August 29, 2014

Bengals Command 17-3 at Half

The Bengals are dominating time of possession and the scoreboard at the half, 17-3.

The Bengals opened the scoring with a 34-yard Mike Nugent field goal with 6:47 left in the first. They then expanded their lead to 10-0 on a 14-yard pass from Andy Dalton to Jerome Simpson with 1:12 left in the first.

The Seahawks pulled within a touchdown on a Steve Hauschka 47-yard field goal early in the second quarter.  The Bengals responded with a beautiful 43-yard touchdown pass from Dalton to A.J. Green.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll replaced the ineffective Charlie Whitehurst with opening-day starter Tavaris Jackson, who was able to get the Hawks offense moving.  They were able to mount a late push to try and get into the end zone before halftime, thanks to the Bengal defense doing their characteristic end-of-half sleepwalk. 

But then, Carroll gambled and the Bengal defense responded.  Facing a 4th-and-2 at the Bengal 3-yard line with just 14 seconds left and out of time-outs, Carroll went for it.  The play call was a run to Marshawn Lynch, who gained all of 2 yards on 8 carries in the first half. Lynch was stopped just short of the goal line, and the Seahawks were unable to run another play as time expired.  Some felt that the Bengals were deliberately slowing the process and “hiding” the ball from the officials, but at any rate it was a clearly questionable coaching decision.

The Seahawks will get the ball first in the second half.

Other items of note:

  • For the second time this season, Dalton was saved by the infamous tuck rule.  A fumble that was returned for a touchdown against Buffalo was called back on the obscure rule a few weeks ago.  This week, Dalton attempted a lateral to Bernard Scott that slipped out of his hands and rolled backwards toward the Bengal goal line.  The ball hit the referee, and Dalton recovered it at the 1 for a 17 yard loss.  However, the officials called it a tuck, turning the play into a simple incomplete pass.
  • The Bengals are clearly feeling the effects of Seattle’s famed “12th man,” with the offense being plagued with false starts and holding penalties.
  • A.J. Green snagged his 5th touchdown on the year, leading all rookies.
  • The Bengals were unable to capitalize on a Seattle fumble on their side of the field.  Two consecutive holding calls forced the Bengals into a first-and-30 situation, knocking them out of field goal range.
  • Adam Jones returned and provided a 64-yard punt return on his first action of the year, leading to the first Bengal touchdown. Unfortunately, Jones hurt his hamstring on the run.