If you told me yesterday the Bengals’ offense would have 436 yards and four touchdowns, I would have assumed that would be enough to amount to a win. But, it was not as the defense was playing at far from the caliber we’re used to and Andy Dalton had probably his worst game of the year, throwing an interception and losing a fumble, in overtime.
The Bengals’ defense is not what it used to be.
The Bengals’ defense made the Redskins look dominant on their opening drive with a 15 play, 80 yard effort that ended in a touchdown by rookie Rob Kelley. But, it wasn’t just a slow start. We saw an awful effort from the Bengals’ defense with so many players to share the blame.
Alex Erickson finally has a respectable return
How long have we waited for Alex Erickson to do something better than gain 15 yards on a kickoff return? Well, it finally happened in Week 8 in London! Erickson ran out a return for 65 yards to the Redskins’ 36 yard line on the Bengals’ opening drive, setting up the Bengals’ offense with great field positioning. Finally!
The Bengals capitalized with catches from Tyler Kroft and Tyler Boyd as well as runs from Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard before Bernard finished off the drive with an 8-yard touchdown to tie the game, 7-7.
Karlos Dansby did something good... so I’ll give him credit
Karlos Dansby has been a major liability this year in coverage, an area in which he’s supposed to excel. With the Redskins in the redzone, Dansby tackled running back Chris Thompson to stop him short of the end zone on third down. The Redskins went on to kick a field goal to go up 10-7. Kudos to Dansby for making the tackle after earlier allowing Vernon Davis to complete a 44-yard catch during the same drive. Dansby had a few other nice plays sprinkled in throughout the game.
Dre Kirkpatrick seems to have one big, bad penalty per game
Dre Kirkpatrick was flagged in the second quarter for a horsecollar on Pierre Garcon, that actually took place out of bounds, on a third down play. Garcon had the first down regardless, but there’s no excuse for Kirkpatrick to be playing that carelessly and costing his team yards.
Mike Nugent has no business kicking 50+ yard field goals
Why do the Bengals trust Mike Nugent to kick field goals from 50+ yards? I have no idea. Nugent has yet to make one field goal this year that was longer than 49 yards. So why try it in London? I’m not quite sure. He then missed an extra point, too. That ONE POINT is all the Bengals needed to win the game and not end with a disastrous tie.
Bengals lucky to escape first half with just a three point deficit
The Bengals’ first half play was simply lackluster. The offense totaled 84 yards, 43 of which were passing and 39 rushing. They were also 1-for-4 on third down while the Redskins were 6-for-10.
First half comparison: pic.twitter.com/tlgYAX0Rt1— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) October 30, 2016
Andy Dalton was 7/11 for 52 yards in the first half and was lucky to escape without an interception as Josh Norman nearly picked off a pass on which Dalton was targeting A.J. Green. If Green finishes two quarters with 10 yards, you know it was a rough 30 minutes of play. Luckily, the second half changed the dynamic of the Green-Norman matchup drastically.
Norman is likely the best cornerback Green has faced this year, and it showed early on during the game, despite Norman getting flagged twice. Those flags would continue for Norman. In total, throughout the game Washington had 15 accepted penalties for 106 yards while the Bengals were called for 7 penalties costing them 85 yards. There were many other penalties that were not accepted, a bunch of which came due to Norman’s illegal use of his hands on the Green’s face(mask).
A.J. Green vs. Josh Norman: 1 completion on 3 targets for 10 yards, 1 pass defense. Norman has followed Green outside but not the slot.— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) October 30, 2016
Strong second half start
The first two plays in the second half were first downs for the Bengals as A.J. Green picked up 10 yards and then Giovani Bernard ran for 12 with some great offensive line blocking. Tyler Eifert then picked up a first down while Norman was flagged for another illegal hands to the face penalty on Green, though the Bengals declined it as they already had a first down. Green had a huge 11 yard grab a few players later, showing incredible effort to get the first down. It seemed like the Bengals came out of the half much more energized and ready to go. The first drive of the second half ended with a Tyler Eifert touchdown, and it was a beautiful thing to witness Eifert getting his first touchdown of the 2016 season.
