It was a tale of 2 halves for the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night against Jacksonville.
The 1st teamers pretty much dominated. Andy Dalton went 6 of 10 with a touchdown pass to Giovani Bernard. Bernard and Jeremy Hill combined for 101 total yards and 2 touchdowns. The Bengals D held the Jags to a field goal after they had the ball 1st and goal inside the 5. At one point, Cincy held a 125-to-14 yard edge in total offense and a 14-0 lead on the scoreboard.
In the second half though, the Jags’ backups brought the house and came back from a 21-3 deficit, scoring 23 straight to pull out a 26-21 win. The topper came when Jacksonville LB Hayes Pullard III picked off QB Joe Licata and returned the interception 62 yards for the game-clinching TD with less than 8 minutes to go. Otherwise, the night went well.
Ummm, except for one thing.
Remember our last post about the Bengals needing to avoid injuries? Umm, yyyyeah … didn’t happen. Adam Jones pulled a calf muscle in warm-ups and didn’t play. AJ Green banged knees with a Jacksonville DB and left, though his injury wasn’t thought to be serious. Backup RB Cedric Peerman left in the 2nd quarter with a fractured forearm and could miss the season, which is a blow to the backfield depth as well as special teams.
Even with that, though, things are looking up as the final preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts looms. The offense looks sharp and the defense seems airtight. Give Pro Bowlers Green and Jones a chance to rest, and the Bengals will be ready to roll come September 11 against the Jets.