Sunday, September 23, 2012
Wrap-up: Bengals 38, Redskins 31
By Jamison Hensley
Thoughts on the Cincinnati Bengals' 38-31 win at the Washington Redskins:
What it means: The Bengals showed in their first road win of the season. After allowing the Redskins to tie the game with 17 straight points, the Bengals responded with touchdown catches by tight end Jermaine Gresham and wide receiver Andrew Hawkins in the fourth quarter. This marked the first time in seven years that the Bengals have won two straight games in which they've scored more than 30 points. Cincinnati (2-1) keeps a share of first place in the AFC North.
Coming up clutch: Andy Dalton's game didn't start off strong, getting picked off for a touchdown on his first pass. Dalton, though, came up big when the Bengals needed him. With the game tied, Dalton was 6-of-7 for 134 yards and two touchdowns in the decisive fourth quarter. He threw touchdown passes to three different receivers. Dalton finished 19-of-27 passing for 328 yards. It marked the first time in his career that Dalton had thrown for 300 yards in consecutive games.
Breaking out the Wildcat: The Bengals used trickery to get into the end zone. On the first play from scrimmage, wide receiver Mohamed Sanu took a direct snap and hit A.J. Green for a 73-yard touchdown. Sanu threw four touchdown passes when he was at Rutgers. In the second quarter, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis got the snap and ran 1 yard for the score. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden called a strong game.
Getting the green light: A week after coach Marvin Lewis pointed out how defenses are focusing their attention on Green, the wide receiver had a career game. Green caught nine passes for a career-high 183 yards and a touchdown. He had been held to 128 yards in his first two games.
Green-Ellis' streak ends: One reason the Bengals liked Green-Ellis over Cedric Benson was ball security. But Green-Ellis did what he has never done before -- fumble. He coughed up the ball for the first time in his five-year career. Green-Ellis hadn't fumbled in 590 career touches. It wasn't a costly mistake. The Redskins went three-and-out.
What's next: The Bengals travel to Jacksonville, their third road game in the first four weeks of the season. The Jaguars (1-2) beat the Colts 22-17 in Indianapolis on Sunday.