Without Burfict, Bengals Remain Perfect


Sep 21, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) celebrates a touchdown by Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (not pictured) during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 33-7. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals entered Sunday’s game at Paul Brown Stadium with an opportunity to remain unbeaten in the NFL. The Bengals, coming off of an impressive win at home against the Atlanta Falcons, were looking for more of the same against the Tennessee Titans. The Bengals were minus All-Pro linebacker Vontaze Burfict and though All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green was playing, he was still nursing a turf toe issue that kept him sidelined for much of the game against the Falcons.

Well, needless to say the Bengals did not disappoint. Tennessee had success early moving the football against the stingy Bengals defense, but could not turn that success into points as they missed an early field goal that would’ve given them a 3-0 lead. As it sits, the Bengals offense capitalized on the error and put together a nice nine play 59 yard drive that was capped by a Mike Nugent field goal.

This is where things just got weird. Usually where there is weird there is Mohamed Sanu and Sunday was no different. This play started normal as Sanu took a pitch out from Andy Dalton at the Titans 18 yard line, but then Sanu threw the ball back to Dalton who evaded a tackler and dove into the endzone just inside the pylon. Yes, Andy Dalton caught a pass for a touchdown marking the first time in Bengals’ history that a quarterback caught a touchdown pass.

After that, the rout was on. The Bengals defense was rarely tested and continued to make life miserable for Jake Locker who finished the day 17/34 for 185 yards, no touchdowns and 2 interceptions. One interception came to the hands of Reggie Nelson who was celebrating his 31st birthday on Sunday. Happy birthday Reggie! Nelson picked off Locker in the endzone after Andy Dalton had an interception on an errant screen throw to running back Gio Bernard. All in all, the Bengals looked complete on all sides of the ball and easily won 33-7; the Titans touchdown came with 6:09 to go in the 4th quarter after the Bengals had pulled their defensive starters.

Going forward the Bengals enter the bye week as one of the best teams in the NFL. They are the only unbeaten AFC team and thought by many to be the best in the NFL. USA Today put them atop their NFL rankings going into Week 4 and the Bengals are outscoring their opponents at an NFL best 80-33 difference. When the Bengals go into Foxborough to face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, Sunday Night October 5th, they plan to be healthy and have all hands on deck, minus of course Tyler Eifert. Also, game note, Tom Brady has to face the only defense to hold him without a touchdown (last season at Paul Brown Stadium) and a quarterback second to Brady in wins since 2011 in Andy Dalton; Brady has 39 regular season wins since 2011 while Dalton has 33.