This edition of ‘Called Out’ is coming from a live perspective from FedEx Field. First off, a bit thank you goes out to Washington D.C. It is a great area with some great fans. Sure there will always been a couple out there who will get a bit chipper with fans from opposing teams, but what fan base doesn’t have those people? For every fan there that was disgruntled by another fan wearing a Bengals jersey, there were a dozen that were very nice and polite.
The fans in Washington are also very loud. It really does make for a difficult venue to opposing teams. When Robert Griffin III was announced during their home opener on Sunday, the crowd went in to an uproar. It is easily measured by turning on a jet’s engine right next to your ear. So, once again, thank you for the hospitality,Washington. I look forward to returning in the future. Now, let’s get to it.
Interesting that through three articles he has been the first name on the list each time. He did play better than he has this season, but watching him live is even more frustrating than watching him on TV. Again, he can’t seem to solve his problem with over pursuing the run and was blocked out of the way on numerous runs from Alfred Morris and RGIII. On one play in particular, he was chasing down a Redskins receiver and could have made a lunging tackle to keep him in bounds to keep the clock ticking, but he chose to give up on the play and allow an extra five yards and the receiver to get out of bounds to stop the clock. Rey will need to play with more heart and more desire if he wants to maintain his starting role as the middle linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals.
The ‘Fisher-Price Package’
Carlos Dunlap returned to the Bengals’ starting line up on Sunday and did exactly what was expected of him. He was disruptive all day long and when he was double teamed, it allowed fellow line mates Geno Atkins and Michael Johnson to exploit the offensive line of the Redskins and get pressure on the quarterback. Of the six sacks that the Bengals recorded on Sunday, these young guns on the defensive line accounted for five of them. This will be a very important key to turning around the Bengals defense as the season progresses, and all indications of improvement are looking good right now.
Believe it or not, this was not a bad outing by the secondary by any stretch of the imagination. The Bengals were playing without their top corner Leon Hall. Adam Pacman Jones and Terence Newman got the start with Jason Allen in the slot, and Nate Clements played most of the game at the safety position along with Reggie Nelson. RGIII did end up with a decent amount of passing yards, but a great amount of them came in garbage time when the Bengals were playing a prevent-style defense. The secondary accounted for two big mental errors during the game when Jones was beat by Santana Moss in the corner of the end zone for a Redskins touchdown and then there was the brutal mistake by Newman on a late hit near the end of the game that put Washington in a good position to try to force overtime. Other than that, they were a solid unit and seemed much improved from the first two weeks.
Kudos goes to Coach Gruden for his offensive game planning. He seemed to be one step ahead of the Redskins defense the entire game as the Bengals amassed six scoring drives for a total of 38 points. This was the first time since 2005 that the Bengals had scored 30+ points in two consecutive games. This offense was not supposed to be this explosive, but they are gelling very well and could be a force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future. The movement of A.J. Green around the field created a huge amount of mismatches all day long, and opening up the game with a trick play by Mohamed Sanu in the wildcat formation hitting Green for a 73-yard touchdown really set the tone.
Dalton had yet another great game. He has recorded his highest passer ratings of his career in the past two games and eclipsed a 130 passer rating on Sunday. He has also thrown for over 300 yards in consecutive games for the first time in his career. Dalton has recorded 3 touchdowns through the air in each of the last two games. Dalton has shown great command of his offense and he is proving that this is his team. Can Dalton become one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks? Judging by the last two games, it is a possibility. The sky is the limit for this second year quarterback, and he doesn’t seem like he is ready to slow down his pace at all.