It was a day full of wacky plays and somehow the Bengals found the ball taking fortuitous bounces their way, even while on the road. It's these bounces that not only helped to ice the win for Cincinnati, but basically kept the game continuously out of reach, as evidenced by the Bengals' 17-point win.
The argument of which play was the biggest on the day and the opinion on the answer will likely differ from fan to fan, but that's why we've decided to make a poll like this. Cast your vote and sound off on which play you think was the biggest of the day for the Bengals against the Saints!
Jermaine Gresham Recovering His Own Fumble For A Touchdown: Is there a play that more accurately defines a specific player than this one? Down 3-0 in the first and facing a third and eight deep in Saints territory, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton took the shotgun snap. He found the big tight end who lumbered for a first down and reached the ball out to try and break the plane of the end zone. It was jarred loose and chaos ensued as to who would come up with the ball. Gresham and the Bengals were fortunate, as he kicked the ball in his own direction and managed to pounce on it for a score.
Defense Clamping Down On A Fourth And Goal: To say that the Bengals' defense is a shadow of itself from a year ago would be kind. Regardless, they came up huge on Sunday against a potent New Orleans offense--particularly midway through the second quarter. After holding on to a 7-3 lead, the Saints were on the move and were setting up to score as they were deep in Bengals territory. Sean Payton, ever the gambler, elected to go for it on fourth and goal from the one-yard line. He hit his fullback in the flat, but was stuffed by Rey Maualuga and the Bengals offense took over. It led to a field goal, so it essentially was a six-to-ten point swing.
Jeremy Hill's 62-Yard Run To Set Up A Field Goal Before The Half: Cincinnati was content to run the clock out and take a 10-3 lead into the locker room on the road at the half. The rookie back danced his way through the line, passed defenders and galloped 62 yards to set up a field goal try with one second left on the clock. Mike Nugent converted a completely deflating three-pointer and the Bengals went into the locker room elated with a 13-3 lead.
Jermaine Gresham's Second Touchdown Catch: The big guy had a goose egg in the touchdown stat line throughout the year, but had two in one game this week. This one was a walk-in where Gresham was all alone because of a well-designed play-action rollout pass. The play itself wasn't magnificent to watch, but it gave the Bengals their first 17-point lead in the second half and undoubtedly deflated the Saints.
Andy Dalton's 38-Yard Completion To A.J. Green On Third and 18: The Saints had pulled uncomfortably close to the Bengals in the fourth quarter, thanks to a Drew Brees touchdown pass to Kenny Stills. It cut the lead to 20-10 and Cincinnati got pinned deep in their own territory. Facing an improbable third and 18, Dalton sought out A.J. Green down the sideline. The perfectly-placed ball landed in Green's loving arms and set up a gut-punch touchdown to ice the game 27-10.
Dalton's 24-Yard Touchdown Pass To Green: After the big 38-yard strike, Dalton found Green down the sideline again for what would become the game-sealing touchdown. Green tight-roped the sideline again and hauled in the pass with about 11:30 left to play.