There was a lot of debate going around Bengaldom regarding the law firm. Many fans did not think that he was a reasonable upgrade to the departed Cedric Benson. Those fans were proven wrong last night as Green-Ellis put up a very respectable game against a very stout Ravens defense. Green-Ellis had no ball security issues as most had already envisioned. Also, he once again proved that he can get those tough yards and has a nose for the end zone. Marvin Lewis, one of the most conservative coaches in the NFL even went for a couple of fourth and one’s because he has every bit of faith in BJGE. Keep in mind that one fourth and one was on the Raven’s 6-yard line which Green-Ellis not only converted, but twisted his way into the end zone for the Bengals lone touchdown. Green-Ellis will be a huge factor for the Bengals all season long and will help their west coast offense mightily.
There was a reason why the Bengals coaching staff was so high on Hawkins this off season. There was a reason why the Bengals also felt that they could cut Jordan Shipley and still be fine at the slot position. Those reasons showed on Monday night as Hawkins was simply electric.Daltonhas a very reliable security blanket in Hawkins as he can easily dump a pass off to him in the flat and watch Hawkins take it 15 yards up field. Hawkins should be relied on much more heavily this year in the Bengals offensive system. There will be a point where opposing defenses will have to game plan specifically for Hawkins because those short throws to him in space are turning out to be deadly. A great game was had by the second year slot receiver on Monday night and there is reason to believe that this is only the tip of the iceberg for this electrifying young player.
Not much needs to be said here. Mays continues to play with reckless abandon as he made one of the biggest boneheaded plays of the evening last night. Like always, he went in for a tackle with his helmet down and speared a defenseless receiver straight in the back while leading with his helmet which ended up as a personal foul and a Ravens first down. Luckily no one was injured on the play. Mays also had trouble in coverage as he was left one on one with receivers and was beat repeatedly. Luckily, Marvin Lewis and Mike Zimmer had seen enough of Mays and decided to pull him out of the game and replace him with the much more dependable Jeromy Miles. Miles should continue to start as Mays needs to figure out how to play effectively in the NFL.
There were a lot of questions coming in about Leon Hall’s ability to play against the Ravens effectively as he continues to recover from an Achilles injury. Hall showed very little rust as he was one of the only bright spots in the Bengals secondary on Monday. Joe Flacco did not throw Hall’s way much, and when he did, Hall was generally seen with good coverage. Hall did give up a touchdown, but was matched up against Pitta, one ofBaltimore’s tight ends who had a very large height advantage and was able to snag the ball above Hall’s head and out of his reach. Regardless, there is not much rust left on Hall and he will continue to be a very good first cornerback for the Bengals in 2012.
This is an ongoing debate here about Terence Newman. A lot of Bengals fans were very upset at Newman’s performance Monday night. The truth is, Newman was not caught off guard much and was generally in good position. Flacco made some great back shoulder throws to his receivers while Newman was in tight coverage. Also, covering Anquan Boldin is no easy task as he is one of the most physical receivers in the league and has a body that can shield a defensive back away from the ball as he did against Newman in the opener. Newman may not be the corner that he once was, but it seems that he can still be very serviceable as a second or third option at the position. The jury should still be out on Newman as he did not have a great performance Monday night, but he did not struggle mightily either. Time will tell on this one.