Be sure to read the earlier segment on the defense. Now, time for the offense, which did better than last week, but still has a lot of room for improvement.
Andy Dalton – With the exception of the INT (which we will talk about soon enough), Dalton played well and did what he needs to do, and it earned him an AFC player of the Week award. He had a good completion percentage (65%), he took what the defense gave him, he completed the short passes, and he made a couple nice throws down field – the TD to Green was a nice pass, the Sanzenbacher pass on 4th downs was excellent, and the sideline pass to Sanu was also well thrown. My favorite play though was Dalton’s improvised scramble and shuffle pass to Gio for TD. That showed me that Dalton can make plays if he stays within himself.
Creativity on Offense – Jay Gruden finally showed some useful plays on Sunday. I liked the swing pass to Gio, the reverse to Jones, and the multiple screen passes (Jones and Green). The short screen and swing passes got Dalton off to a quick start, got his confidence up, and they worked well.
Whitworth Downfield Blocking – Boy did I love seeing Whitworth get out there on the screens and reverses. The block of the year has to be Whit’s one-armed throw down of Jim Leonard! Leonard looked like he ran into a wall (known as Whit’s right arm) and Whit just kept rolling down field and making another block.
Giovanni Bernard – I love Gio – especially in the passing game. I think it Gruden would be wise to study Sean Payton and the Saints and watch how they use Sproles. Bernard is the same type of player and causes the same type of nightmarish matchup problems.
Dane Sanzenbacher – I don’t understand why he is not used more. He gets open and catches the ball. The one-handed grab he had on 4th and 15 was impressive and hopefully, might earn him some playing time.