Monday, January 2, 2012
Upon Further Review: Bengals
By Jamison Hensley
Thumbs up: Cornerback Nate Clements. He made the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons, a journey that has included six years with the Bills and four with the 49ers. Now, after 165 NFL games, Clements will finally get a taste of postseason football.
Thumbs down: Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga. He failed to get off blocks on the two long touchdown runs by Ray Rice. Maualuga was sealed off on the first run by guard Marshal Yanda and on the second one by fullback Vonta Leach. The bright side is that it did come against two Pro Bowl players.
Stat that sticks: 4 -- Touchdowns of 35 or more yards allowed by the Bengals in two meetings with the Ravens this season. Rice scored on runs of 70 and 51 yards Sunday.
Overheard: “I remember during the lockout people said we weren’t going to win any games this year; we were going to be 0-16. Look at us now. We’re winners. It’s paying off, all the hard work. We were working out during the lockout and I think all that came into play. Now that we have made it into the playoffs, we have to really prove that we belong there.” -- Defensive tackle Domata Peko told the team's website after finishing 9-7 and securing a playoff berth.