Bengals top Falcons to move to 2-0
09/15/2014 11:30 AM
They had to overcome injuries to do it, but the Bengals improved to 2-0 Sunday with a 24-10 victory over the Falcons at Paul Brown Stadium. This is their first 2-0 start since 2006. The victory also means the Bengals won their 10th straight regular-season home game. They also have no giveaways or sacks allowed in either game this season — just the second team since 1960 to do that.
In the first half, it appeared the Bengals’ red zone struggles would continue from last week. A couple red zone trips in the first half ended with Andy Dalton overthrowing Mohammed Sanu and Dane Sanzenbacher resulting in settling for field goals. Kicker Mike Nugent was only 1-for-4 in the first half after going 5-for-6 last week.
A.J. Green, who didn’t practice all week due to a foot injury, was ruled out during the first quarter with a right toe injury. After the game, he told ESPN’s Bob Holtzman that it’s not broken and he hopes to play next week. Losing Green meant the Bengals offense would have to play without their top two receivers (Green and Marvin Jones) and their top tight end, Tyler Eifert.
In their absence, maybe the biggest star of the game was Mohammed Sanu. He contributed both in the passing and receiving games. The team finished the first quarter with a Dalton pitch to Sanu who threw a beautiful 50-yard bomb to Brandon Tate to head into the second quarter. Later in the third quarter, Sanu caught a 76-yard touchdown pass from Dalton to put the Bengals up 17-3.
It was also an impressive day for the Bengals running game. Gio Bernard scored the first touchdown of the game and Jeremy Hill found the end zone later in the third quarter. They combined for 170 rushing yards, a much improved performance from last week.
On the defensive side, Cincinnati was challenged with containing the Falcons explosive offense and they were beyond successful despite losing Vontaze Burfict early in the game to a stinger. Matt Ryan was pressured all game long and threw three interceptions (two to safety George Iloka). The secondary shut down the highly regarded wide receiver duo of Roddy White and Julio Jones. Only Jones found the end zone and not until late in the game to make the score 24-10 in the third quarter.
Also of note: Devon Still was active for Sunday’s game and got some playing time. The volume of the crowd was chill-inducing after every Still tackle. The Bengals finished with two sacks as they continue to #SackCancer all season in honor of Still’s daughter Leah. Check that out here: https://pldgit.com/prayforleah
Next up, the Bengals will prepare this week for the Titans at home before they head into an early bye week that may actually be necessary as the injuries are piling up.
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