Sunday, October 27, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cincinnati Bengals
By Coley Harvey
CINCINNATI -- A few thoughts on the Cincinnati Bengals' 49-9 win against the New York Jets.
What it means: Are there any words that can define what Sunday's blowout means for the Bengals? Not really. About the only thing I can think to say after the type of dominating performance that had to make the Oregon Ducks and Florida State Seminoles envious is the following: If you haven't already, wake up, NFL fans and turn your attention to Cincinnati. The football team here certainly looks for real. Although the Bengals have had wins in which they seemed to control every facet of their game, none this season have been as complete as Sunday's. They put their foot on the proverbial gas and, for the first time, didn't let up.
Stock watch: Training room -- falling. For the second straight week, injuries were a problem for Cincinnati. With a short week that includes a trip to South Florida, they could swell into something significant, too. Before the teams even returned to their locker rooms for halftime, linebacker Rey Maualuga, offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth and defensive back Taylor Mays had been lost to injuries. None of them returned to the game. Neither did receiver Mohamed Sanu. Maualuga's and Mays' injuries looked serious at the time. Maualuga was one of several Bengals who missed action at the end of last week's game in Detroit, too, when the injury bug first settled into the organization's camp. Cornerback Leon Hall was lost for the season during that game. Just two weeks ago, injuries didn't appear to be an issue at all for the Bengals, who were remarkably healthy.
Dalton-to-Jones: Andy Dalton and Marvin Jones formed quite the duo in the blowout, setting a pair of career highs. Dalton's five touchdowns were the most of his three years in Cincinnati, and Jones' four touchdown receptions were the most in franchise history. The memory of Dalton's 203-yard showing at Cleveland five weeks ago is so distant, some of the young quarterback's biggest detractors are even forgetting about it. Over the past three games, he has thrown for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns. He is the ninth quarterback since 2001 to have such showings in three consecutive single-season games. Jones finished the day with eight catches for 122 yards.
What's next? The Bengals travel to Miami on Thursday night for their final game against an AFC East team this season. If they can get past the Dolphins, they'll be 7-2 and virtually playing for home-field advantage.