It was a slow start in the second half.
Not really. It was dust and gasoline.
After both teams exchanged three-and-out possessions to open the third quarter, you had to momentarily worry that Cincinnati's momentum would shift towards Atlanta. It happened last week and those type of thoughts enter the mind of older Bengals fans who have seen it all.
With 11:09 remaining in the third quarter with six yards needed on third down, Andy Dalton takes the shotgun snap. Under an intense pass rush that invited six rushers (at least), Dalton flips the football to Mohamed Sanu. The wide receiver ran a quick slant, hauling in the football and separated from a diving defender, sprinting 76 yards for the touchdown.
Bengals take the 17-3 lead.
Let's keep the momentum going, the Bengals said.
On Atlanta's first play on their ensuing possession, Matt Ryan has the football tipped and intercepted by Leon Hall on Atlanta's 43-yard line with 10:52 remaining in the third. Cincinnati went 43 yards on eight plays, capped by a one-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Hill. You should know that Atlanta didn't have a shot on the touchdown, with Andre Smith at left guard, Andrew Whitworth at left tackle and Domata Peko led blocking to the left.
Bengals lead 24-3 with 6:28 remaining in the third.