Morning Stripes: Bengals keep catching

October, 16, 2013
10/16/13
8:00
AM ET
Yes, we wrote Tuesday that it was the Cincinnati Bengals' defense that was pacing the team from an emotional standpoint.

But again, what the Bengals' offense has done so far can't be overlooked, either.

In the past two weeks in particular, that offense has shown just how versatile it can be as the running backs have gotten involved, with noted success, in both the running and passing games, the end-around game has proven to be timely, the short screen and slant passing game have led to big chunk plays and multiple skill guys are being given opportunities to make plays.

Against Buffalo last Sunday, eight Bengals caught passes from quarterback Andy Dalton, who passed for more than 300 yards for the first time in a year.

It was the kind of passing diversity that had offensive coordinator Jay Gruden pleased. He is confident the Bengals can keep displaying that type of versatility and confusing opposing defensive coordinators who must game plan for up to nine potential passing options per game. (For those scoring at home, that's two running backs, two tight ends and five receivers.)

To that end, if the Bengals continue mixing up the pass in such a way that six of those playmakers keep catching passes, they could be finding themselves in the history books.

To explain, we turn to Wednesday's Morning Stripes:
  • We kick off Wednesday's Stripes with this from Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson, who writes that Cincinnati is on pace to accomplish something that's only been done once before in NFL history: have six different pass-catchers go beyond 500 yards for the season. Only the 2011 New Orleans Saints have done that, Hobson said. That team went 13-3 in the regular season before exiting the playoffs after two games. A.J. Green, as expected, leads all Bengals in receiving yards with 464. Tyler Eifert, Jermaine Gresham, Mohamed Sanu and Giovani Bernard all have more than 200 yards receiving. Marvin Jones isn't far behind at 190. With the season still two game shy of the halfway point, it is very likely that as long as the group maintains its health, the Bengals should have six players go beyond the 500-yard receiving mark.
  • Also on the team site from Hobson is this concerning Dalton. After his 337-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Bills, the quarterback is up for a pair of awards this week. Fans can vote for him at links that are provided within this particular Morning Stripes link.
  • Speaking of Dalton, the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy took another look at coach Marvin Lewis' comparison of his current quarterback to the "predecessor," Carson Palmer. As Reedy points out, after 38 games, statistically, the two are quite similar. Dalton, however, has two wins more than Palmer did at this stage of his career.
  • As the guys from the CincyJungle blog point out, the Bengals are eligible to get three players back at practice this week for the first time in the regular season. Two players, Chris Pressley and Zac Robinson, are eligible to come off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and train with the team in practice. They don't, however, have to be automatically added to the 53-man roster. The third player, Andrew Hawkins, can come off the injured reserve list and participate in practices, too. Per IR rules, though, Hawkins wouldn't be eligible to play for another two weeks. So, look for him when the Bengals travel to Miami on Oct. 31. This already-loaded pass-catching corps will be adding another key weapon.

Coley Harvey

ESPN Cincinnati Bengals reporter

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