Analyzing the 1st Quarter: Slow Start Nearly Doomed Bengals

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Nov 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Chris Ogbonnaya (25) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals free safety Reggie Nelson (20) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

43-Yard Run

Coming into the game, Chris Ogbonnaya had 101 yards rushing the entire season. On one play, the Bengals 9th-ranked rushing defense gave him 43 yards. The run started right and the Bengals looked to have it snuffed out, but Ogbonnaya cut it back to the middle, Vinnie Rey seemed to make a poor read, and Terrence Newman made a poor attempt at a tackle. The result was a foot race that ended 43 yards down the field at the Bengals 25-yard line.


There was a bright spot in the first quarter – the defense. While the Browns scored 13 points, 10 of those were scored (or essentially scored) by the Browns defense. Domato Peko batted down a ball to save a touchdown and James Harrison had a nice pick followed by the second best touchdown run of the Bengals season – unfortunately (but not surprisingly) it was nullified by a penalty. Outside of the 43 yard run, the Bengals defense surrendered just 43 other yards.

Huber Punt

The best offensive play of the quarter came compliments of the Bengals punter, Kevin Huber, when he booted a 66 yard punt at the end of the Bengals first drive (if you want to call it that). The well timed punt help flip the field position back to the Bengals favor.


So to recap, here’s what went right: 

Offensively? Nothing (unless you count Huber’s 66 yard punt). Defensively, the Bengals made some big stands holding the Browns to just 13 points despite their offense trying their best to sabotage the defense.

What went Wrong:

Pretty much everything. More specifically, Andy Dalton. In the first quarter,

What was the biggest play:

The interception and run back by Harrison. Despite the touchdown being nullified by a penalty, this play took what was a putrid first quarter and turned the momentum for the Bengals. This is the play that catapulted the Bengals to their record-setting 31 point second quarter.



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