PHOTO: Tom Szczerbowski/GettyImages
In one of the most intense games of the year, the Cincinnati Bengals pulled out a 20-16 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Both teams had really good defenses. Coming into week 5, the Bills had the number one scoring defense.
"The Bills have the number one scoring defense in the NFL and I am so fired up for Buffalo."
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) October 3, 2017
The Bengals Offense:
The Pass Game:
The Bengals offense had to figure out how to beat it and they sure figured it out.
If Bengal fans don’t believe Andy Dalton should be starter, they should now. Dalton proved he would the starter this week. He passed all over the best defense. He went 22/36 for 328 yards and a TD and 2 INT(one of them wasn’t his fault, first one he threw to high). There was dee concerned after he got hurt, and people wanted him pulled for a couple of minutes. He did not look good, the next drive he made some really bad throws. But man did he step up. He toughed out the ankle injury and acted like it wasn’t bothering him. You cannot help but respect him for that. He was throwing dimes and was moving the offense. Dalton had a great game.
Per PFF, real interesting stuff: In last 2 weeks Andy Dalton
• most accurate under pressure
• deep pass QB rating 4th best
• 9.30 YPA 3rd
— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) October 9, 2017
Something that the Bengals struggled with early in the season was getting their targets the ball, but under Bill Lazor that has seemed to change. 7 different targets had at least one catch. Brandon LaFell was second in catches for the Bengals last Sunday. He had 5 catches for 32 yards. Tyler Kroft was second in receiving yards with 38 yards. Kroft played a big role on 3rd down. Bengals did a good job spreading the ball around and must keep doing that to be successful.
A.J. Green was dominant in the Bengals win today! pic.twitter.com/w5uqFnK1AS
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 8, 2017
The Run Game:
Joe Mixon got his first career touchdown Sunday and it was well deserved. Mixon had 15 rushes for 51 yards with that touchdown. Often times it looked like Mixon was gonna get tackled for lost, but he makes it back to the line or maybe even pick up a yard. He did much better than just 3.4 yards per carry. Whenever he had space, he took advantage. On his touchdown, the play broke down and he used his vision to get to the outside and score. With a really bad o-line, Mixon has been good for the Bengals.
The O-line somewhat stepped up for the Bengals this week. The pass protection was much better, but seemed like the rush blocking was a lot worse. Cedric Ogbuehi did a decent job on the pass, but was inconsistent. His run blocking with all the other offensive lineman was bad. Andre Smith rotated in at both tackle positions, and he did well against the Bills. If Andre Smith can play like he did consistently, he may be put over Cedric Ogbuehi or RT Jake Fisher. Left Guard Clint Boiling seemed to play the best on the o-line.
Green was all over the field Sunday. Say what you want about Greens drops, but he had a great game. First “drop” really wasn’t a drop. Hit his finger tips. But even if it did it him in the hands, you’re not suppose to high point slants. That’s suppose to be a throw to your chest. So the fact that it’s raining and it was a bad throw that’s like almost impossible catch, but it hit his fingertips regardless. He had the fumble but honestly that could have happen to anyone.
If elite WRs have bad days, they make up for it and Green definitely did that. He help set up the Mixon TD which a beautiful catch and run after. If Green wasn’t playing Bengals probably wouldn’t be in the game. Even though Dalton was on fire, Green was the only consistent one getting open. Don’t get the wrong idea, LaFell and Kroft were getting open, but Green was open down field a lot. Green played like a monster.
The Bengals Defense:
The Bengals defense played very good. Vontaze Burfict led the way with 13 total tackles, 3 TFLs and a sack. He was beast mode for the Bengals defense. He was all over the field making plays. Burfict is clearly the leader of this defense and each week he’s gonna get better. Him, Vigil, and Minter make an amazing LB core.
Defensive line had a great day, they tallied 6 sacks. Michael Johnson was moved to defensive tackle and it payed off as he had 2 sacks. However he had problems in the run game. Geno Atkins, Vontaze Burfict, Jordan Willis, and Carl Lawson all had a sack. Carl Lawson has been one of the best pass rushers this year.
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 9, 2017
The Bengals secondary played great. Despite Dre Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones getting hurt, bye shut down their wide receivers. Tyrod Taylor only had 166 passing yards. William Jackson and Darqueze Dennard shutdown their wide receivers. George Iloka sealed the game with the game winning interception.
Overall this was a good win for the Bengals. They have a bye week next week than they face one of their rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers.