Monday, October 31, 2011

The Cincinnati Bengals Get Tough

When the Seattle Seahawks scored a TD in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals, to make it 17-12 in favor of the Bengals, you might have thought this would be another West Coast defeat. After all, the Bengals haven't won on the left coast since 2003 and have not beaten the Seahawks at their home since 1994. Add to that, Seattle's Qwest Field was ridiculously loud. No wonder there are signs from the fans celebrating the twelfth man.

But when the going gets tough, the Bengals got going. They added a field goal in that fourth quarter. And they made plays. Bengals punt returner Brandon Tate took one to the house to ice the victory. And Bengals safety Reggie Nelson intercepted a pass and returned it for a TD for an exclamation point. Bengals win 34-12.

Total team victory. Bengals QB Andy Dalton was spectacular in the first half. His TD bomb to A.J. Green was a thing of beauty. He was under pressure and saw Green streaking towards the endzone. Green made a nice move on the safety and flew free. Green caught it in the endzone perfectly. Now there were problems in the second half. Dalton threw two picks. One of them could have been prevented if Green had fought for the ball. But hey, Dalton and Green are rookies. Dalton continues to play like he's been in the league for three years. Bengals running back Bernard Scott was good enough. He averaged 3.5 yards for 76 yards. But Seattle was number one against the run.

Special teams were solid. Two great punt returns by the Bengals. Adam Jones 63 yard return set up Dalton's first TD pass. And of course, there was Tate's TD run. Ted, er.. Mike Nugent was money again. His fourth quarter 48 yard field goal let the team breathe.

The defense was solid. They got thrown against by Seattle's Tavaris Jackson. But the defensive line was just great. They were in the quarterback's face all day. And Carlos Dunlap had a big sack when the Bengals were just rushing three guys. That led to Tate's TD return.

I really don't care what the pundits say. They'll say the Bengals beat a bad team. Whatever. Want to know something? This is the NFL. On any given Sunday, anybody can beat anybody. And Seattle is tough at home. With the victory, head coach Marvin Lewis has the most wins in franchise history. He's terrible with the local press, but let's face it, he changed the culture of the franchise. He's had two winning seasons in the eight years he's been here. And he motivates the players and the players love playing for him.

Here are the highlights, Bengals Nation.

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