Despite leaving the game at halftime, it looks like we can mark Andy dalton as the 5th rookie quarterback to win his first game on the road. Here is a look at the numbers that gave the Bengals the win (and has induced much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth in Cleveland.)
- Andy Dalton: 10/15 for 81 yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble (0 lost), 102.4 passer rating
- Bruce Gradkowski: 5/12 for 92 yards, 1 TD,
- Colt McCoy: 19/40 for 213 yards, 2 TD, 1 interception, 70.1 passer rating
Easy as it is to overlook because it was not lost, don’t forget about that fumble recovery by Andre Smith. That happened deep in Bengals territory. Had that been a turnover, this game very possibly goes to the Browns.
- Cedric Benson: 25 / 121 yards (4.8 avg), 1 TD
- Peyton Hillis: 17 / 57 yards (3.4 avg), 0 TD
Big time kudos to Peko, Atkins, Sims and the rest of the Bengals’ D-line for one of the hidden gems in this win: containing Peyton Hillis. They kept him well below his average from last year, let alone his 102 yard romp against the Bengals last year. If you want context for just how well the boys did, watch Hillis run all over the Colts’ defense on Sunday.
Bernard Scott: 3 yards on 4 carries. Ouch. That will improve next week against the Broncos.
- Jermaine Gresham: 6 / 58 yards, TD (Andy’s lifeline in the first half of the season)
- Jerome Simpson: 4 / 44 yards
- A.J. Green: 1 / 41 yards, TD (welcome to the NFL, A.J., but be careful about being labeled a whiner)
- Brian Leonard: 2 / 29 yards (they DO know how to run a screen!)
- Jordan Shipley: 1 / -1 yards (paging Mr. Shipley!)
- Mohamed Massaquoi: 3 / 77 yards (one big catch on a busted play)
- Ben Watson: 3 / 45 yards, TD (impressive TE)
- Evan Moore: 3 / 35 yards, TD (ditto)
- Peyton Hillis: 6 / 30 yards (chain-mover yards)
Both of these teams will be bigger threats in the passing game when they meet again on Nov. 27. With both teams vulnerable in the secondary, they will test each other mightily when they match up again in Cincinnati. Huge unknowns now, the former first-round picks Kelly Jennings and Taylor Mays that the Bengals picked up at the end of preseason could be the starch needed to stiffen the collar of the backfield.
- Bengals Third Down Conv: 7 / 17 (41.2%) (ALL THREE TDs came on 3rd down!)
- Browns Third Down Conv: 4 / 15 (26.6%) (OUCH!)
- Bengals Penalties: 3 / 22 yards
- Browns Penalties: 11 / 72 yards (DOUBLE OUCH!)
- Bengals Turnover Diff: +1
BIG PLAY OF THE GAME: As much as I loved catching the Browns’ defense flat-footed for the TD pass to A.J. Green, that is not my pick. With the Browns at 1st-and-goal at the 4 yard line, the defense held Cleveland to a field goal. A TD puts the Bengals down 8 points halfway through the 3rd quarter. Only being down 4 allowed the Bengals to stay with their game plan until the offense found its footing again in the 4th quarter.