[NFL.com] [Mo Egger] [Cincy Jungle]
One of the wildest football games I’ve ever seen closed out Wildcard Saturday in Cincinnati, with the Bengals losing to the Steelers 18-16; in the rain.
The Steelers were not to midfield with no timeouts left and trailing 16-15 with just over 20 seconds left in the game. Antonio Brown took a huge hit from Vontaze Burfict; which was flagged and gave the Steelers 15-yards to be on the cusp of their kicker’s range. After that, Joey Porter (a Steelers coach) was out on the field when Brown was being checked out and Pacman Jones was flagged for something that occurred while the referees were trying to clear out the scrum.
From there, the Steelers were set up for a chip shot field goal that would win them the game; and it would keep the Bengals winless in the postseason for the 25th straight season. They’re now 0-7 under Marvin Lewis in the playoffs.
All this occurred after the Steelers built a 15-0 lead and the Bengals looked completely lifeless. Ben Roethlisberger left the game with what looked like a shoulder injury and returned from the cart to win the Steelers the game. A.J. Mccarron missed a lot of throws on this rainy night. Giovani Bernard looked like he got killed with a hit from Ryan Shazier.
I will never forget this one; as it was truly one of the wildest football games I’ve ever seen. And just when you think you have seen it all, the NFL provides you something brand new on a Saturday night spectacle.
[Bengals 34, Bills 21]
Andy Dalton and the Bengals just won’t stub their toe. A lot of people thought this would be an ambush with the Bills playing at home and getting points this week. It was snowing before the game in Buffalo as I sat at my moms with the crockpot going, our baby sleeping and hanging out with my wife.
Dalton answered the bell: 22 of 33 for 243 yards, three more passing touchdowns, no turnovers, and a 118.6 rating. He hit Jeremy Hill, Marvin Jones, and Tyler Eiffert for touchdowns. Just before Jones’ touchdown, he made the play of the day. That’s what we are seeing right now in Cincinnati – a team that buys into their formerly embattled Quarterback – they’re going out and going to battle for him and making plays for him. Dalton has been sacked just six times in six games; none today.
The Bengals are 6-0 for the first time since 1988 when I was just five years old.
The Bills went with E.J. Manuel today and he was okay; 28 of 42 for 263 yards and a touchdown. He threw an interception. The Bengals held off a very spirited game from Lesean McCoy: 17 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown. Sammy Watkins caught a touchdown pass but left the game on crutches with an injured ankle.
The Bengals get a bye week then head to Pittsburgh for the real test. That is a team Dalton has struggled with some.
But right now, the Bengals are so much fun and passing tests week by week. A.J. Green was isolated in this game and didn’t have much action to speak of and Cincinnati still found a way to get it done today.
It’s Sunday, and don’t know how many we ever have left. I’m at my mom’s like the old days when the Bengals would do battle; and I would go to my grandmothers. Only now I have the child – 11 months old today – and I’m just trying to enjoy the day with my family.
The Bengals are on the road in Buffalo. I’m thinking of those Riverfront Sunday’s and that green turf. Boomer under center. The Cincinnati Bengals could go to 5-0 today.
I’m going to watch the Red Rifle Andy Dalton, eat some good food, and enjoy my family. I went to church and read the bible today. I am thankful for today.
[Andy Dalton highlights]
They have to be the lead story in all of football right now. The Cincinnati Bengals are 5-0 for the first time since 1988 (here is a look at that team, they started 6-0). They’ve now seemingly conquered all comers, beating the Seattle Seahawks in Cincinnati today 27-24 in overtime after falling behind to a 24-7 deficit.
I hate that I didn’t see this game. I was watching the Buccaneers. But Andy Dalton really did it all today, and to me; he’s the MVP right there with Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Dalton went 30 of 44 for 331 yards and two touchdowns, shaking off a tough interception early. He also ran it seven times for 18 yards and a rushing touchdown.
Dalton leads the NFL in passing yardage at the moment with 1,518 yards. He has 11 touchdowns to 2 interceptions for a 115.6 rating, third behind only Brady and Rodgers. He’s completed 67.5% of his passes. He is elite.
Dalton made about a half dozen breath-taking throws. He throws such a beautiful ball right now. “This is what you call ‘walking it to a man'” Troy Aikman remarked on the FOX national broadcast from up in the booth after he dropped one in the bucket to A.J. Green.
This is a fun, very good Bengals team. Tyler Eiffert is a man amongst boys right now, adding 90 yards and two more touchdowns on perfectly thrown balls by Dalton.
Some writers are saying the Bengals are now in the Superbowl conversation. Without a doubt, I agree. Yahoo Shutdown Corner echoed the same sentiments.
I can’t wait until next Sunday to sit down and watch them head to Buffalo at my mom’s house, just like the old days when my family would gather at my grandma’s and watch the Bengals together. This is a team worthy of that type of attention.
[ESPN NFL Nation] [Cincinnati Enquirer Blog] [NFL.com]
It’s hard not to love these guys. And you know what? Andy Dalton is really, really good.
Dalton had a huge day, throwing four touchdown passes and going 27 for 38 for 366 yards. It kept me alive in my fantasy playoffs.
He’s got 31 touchdowns now on the season. The fact is, the guy puts up pretty huge numbers. It’s a milestone to have 30 passing touchdowns in a season. It’s going to be easy to pull for these guys in the playoffs.
Andrew Luck was excited about playing in cold weather. That excitement must have ended rather quickly.
It was a scoreless first half for Luck, but he put up huge numbers in what ended up being one of the better statistical games of his career.
It was in this game that the world got to know Da’Rick Rogers – he caught touchdown passes of 69 yards (his first career TD) and two yards at the end of the game in junk time.
I thought this TD throw to Lavon Brazill was one of the better ones of Luck’s entire career. But the bottom line is that the defense was eaten alive by Giovani Bernard (99 yards on the ground) and a stellar day by Andy Dalton, and the Bengals are in better shape right now.
You can’t beat Thursday Night Football on Halloween night, the fact that the Bengals (a team I actually like) are playing is just bonus. The general consensus right now if you’ve spent any time watching at all Cincinnati is that this has a chance to be a special year. Things just seem to be lining up that way. If the Bengals are that kind of team, they’ll find a way to win tonight against a desperate team in Miami that needs the win (the Dolphins have lost four in a row).
Andy Dalton is playing the best football of his career (though last season he had a three-game stretch in November that rivaled it). The Bengals have a fun team to watch. I’ll be back with a full recap at some point.