Bengals’ Winners and Losers vs. Titans

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Sep 21, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) reacts to a penalty during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Winner: A.J. Green

After talking all week about whether or not A.J. Green would play, Green not only played, but settled worries about him going forward.  Green finished the day with six catches and 102 yards.  His biggest impact was allowing this offense to retain possession and move the ball down the field.  Green accounted for eight first downs yesterday; all of his catches earned a first down while he drew two pass interference penalties for first downs as well.  Green accounted for 32% of the Bengals’ first downs yesterday and 80% of the team’s passing first downs.  This offense simply couldn’t have functioned as well without him as he kept the defense honest and opened up the field in both the passing and running game.

It was a promising sign for the Bengals going forward as they’ll face the Patriots at Foxborough coming out of their bye week.  The Patriots’ secondary possesses several dangerous players such as Darrell Revis and Devin McCourty.  They’ve created six interceptions this year and should present a real challenge to the Bengals offense; maybe their most difficult yet.  Green’s presence will hopefully have a similar effect in Week Five.  The Bengals will need him to take some focus off the running game and some pressure off Dalton as the Patriots possess a dangerous pass rush.  Green’s established health is a welcomed sign for this team going forward as they head into a difficult stretch of the season, which has them playing at New England, versus Carolina, at Indianapolis, and versus Baltimore in the next four weeks.  It’ll be good to have A.J. around.