Sunday had to be one of the oddest games I have ever seen the Bengals be a part of. Fortunately, the Bengals were on the good end of the oddities.
Here’s the Week 11 Good, the Bad and the Ugly…
Nov 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals safety Tony Dye (44) recovers a blocked punt and scores a touchdown during the first half against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Special Teams – In my weekly preview, I called the special teams of both the Bengals and Browns a push…apparently I was way off! The Bengals special teams won this game – and conversely, the Browns special teams lost the game. The Browns special teams gave up 2 blocked punts, 1 TD, committed a 15 yard unnecessary roughness penalty and gave up a 27 yard punt return to Adam Jones to put the Bengals in FG position with under 1 minute to play in the first quarter. That is a seasons’ worth of blunders all wrapped into one game.
a) Kevin Huber
Kevin Huber was busy Sunday – busy good! With 9 punts, Huber had a 45.3 net (6.8 yards better than his counterpart), 3 more punts inside the 20 and 1 66 yard, field position changing punt into the wind and rain. Huber is the most underappreciated, under discussed weapon the Bengals have.
b) Shawn Williams
When the Bengals took Williams in the 4th round, I expected to see him starting by some point in the year. Thanks to the solid play by Iloka, Williams has played very little, but he made a huge special teams impact on Sunday. After finally getting on the scoreboard Sunday, getting the momentum and pulling to 13-7, the Bengals held the Browns to a 3 and out. On the ensuing punt, Williams tipped it causing the punt to travel just 9 yards, leaving the Bengals with the ball at the Cleveland 38. It was a huge play that built on the momentum James Harrison started with his pick.
c) Jayson DiManche
Another guy that hasn’t seen much of the stat sheet in 2013, DiManche got on there in a big way on Sunday, recording the Bengals second blocked punt of the second quarter and having it run back 24 yards for a TD and 21-13 lead.
d) Tony Dye
Admit it, when you saw #44 heading into the endzone, you asked who the hell is #44? At the start of the week Tony Dye was a practice squad player that had never played in an NFL game. By Sunday afternoon, thanks to the Crocker injury, not only had Dye been active for his first NFL game, he had scored his first NFL touchdown. Not a bad week.
e) Adam Jones
At the end of the half, with under a minute to play, the Bengals put Jones back on the punt return hoping he could provide some magic and put the Bengals in position for a few more points before half. Good call. Jones took the punt 27 yards and put the Bengals in FG range for 3 more second quarter points.