Sunday, October 30, 2011
Wrap-up: Bengals 34, Seahawks 12
By Jamison Hensley
Thoughts on the Cincinnati Bengals' 34-12 win at the Seattle Seahawks:
What it means: The Bengals surpassed last year's win total and it's not even the midway point of the season. Cincinnati improved to 5-2 to remain tied with the Ravens for second place in the AFC North, a half-game behind the Steelers. This is the Bengals' fourth consecutive win and third victory on the road, which is significant for such a young team.
Thumbs up: Defense and special teams. After the Seahawks had closed to within 17-12 in the fourth quarter, the Bengals scored 17 points in the final five minutes without getting a touchdown from the offense. Brandon Tate returned a punt 56 yards for a touchdown (breaking a tackle late to reach the end zone), and Reggie Nelson brought back an interception 75 yards for another score. It was Cincinnati's first punt return for a touchdown since 2003.
Dalton watch: Andy Dalton guided the Bengals to a 17-3 lead when he hit Jerome Simpson for a 14-yard touchdown on a deep slant and dropped a 43-yard touchdown into the arms of rookie A.J. Green, who got behind the defense with a double move. Dalton did throw multiple interceptions for the first time since Oct. 2 against Buffalo, however.
Backup plan: Bernard Scott was more than adequate in filling in for Cedric Benson, who is serving a one-game suspension. Scott had 76 yards on 22 carries, showing good burst and the ability to break tackles. His 3.5-yard average might not be impressive, but it came against the Seahawks, who were giving up 3.1 yards per carry.
What's next: The Bengals go back on the road for a game at Tennessee before facing Pittsburgh and Baltimore.