Geno Atkins gets his first sack since Week 4
After lacking stats the last few weeks, Geno Atkins got a massive sack on the Redskins’ first drive of the second half. It caused a loss of 12 yards and led to a punt. Atkins finished the day with just 2 tackles beyond that sack.
Domata Peko is also good for a dumb penalty
Why did Domata Peko think it was a good idea to pull the leg of a Redskins player, after the whistle, when a play was long over? We couldn’t tell you. But, it led to a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty that came two plays before Redskins tight end Jordan Reed scored a 23-yard touchdown to pull Washington within three points in the third quarter.
The #Bengals seem to think roughness is necessary. It is not.— Jeremy Rauch (@FOX19Jeremy) October 30, 2016
The announcers were beyond clueless regarding the Bengals’ roster
The Bengals’ Week 8 game in London got off to an odd start with the broadcasters first saying the Bengals had zero catches by a tight end coming into the game (wrong) and then referring to Jeremy Hill as Jeremy Bell. This was the Bengals’ first game of the year on FOX and that was pretty evident as the announcers had no clue who anyone was.
They got multiple things wrong throughout the overtime matchup, including the pronunciation of player names. Didn’t they check out our pronunciation guide?! And then, they called Dre Kirkpatrick, “Pacman Jones” during the play in which Kirkpatrick was in coverage on DeSean Jackson when he caught a pass and George Iloka pushed him out of bounds. Jackson left the game after the play to be checked out for a concussion (but was cleared to return).
Dalton’s streak of 165 passes without an interception ends
Andy Dalton was asked by a reporter this week about his four game run without an interception. Well, that’s over as Dalton was targeting Tyler Eifert on a pass in which the tight end seemed to stop on the route and the ball went right into the hands of Redskins linebacker Will Compton. Dalton seemed off throughout much of the game, which isn’t rare for quarterbacks playing in London. He also had an overtime fumble, which was also caused by Compton as his head hit the football while in Dalton’s grasp.
He did threaten me. But man....that one was....bad. https://t.co/ENJl6Q5sJV— Jeremy Rauch (@FOX19Jeremy) October 30, 2016
A.J. Green owned Josh Norman
Shortly after A.J. Green caught a 40-yard pass while Norman was called for pass interference, the Bengals scored on a Jeremy Hill touchdown to take back the lead. They even played the fight song!
But back to Green, check out this catch.
Green owned his matchup with Josh Norman in the second quarter, which was highlighted by Norman getting penalties called on him left and right, though, it hardly impacted Green. On this play, Norman was flagged for pass interference. But, that doesn’t stop Green from making a highlight reel play. Green finished the game with 9 catches on 18 targets for 121 yards. Eifert also added 9 catches for 102 yards, his biggest receiving game since Week 1 of 2015.
Bengals give London its first ever overtime NFL game
There are so many people and aspects of the game to put blame on for this matchup needing to go to overtime, but, the guy who left four points on the field, really comes to mind. If everything else worked out the same way in regulation, Nugent’s missed extra point and a field goal would have given the Bengals the win. Even just the extra point would have been enough. Cincinnati seriously needs to reevaluate their commitment to Nugent during the bye week. They can’t afford to pay a kicker who misses PATs.
The Bengals’ defense also needs to put in some serious work on tackling, and not allowing tight ends to kill them. Jordan Reed finished the day with 99 yards and a touchdown, as the latest tight end to dismantle the defense. And, maybe the defense can also get a lesson in not committing the dumbest penalties ever, at the most inopportune times.
Yes, Dalton fumbled away an opportunity in overtime, but the large portion of the blame for this tie should be put on the defense and special teams, not the offense.
The worst part of this...
We need to talk about a tie for TWO WEEKS as the Bengals head into their bye. Are you ready for that? I’m not.