Make no mistake, that was a HUGE win for the Bengals for many reasons: 1) with the Ravens and Browns losing, the Bengals now have a 2 game lead in the division; 2) the Bengals now have wins over the Packers, Patriots and the Lions (on the road); 3) 5-2 just seems miles better than 4-3. Though there was plenty room for improvement, all in all, that felt like the best Bengals game of this young season.
Oct 20, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) throws a pass to wide receiver A.J. Green (not pictured) for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andy Dalton – The Red Rifle went 24/34 (70.5 %) , 372 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 135.9 rating, 92.8 QBR. The scary thing was, it could have been better as Dalton missed Green on at least 2 occasions for deep TDs. For all the talk about Dalton’s play this year, he now has 709 yards, 6 TDs and just 1 INT in the last 2 games – 2 big road wins, and is among the top 11 in every major category: yards (6th), completion % (7th), TD (10th), rating (11th), ypg (11th), completions (6th), ypa (10th) and longest TD (2nd). Maybe we can lay off Dalton for a bit now.
AJ Green – To think he had 6 catches for 155 yards and 1 TD and he wasn’t even the best WR on the field yesterday! But he wasn’t far off from what Calvin Johnson was doing. Green exploited a weak Detroit secondary, and if not for a few under throws by Dalton, Green would have had a 200+ yard day and 2 TDs.
Marvin Jones – How big has Jones been these past 2 games? Another nice game with 4 catches for 57 yards and a beautiful TD grab along the back of the end zone. In the last 2 games, Jones has 7 catches for 128 yards, 2 TDs and 1 run for 34 yards. Those are the type of numbers you look for out of a #2 WR.
Tyler Eifert – Hard to believe Eifert’s TD catch was the first for a Bengals TE in 2013, but what a beautiful catch it was. Eifert turned one way, and then had to turn the other way to make the catch, a very difficult thing to do and he made it look easy. I would like to see the Bengals start getting Eifert more involved.