For so many years, Bengals players wondered (and griped) about the frugal nature of ownership. “But we like where we are right now”. Wordless, expressionless, Joe Flacco, Justin Forsett, Jimmy Smith & Co. buried their collective frustration in silence following the first 0-3 start in franchise history. After he was sacked and lost a fumble that the Ravens returned for a touchdown and their first lead, Dalton went to the sideline and reassured Jackson that everything would be just fine.
The amusing thing about the Ravens’ 0-3 start is that they very easily could be 3-0.
Twice on Sunday, he rallied the Bengals from behind in the fourth quarter. The quarterback has been a polarizing figure throughout his first four years in the league, but that has hardly been the case this season, as he ranks sixth in passing yards (866), second in yards per attempt (9.4), fourth in touchdown passes (eight) and sixth in interception percentage (1.1). Green had the game-winning touchdown with 2:10 left. No. But it’s not a bad start.
They’ve been beat by two elite quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers over the past two weeks, so if they can step it up against Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton, that could be the recipe for success in engineering the Chiefs back to.500.
“I don’t know about all that”, Harbaugh said.
“It’s just the beginning”. Against the Bengals, the Ravens resorted to more blitzes and stayed in man coverage most of the game. The Ravens appear to have gotten a break in that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger won’t play Thursday night, leaving Baltimore as a slight favorite over a Pittsburgh offense led by Michael Vick. “He’s one of the good players on our team – great guy, great teammate”. Dalton dropped back to throw, and when he didn’t find anyone, he scrambled and dove in for the go-ahead score, avoiding two defenders on the way. “So, I think that the biggest thing for us is going to be to keep our attitude right”. Last year, Dalton took a step back statistically, but that was likely due to the injuries to his top weapons. The defense won’t let you do that anymore. That can been seen with his pre-snap reads and play changes; but, until the Bengals play another primetime game, or preform well in the playoffs, Andy Dalton is still the biggest question mark of this Bengals team. We saw it again Sunday.
Week 4 might not have an extremely salacious game like a Seattle vs. Green Bay matchup, but there are still plenty of good ones to tune into this week. In the receiving end, A.J. Green had 227 yards and two touchdowns in 10 receptions while Marvin Jones added 94 yards and a touchdown in five catches.
On second-and-10, that “backyard element” showed up.
“That’s one of Andy Dalton’s best qualities is decisiveness and his ability to feel the spacing on the field”, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said this week.
“Obviously, we want to get other guys involved, get their confidence going and all that stuff”, Flacco said. He is well-schooled that way. That’s something that takes time on his part, a lot of time on the coach’s part, and he does it as well as anybody I’ve ever been around.
The original formation called for Eifert on the outside to the right as a receiver. However, the front seven has not really contributed too much either. The only thing that worked for the Ravens was throwing the ball to Steve Smith so the Bengals had the flawless response, throw it deep to AJ Green. Green that he wanted, he motioned Eifert in-line.
Iloka revealed Monday he made a tough decision to pull himself as he deals with a nagging ankle injury. If the Vikings can get to Peyton Manning, who hasn’t looked stellar yet this season, and run the ball, it could spell a rousing road win for a Vikings team many experts pegged as real contenders in the NFC North this year. It would prove to be the decisive play of the game.
“As a secondary and a defense, we need to know how to put the fire out, how to stop people when the game’s on the line, especially here at home, Lewis said”. “That’s the mentality you have to have”.