first offensive play of the game. Either the football sailed or Green ran his route incorrectly... the football was intercepted by Jonathan Banks.
Thankfully the Bengals defense didn't give an inch. Well, they allowed five yards on two plays but an Anthony Collins false start put Tampa back to the ten-yard line on third down. After a fumbled snap, Carlos Dunlap wrapped up quarterback Josh McCown for the sack.
Tampa takes a 3-0 lead.
Cincinnati responded with a three-and-out that was capped by a third down sack by Gerald McCoy (who beat Clint Boling).
It wasn't a good first quarter and one may conclude that the second quarter is in store for something similar. Cincinnati's offense had an interception and two punts in the first quarter -- the first punt was the result of a three-and-out.
Tampa Bay, on the other hand, scored their first touchdown of the afternoon on a seven-yard touchdown run by Doug Martin with 12:00 minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Easy. Buccaneers up 10-0 after Martin seven-yard touchdown run. Dunlap and Lamur couldn't shed the block at all.— Cincy Jungle (@CincyJungle) November 30, 2014
Easy seven-yard TD run by Doug Martin gives the Buccaneers a 10-0 lead. https://t.co/yOeTyzF6uq— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 30, 2014
The Bengals' offense, after an interception (that led to a game-opening field goal for Tampa Bay) and two punts (the first was a three-and-out), finally strung together positive momentum. The Bengals, who opened their second quarter offense from their own 22-yard line, reached Tampa's 20-yard line.
Dalton took the snap and heaved it deep toward the front left pylon, targeting a double-covered A.J. Green.
Andy Dalton must be sick, trying to throw into double coverage and waste a RZ possession. https://t.co/GrzRWOr7Uy— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 30, 2014
Let's recap one more time.
The Bengals offense has opened the game with four possessions. And during those possessions, quarterback Andy Dalton threw two interceptions (including the first play of the game that led to a Buccaneers field goal) and added two more punts (the first of which was three-and-out).
Cincinnati has struggled. Has? -- They still are.
Even during mid-quarter possession in the second, reaching the Tampa Bay's 20-yard line, Dalton threw a poorly advised football into double-coverage targeting A.J. Green. Interception. Touchback. Wasted possession.
Tampa Bay punted back to Cincinnati after the pick, who received the football from their own 36-yard line with 5:11 remaining in the second quarter. Cincinnati strung together an eight-play drive, gaining 60 yards (plus four yards of penalties) to reach Tampa's five-yard line. Dalton faked the handoff (read-option), and scored the touchdown to reduce Tampa Bay's lead 10-7.
Andy Dalton touchdown run, reducing Buccaneers lead 10-7. https://t.co/OtPQV1Q9Ho— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 30, 2014
Then with 51 seconds remaining in the first half, Terence Newman intercepts a Josh McCown pass to give Cincinnati the football at Tampa Bay's 46-yard line.
Terence Newman interception, first of the year, gives the Bengals the ball at the TB-43. https://t.co/FmwQRMLnYy— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 30, 2014
Dalton completed the four-yard pass to Mohamed Sanu and... doesn't a call timeout? The clock ticks from 46 seconds, when the play started, to 25 seconds, when the next play was snapped. There was three timeouts being pocketed by the team, but whatever...
On the next play, Dalton threw the football into the air like a hitting coach training his fielders on how to catch a baseball in the outfield. Tampa Bay didn't threaten a score and the first half comes to a conclusion.
Dalton's third pick of the first half. https://t.co/135jmJi8RO— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 30, 2014
Dalton completed 7 of 11 passes for 62 yards passing in the first half. And of those four incomplete passes, three were interceptions. One could argue that only one interception (the first) lead to points for the Buccaneers... but Cincinnati actually lost points on the succeeding two interceptions because they were driving on Tampa Bay's side of the field.
Andy Dalton was stricken with the same bug that his teammates were hit with earlier this week. Per the pregame radio broadcast, Dalton was excused from team meetings on Saturday night and was given two IV bags early Sunday morning.
- The impact that Gerald McCoy had early in the game. He beat Russell Bodine on a third-down sack with over 11 minutes remaining in the first. McCoy added another disruption with 2:35 remaining in the first quarter, hitting Dalton's throwing arm in mid-stride and forcing a floating football to fall harmlessly incomplete.
The Ryan Hewitt block on James Wright end around (10:13 in the second). https://t.co/GpB2P4njGt— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 30, 2014
The Mohamed Sanu 11 yard pass to Green (3:28, 2nd Q) https://t.co/NirX3QiqC3— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 30, 2014
|DE Margus Hunt||LB Lavonte David|
|LB Vontaze Burfict||TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins|
|WR Greg Little||TE Brandon Myers|
|RB Rex Burkhead||TE Luke Stocker|
|CB Chris Lewis-Harris||OL Evan Dietrich-Smith|
|OL Jamon Meredith||DT Clint McDonald|
|OL Tanner Hawkinson||CB Crezdon Butler|