Nov 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) runs for a first down against Cleveland Browns defensive back Buster Skrine (22) at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati defeated Cleveland 41-20. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
The Run Game – While 106 yards on 31 carries (3.4 ypc) is nothing that catches the eye, it is impressive when you figure the Browns run defense was ranked 6th coming into the game, giving up just 98.2 ypg and Bernard was able to average 4.5 ypc.
Mohamed Sanu – Only 11 receiving yards, but he did have a TD and one beautifully thrown back shoulder pass touch pass to Bernard down the sideline which looked like a Pro Bowl caliber QB threw it. In his two years in the league, Sanu is now 2/2 passing for 98 yards and a TD. And, to be honest, he may throw a prettier ball than Dalton. No matter, he provides the offense a lot of versatility.
The Gresham TD – When Dalton threw this pass, I said a few 4-letter words. Gresham was triple covered and Dalton really had no business making the throw. With that being said, he placed it in there nicely, and surprisingly, Gresham hauled it in…supporting my theory that Gresham does a better job making the tough catch over the easy catch (see his drop earlier in the game for an example).
Pass Protection – Coming into the game, the Browns were ranked 5th in the NFL with 31 sacks and the banged up Bengals line had surrendered 10 sacks in the last 2 games. The line held up better than anyone could have expected, 0 sacks and 1 QB hit. Unfortunately Dalton didn’t take advantage of the great protection.
Dre Kirkpatrick Sighting – He was beat on the long touchdown, but he had good coverage on the play and just fell victim to a really good pass by Campbell. Other than that play, he had a good game, came up with a sack, 2 tackles and a pass defensed. Heck, he even bounced back from an injury!