The Cincinnati Bengals went into Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday and dominated a lackluster Jaguars team, improving their record to 3-1. The defense managed to stay strong up front, something they have had trouble doing in the past three games, and were able to contain a usually explosive Maurice Jones-Drew on the ground. The patch-work backfield, however, found themselves the target of bullying early on as Blain Gabbert was forced to go to the air against the defense. Andy Dalton and the receivers, once again impressed with a damaging aerial attack to lead the Bengals to a 27-10 victory against the Jags.
The team opened the first quarter with a sack by Domata Peko on Blaine Gabbert that led to a three and out for the struggling Bengals defense. On Cincinnati’s first offensive possession, Andy Dalton threw an interception into the hands of Jacksonville’s Kyle Bosworth. The interception was a short-lived victory for the Jags, though, as Bosworth mishandled the ball and fumbled while running making a run for the score. Andre Smith recovered the ball, giving the Bengals a fresh set of downs to work with in the first quarter. The drive that followed gave Marvin Jones his first NFL reception and led to a Mike Nugent field goal. On the Jags next possession, the Gabbert was able to pick apart the injury laded Bengals defense on his way to touchdown pass to Mercedes Lewis to open the second quarter of play. The score was then 7-3, Jacksonville. The drive was 13 plays for 77 yards and took 7:37 as Gabbert was 5 /5 for 51 yards and it looked as though the Jags were primed to exploit the gaping holes in the Bengals’ secondary.
The Bengals offense was dismal on their next two drives, going three and out. That all turned around, though, with a fake punt on 4th and 1 that ended with Cedric Peerman running for 48 yards to the Jacksonville 18. That play shifted the momentum back to the Bengals and led to Chris Pressley getting his first NFL touchdown from Andy Dalton, putting the Bengals back in the lead with a score of 10-7. Pressley became the sixth player to catch a TD for the Bengals this season.
When Jacksonville’s offense took the field again, the Bengals were able to apply pressure on Gabbert, not allowing the big pass plays down the field. After a sack that forced a fumble by Carlos Dunlap, which was later overturned by a facemask call on the DE, the Bengals were able to get a big third down stop. This allowed Dalton and the offense to take another shot before the half.
Green-Ellis started the drive with two big first down runs, setting up Dalton to hit Green for a big 42 yard gain to the Jacksonville 1 yard line. Dalton eventually was able to run the ball in on a quarterback sneak after a failed attempt at the end zone by BJGE. This was the last score before half time, leaving the score at Bengals 17, Jaguars 7.