The Cincinnati Bengals made a huge statement on Sunday with a 20-16 win over the Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium. Buffalo was one of the more stout teams on the Bengals’ schedule. They were 3-1 coming into today and boasted wins over the New York Jets (first in the AFC East) and Atlanta Falcons (defending NFC champs). But it was clear from the outset that Cincy came to play. And when it was over, you could tell that Cincinnati wasn’t playing around.
How Things Went
It was a rain-soaked dogfight between the cats and the whatever-creatures-represent-Bills. No one held a lead larger than seven points. That’s surprising considering the day Andy Dalton had (22/36, 328 yards), but the Bengals bungled the ball away three times to keep the Bills in it. The offensive line paved the way for a meager 65 rushing yards but only gave up one sack.
On the contrary, the Bengals’ D collected six of them. Seriously – Bengal defenders spent more time on QB Tyrod Taylor’s back than the number 5. They also held Buffalo to 221 yards of total offense. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict led the charge with 13 stops, a sack and three tackles for loss.
To be fair, Taylor didn’t exactly have a murderer’s row of targets. Buffalo’s air attack is short on healthy bodies, and that was before tight end Charles Clay was injured in the first quarter. Taylor only managed 166 yards through the air, with TE Nick O’Leary (five catches, 54 yards) leading the group.
Cincinnati Bengals Player of the Game
To paraphrase Kermit the Frog … it’s easy; Green. AJ went off in this one, hauling in seven passes for 189 yards and a 77-yard touchdown that looked like he was on cruise control. Let’s put that in perspective: Green gained almost as many yards from scrimmage as the Buffalo offense. Hope you started him in your fantasy league.
What This Means Going Forward
The momentum for the Cincinnati Bengals has done a 180 in the last three weeks. And with Pittsburgh on tap for October 22 (following the bye week), said momentum shift couldn’t have come at a better time. We also have to mention the kicking game. Last year, Cincinnati would have lost because of errant field-goal attempts. But Randy Bullock was good from 30 and 29 yards, and that won the game for us. How sweet is it to say that for a change?