The Bengals’ offense took some steps backward in 2017—particularly in the rushing game. In fact, Giovani Bernard, Joe Mixon and Jeremy Hill didn’t net a run longer than 25 yards on the season.
However, those players and others stepped up in the passing game for some explosive moments. Andy Dalton hit a number of different weapons for our nominees for the biggest highlights on that side of the ball.
Cast your vote for the Bengals’ offensive play of the year and sound off on your winner in the comments!
(Editor’s note: Our thanks to CJ crew/friends, Josh Kirkendall, Alberto Luque, Rebecca Toback and Joe Goodberry for the below-embedded media.)
Giovani Bernard’s 61-yard touchdown reception versus Browns:
The Bengals were reeling from a painful 0-3 start and needed a win against the beleaguered Browns to get back on track. Cincinnati trounced Cleveland in the first matchup of “The Battle of Ohio”, thanks in part to a big play from their veteran running back.
Bernard was lost in the shuffle a little bit early in the season, but Bill Lazor dialed up a great screen pass call to break the backs of the Browns. Bernard grabbed the pass and weaved untouched for 61 yards into the end zone.
A.J. Green’s 77-yard touchdown reception versus Bills:
Cincinnati had a tough matchup against the Bills and while it wasn’t always pretty, an early touchdown certainly was one of those beautiful moments for the Bengals. Green beat rookie TreDavious White down the right sideline for a massive touchdown.
The score gave the Bengals an early lead and helped them grab a huge early-season win against who would become a playoff team. It was the longest play of the season for Green and fourth-longest of his career.
Joe Mixon’s 67-yard reception versus Colts:
In the middle of the season, the Bengals began using their rookie back a bit more frequently. After a slow start to the season, Cincinnati desperately needed a win in the “I-70 Bowl” against the Colts.
Indianapolis had a touchdown lead over the Bengals midway through the second quarter, but the Bengals ended up tying the game up 10-10 thanks to a play from Mixon. The second round pick took a screen pass 67 yards down to the Indianapolis 1-yard line, setting up the subsequent score.
Great play by Mixon but watch #82 Cethan Carter. pic.twitter.com/axbT5SlJzZ— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) October 30, 2017
Brandon LaFell’s 37-yard touchdown versus Titans:
It wasn’t a banner year for the team’s No. 2 receiver, but he did come up with the sporadic big play. Cincinnati was in a must-win-type of situation against Tennessee and needed a score to tie the game in the first quarter.
Dalton hit an open LaFell, who had split a couple of Titans defenders. The score tied the game and ended up being one of LaFell’s biggest gains of the season.
Bengals score a TD on a 37-yard pass to Brandon LaFell. pic.twitter.com/ANYwPw4rcN— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 12, 2017
A.J. Green’s 70-yard touchdown versus Titans:
The Bengals were in a dogfight with Tennessee down south, with points coming at a premium. Facing a four-point deficit, the Bengals needed a big play to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Dalton hit Green on a medium route in which the Pro Bowl receiver took it all the way for a 70-yard score. It was his second touchdown catch of 70-plus yards in 2017.
Bengals take a 20-17 lead with 5:03 remaining in the game on A.J. Green's 70 yard TD. pic.twitter.com/0Av9XT7VaQ— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 12, 2017
Tyler Boyd’s 49-yard touchdown versus Ravens:
While it wasn’t the most explosive overall play, it might have been the most clutch of the entire season. Too bad it was just as a spoiler to the rival Ravens and not to punch a ticket for their own postseason berth.
Cincinnati was facing a 4th and 12 from Baltimore’s 49-yard line with under a minute to play. The Ravens were all but set to be a Wild Card team, while the Bills were clinging to their TV sets. Dalton hit Tyler Boyd on a dart in which he scampered into the end zone, ending the Ravens’ 2017 season.
Tyler Boyd may be from Clairton, but he's about to become a Buffalo folk hero pic.twitter.com/CUVZ5sdcpr— Craig Meyer (@CraigMeyerPG) January 1, 2018
Which play was the best from the Bengals’ offense in 2017?
This poll is closed
Giovani Bernard’s 61-yard touchdown catch vs Browns
A.J. Green’s 77-yard touchdown catch vs Bills
Joe Mixon’s 67-yard reception vs Colts
Brandon LaFell’s 37-yard touchdown vs Titans
A.J. Green’s 70-yard touchdown vs Titans
Tyler Boyd’s 49-touchdown vs Ravens