In the battle of the rookie quarterbacks, the Cincinnati Bengals, Andy Dalton came out on top. Dalton looked better than he has in the pre-season so far and the Bengals running game looked outstanding. Top it off with the tough Bengals defense last night and all of the sudden the Bengals look like a real NFL football team.
What I Liked:
- Dalton to Green. Over the past two weeks much has been made about Daltons inability to get the ball down field. He answered last night with a 40yd TD pass to Green over veteran cornerback Chris Gamble.
- Speaking of Green, he made Gamble look terrible while they were matched up.
- On Greens TD catch there was no celebration, just business as usual
- Jerome Simpson had some great blocks downfield, wonderful to see from a talented receiver.
- The Bengals run D looks menacing, they are meeting the runners at the line on almost every play.
- The Bengals corners (while not really tested by Newtons terrible throws) were blanketing the wide outs in coverage.
- The Bengals running game looks to be the best they have seen in years, 76 yds in the first quarter alone. The one two of Benson and Scott is going to be tough for opponents to handle.
- The Bengal naysayers need to take pause now based on what they did last night. No, this is not a playoff team, but it is far from the worst in the league.
- It looks like the last pages of the Bratkowski playbook are gone, the Bengals mixed it up in all the right spots for some great play calling.
- The WhoDeyFans post game show was tested and successful, dial in next week and all season long after the games. Click on the WhoDeyPostgame link in the menu for more information.
What I didn’t like:
- The fumble in the first quarter. It looked like a busted play, Dalton needs to realize that and hold that ball, forcing it to Benson that late is asking for trouble.
- Penalties, nothing is going to derail a drive or a quarter faster than a personal foul and holding. Tighten that up (like on the play where Dalton scrambled for about 18 yds, the hold was not necessary.)
Look, no one expects much from this team this year, but seeing improvement every week is a sign that this Bengals team can compete eventually. With leaps like last night, that could be sooner rather than later.