The Cincinnati Bengals entered Lambeau Field on Sunday with new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, who took over on Friday of the previous week, giving him nine days to prepare for Green Bay.
With the pressure on the Bengals to get their talented offense to perform, Lazor would have his work cut out for him. Pressure can burst pipes, or craft diamonds, and when the Bengals capped off their opening drive with a 10-yard Andy Dalton to A.J. Green touchdown pass, fans rejoiced.
The opening drive split runs and passes equally with five carries and five throws, as Dalton connected with Tyler Kroft, and A.J. Green. The Bengals also benefitted from a facemask penalty called on a Joe Mixon carry that moved the ball from the 24-yard line to the 12.
The Bengals tried to let the rookie Mixon pound the ball in, but on 3rd and 8 elected to throw, connecting with A.J. Green in the back of the endzone in double coverage.
It was a beautiful throw, arguably the best Dalton has made all season. He also showed a lot of confidence in making that throw into double coverage while having faith in Green to make the play.
Bengals twitter erupted after the catch, as the Bengals found their first lead of the season, as well as first touchdown.
@Bengals fans after the first touchdown of the year! #WhoDey pic.twitter.com/z8lUQ0F2p4— Mike Kidd (@MikeKiddWho) September 24, 2017
September 24, 2017
It was the beginning of what was a fairly productive day for the offense, but not enough to get the Bengals their first win of the season.
“We obviously played better. We scored a touchdown,” said Dalton after the loss. “But, at the end of the game, we’ve got to find a way to put that away. We know what kind of offense they [Green Bay] have. We know what Aaron [Rodgers] can do.”
"We did some good things today, but everything is a process,” said Green after the game. “I feel like we took a step forward. We didn't come out with the win, but that is the way it is.”
One of the reasons why the offense found more success was the up-tempo style that Lazor was willing to roll with.
“I thought we did some good things. Going down on that first drive and scoring was big. We needed that” said Dalton. “I thought the tempo was good. I thought the way things were getting called and getting personnel groups in, I thought it was good.”
Head coach Marvin Lewis likes the improvement he saw, but now, it’s a matter of finishing games.
“We did a good job of making first downs and continuing the ball down the field,” said Lewis. “I don’t really remember the first half much now. We got off to a good start, but we’ve got to capitalize on it and keep on plugging.”
Hopefully, the offense will really take off in Cleveland next Sunday as the Bengals look for win No. 1 at the expense of the Browns.