It's not surprising that Cincinnati, who looked so defunct and awful against the Cleveland Browns, convincingly beat the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Dating back to 2012, the Bengals are have amassed a primetime record of 2-6. In the games that Cincinnati played following primetime games, they're 5-2-1.
This has always been the narrative.
However, Sunday's win was a nice rebound story for Andy Dalton and the Bengals defense.
Dalton completed 16 of 22 passes for 220 yards passing with three touchdowns and a passer rating of 143.9. Rookie running back Jeremy Hill posted 152 yards rushing on 27 carries (a 5.6 yard/rush average). Wide receiver A.J. Green added 127 yards receiving on six receptions for a touchdown while Jermaine Gresham, scored two touchdowns on his only receptions.
It was the defense that held Drew Brees in check, only allowing 255 yards passing on 33 completions. Running back Mark Ingram, who came into Sunday's game with three consecutive 100-yard rushing games, only had 67 yards rushing and a 2.9 yard/rush average.
The Bengals head to Houston next week at 6-3-1.
THE ANDY DALTON REBOUND STORY
With Andy Dalton facing the grim army of pissed off Bengals fans, Hue Jackson tasks his receivers to go deep while Andy Dalton bootlegs to the right on the first offensive play of the game. Rather than risking a throw that didn't exist, Dalton ran down the sidelines and picked up 11 yards. Jeremy Hill took the ensuing two carries for two yards combined, before Andy Dalton hit James Wright on an eight-yard out for the first down. Two plays later, Dalton hit Jeremy Hill on a 13-yard shovel to convert third and eight.
Three plays later, facing another third and eight with 3:26 remaining in the first quarter, Dalton found Jermaine Gresham. Instead of taking the hit and going down, Gresham faught but then extended his hand towards the goalline. Being that he's not eight-feet with a 50-inch wingspan, he was short of the touchdown. Additionally, he lost the football. Thankfully he had the audacity to kick the football and then lept on the football deep into the end zone for a touchdown.
This gave the Bengals a 7-3 lead.
THE GOAL LINE STAND
This may have been the play of the game.
Cincinnati's defense was struggling to get off the field. New Orleans opened the game with a 14-play possession that resulted in a field goal.
On the next possession, they ran 16 plays and on the 17th, after failing to convert a third and goal from the Bengals one-yard line, the Saints offense remained on the field with 10:17 remaining in the second. Drew Brees faked the handoff and dumpedobvi the football off to Erik Lorig. Linebacker Rey Maualuga picked up on the play and dropped Lorig for a one-yard loss.
Turnover on downs.
Huge momentum swing.
BENGALS TAKE 10-3 LEAD
The Cincinnati Bengals took advantage of the turnover on downs, coming out from their own one-yard line with a series of quick passes and well-navigated runs through the line of scrimmage. The offense generated 94 yards on 15 plays, reaching the Saints four-yard line but were relegated to a field goal. The Bengals took a 10-3 lead with 2:52 remaining in the first half.
BENGALS WITH FREEBIE AT THE END OF THE FIRST HALF
New Orleans wanted to score before halftime but couldn't mount any momentum -- thanks to a Ben Grubbs offensive hold. Eventually the Saints punted back to Cincinnati and Adam Jones ran 50 yards from side to side before reaching the Bengals 16-yard line. Seemingly content to end the half, the Bengals called consecutive runs.
With 14 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Andy Dalton handed off to Hill. The rookie out of Lousiana broke through the line of scrimmage. After generating 62 yards, the Saints dropped him at the Saints 24-yard line.
Jeremy Hill's 62 yard run at the end of the first half. https://t.co/B2rHMVVExq— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 16, 2014
Nugent kicked the 42-yarder to give Cincinnati a 13-3 lead.
SWINGING FIELD POSITION LEADS TO 20-3 BENGALS LEAD
At some point in the third quarter, the Bengals swallowed momentum like a protein shake. Another Kevin Huber punt dropped New Orleains to within the six-yard line. The Saints picked up a first down, but eventually punted from the Saints 25-yard line with 9:56 remaining.
Cincinnati took a 20-3 lead on a Jermaine Gresham touchdown reception, completing an eight-play drive that spanned 48 yards.
DALTON AND GREEN CAPTURE 17-POINT LEAD
With the Saints mounting a comeback and reducing Cincinnati's lead 20-10, the Bengals passing game came alive.
What a throw! Bengals have 3rd and 18. Slings it Green for a 38 yard pass... 13:49 mark in the 4th. https://t.co/1UKnzrzRdM— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 16, 2014
Another third down conversion. This time 3rd and 2. Strong. https://t.co/WTqIDRrtmy— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 16, 2014
AJ Green 24 yard TD, giving the Bengals a 27-10 lead over the Saints w/ 11:29 remaining in the 4th. https://t.co/vl6kOZpEMV— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 16, 2014
- Nice shot by George Iloka to dislodge the football from Jimmy Graham to force an incomplete pass. Horrible call by the officials to flag Iloka with a personal foul.
- With 3:14 remaining in the third quarter, Andy Dalton connected with Jermaine Gresham near the goalline. While being wrapped up, Gresham fights and navigates through Saints defenders. At the last moment, Gresham extends the football out from his body... coming WAAAY short of the goalline. He lost the football, "accidently" kicked it into the endzone and recovered the football for the touchdown. We're not sure if we should label this as good...
- It's third and 13 with11:07 remaining in the first quarter. Jimmy Graham is wide open for a 13-yard reception with Adam Jones and Leon Hall covering.
- Speaking of Hall, he covered Kenny Still, who converted the opening two third down opportunities for the Saints.
- See Gresham, Jermaine (above).
|RB Giovani Bernard||RB Pierre Thomas|
|RT Andre Smith||WR Robert Meachem|
|LB Vontaze Burfict||RB Khiry Robinson|
|CB Terence Newman||RB Edwin Baker|
|WR Greg Little||G Senio Kelemete|
|DT Devon Still||OT Nick Becton|
|OL Tanner Hawkinson||WR Nick Toon|