Aug 16, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws passes to warm up before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE

Quick Bengals/Falcons First-Half Thoughts


The Bengals defense came out and played with a purpose early on, getting constant pressure on Matt Ryan and rapping up ball carriers very well and forcing punts on the Falcons’ first two offensive drives. The first-team defense continued to play well, despite giving up two late scores right before halftime.


The o-line did much better in run-blocking but still let Andy Dalton face too much pressure in pass protection.


Rookie guard Kevin Zeitler did very well as he was matched up against former first-rounder Peria Jerry for most of the night. He sustained his blocks much better than last week.


Despite the constant pressure, Dalton looked very poise and made several nice plays outside of the pocket.


I’m not worried about Brian Leonard‘s fumble. Remember, BenJarvus Green-Ellis has never fumbled in the regular season, but did fumble once in a preseason game ironically against the Bengals.


After last week’s onslaught of injuries, It was scary to see Jermaine Gresham leave the field after he planted his foot awkwardly, but he turned out to be fine and left after he was hurt on a 26-yard catch and run.


Falcons DE Jonathan Abraham got the better of Andrew Whitworth, beating him off the snap several times to get pressure in the face of Dalton.


Terrence Newman struggled in coverage all night, even against the Falcons second-team receivers, and if he doesn’t step up his game going forward, he won’t make the opening day roster.


The Bengals were finally able to find the endzone when Dalton hit A.J. Green on a 55-yard bomb as he burned Pro Bowl CB Asante Samuel for the score.


Dalton finished the game is 8 of 14 for 125 yards and a TD and the Bengals first-team offense was 5 of 6 on third down conversions and left the game with a 10-3 lead.


Remember you can listen to the game online here.


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