Bengals Banter: Talking Baby Hawk, Denver’s Hot Play, and Dalton’s Not-so-Hot Play


Cornerback Leon Hall has been very impressed with the Denver Broncos’ recent play, as they’ve won three of its past four games while averaging 31.8 points per game in that span. The offense has seen the most significant improvements, as evidenced by Denver’s last four games, in which they’ve produced 24 plays of 22 yards or more, including 10 in last week’s 34-14 thumping of of the New Orleans: Saints:

"Going from the Atlanta game until now, they’re probably one of the most improved offenses if not teams in the NFL."

Oct 21, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) reacts during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. The Steelers defeated the Bengals 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has been an interception machine this season, as he’s thrown an interception in every game, and six in the last three games, while his 10 picks are tied for second-most in the AFC. Instead of criticizing Dalton for his turnovers, Head Coach Marvin Lewis is being more critical of his starting QB’s demeanor and attitude, saying Dalton needs to be more of a vocal leader:

"We’re looking for Andy to take the next step to be a leader. Grab this football team by the back of its neck. At some point, you have to step out of your skin and say, ‘Let’s go’."

Oct 7, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (16) runs the ball in the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

The Bengals offense has been average at-best over the last three games, scoring 13, 24, and 17 points respectively after averaging over 30 ppg the previous 3 games. While everyone on the offense has played below their abilities, leading to the dip in offensive production, the most significant drop-off has been with receiver Andrew Hawkins. In his first three games of the year, he recorded 12 catches for 208 yards, but in the last three games, he’s been held to 12 catches for 99 yards. He’s still getting the same amount of targets, but hasn’t been able to get the yards-after-catch like in this memorable play vs. the Browns:

With a bye week to rest up, hopefully Hawkins can get back to being the open-field threat he was earlier in the year.

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