The Bengals opener on the road in Chicago was close as most predicted it would be. The Bears ended up on the winning side 24-21 and they deserved to get the win in this one. Noted below is the good, the bad, and what to hope for in the weeks to come.
-Dalton made a few mistakes but he played well and appeared to be more in command of the offense. He finished with 26 completions on 33 passing attempts, 282 yards passing and 2 TD’s.
-The rookies looked good. Both TE Tyler Eifert and RB Gio Bernard looked good when they touched the ball and made several positive plays each. Eifert had 5 receptions for 47 yards and Bernard had 4 carries for 22 yards and another catch for 8 yards.
-OT Anthony Collins played extremely well in place of Andrew Whitworth and Julius Peppers was kept in check all game.
-TE Jermaine Gresham played well and had several good physical runs after catching passes to pick up first downs. He finished with 5 receptions for 35 yards.
-LB Vontaze Burfict was noticeably aggressive all game long and had his first career interception.
-DE Carlos Dunlap had several QB pressures and batted down a Jay Cutler pass.
-Stupid penalties and too many penalties. The Bengals committed 8 penalties as a team and 2 of them were unsportsmanlike conduct due to scuffles after the play.
-Lack of composure and maturity. Dre Kirkpatrick and Rey Maualuga were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Maualuga’s penalty prevented the team from getting one more possession at the end of the game.
-Turnovers. Dalton threw 2 interceptions, although 1 was not his fault as A.J. Green couldn’t hold on to a pass that was nicely thrown and then went into the arms of a defender. Both receivers A.J. Green and Mohamed Sanu fumbled and Sanu’s fumble was recovered by the Bears.
-Poor game management. The Bengals had no timeouts over the last 8 minutes of the game. Not good. Not sure exactly who is to blame but this should not happen.
-Benjarvus Green-Ellis is unable to pick up positive yardage when they try to kick it ouside.
-No sacks for a team that had 51 last season.
What to hope for.
-Penalties cleaned up. Stupid penalties cleaned up.
-A more composed team.
-Improved coaching/game management.
-Only run Green-Ellis up the gut, give Gio Bernard more touches.
-Dalton played well, let’s hope he can keep it going and remains consistent.