With the offseason here, we will begin looking at the best moments, stories and games that ultimately shaped the 2013 Cincinnati Bengals.
For our next one, we take a look back at the Week 8 demolishing of the New York Jets, a game in which Andy Dalton and Marvin Jones had the best days of their NFL Careers.
The Bengals entered their Week 8 matchup going against a New York Jets defense that ranked among the NFL’s elite. Rex Ryan had never lost to the Bengals with the Jets.
But none of that mattered on this day, as the Bengals thoroughly dominated the Jets in every way imaginable.
Andy Dalton had arguably the best game of his three-year NFL career, throwing for a career-high five touchdowns to go with 325 passing yards on 19-of-30 passing.
But it was the recipient of those scores that was the biggest surprise, as second-year receiver Marvin Jones hauled in four scores to break the Bengals franchise record for most receiving touchdowns in a game.
It was the most receiving touchdowns in a single game since Randy Moss and Terrell Owens did it in 2007, and the 40-point win was the largest of Marvin Lewis’ 11 seasons as head coach.
This game was big for a number of reasons. It showed that the offense was finally capable of scoring against even an elite NFL defense, and that the Bengals D would not have to carry the team as it had for much of the past two seasons.
It also was significant in that the Bengals finally found a legitimate No. 2 receiver who could punish defenses for focusing their coverage on the All-Pro A.J. Green.
Jones and Green would go on to become the only two Bengals teammates to record 10 receiving touchdowns in a single season.
But the biggest takeaway to come out of this game was that Dalton had finally shown he could be the franchise quarterback the Bengals needed him to be.
That gamed capped off a fantastic month for Dalton, and he was eventually named the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Month.
The Bengals were no longer a defensively sound team with a game manager for a quarterback and an offense that had to be carried by the defense.
This was now a team capable of winning defensive slug-fests one week and a shootout the next.