Cincinnati Bengals: Earning Their Stripes, Week 11: A.J. Green


Nov 16, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) makes a catch in front of New Orleans Saints defensive back A.J. Davis (20) in the fourth quarter of their game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Bengals won, 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

This week, the Bengals were supposed to lose. They weren’t supposed to bounce back from arguably their worst loss of the Marvin Lewis/Andy Dalton era.  Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham, and the defense fed by, woops, led by Rob Ryan was supposed to make quick work of the Bengals and send them packing with a loss.  Even Vegas, the guys who make their mortgage payments based off of wins and losses, picked the Saints as a 7.5 point favorite.  What could they have missed?

The answer is easy, a healthy Adriel Jeremiah Green, A.J. Green for short.  Number 18 in the game guide and number one in our hearts, when he is healthy he is good, really good.  A.J. was able to practice this whole week without his toe bothering him, and it really showed.  Andy and A.J. have never looked more on the same page than on Sunday in the Superdome.

Fast forward to the fourth quarter, the Saints have just scored to pull within 10, and the Cincinnati Bengals are about to implode.  Welcome back A.J. Green.  On a third and 18, Andy Dalton connects to Green along the sideline for a 38-yard gain.  This was a great throw, and more importantly, a great catch by Green who dropped a very similar pass in the playoffs last season.  Now this drive belonged to Green.  On third and two, A.J. to the Saints 25 yard line.  On first down, Dalton, Green, touchdown, ballgame.

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A.J. Green has been making phenomenal catches since he was drafted by Cincinnati fourth overall in 2011.  Green has been the cornerstone of the Bengals success for the past three years and one of the main reasons why they have made the playoffs the past three seasons.  A.J. Green is in line for big time money this off-season and he will no doubt get paid, however this is about now.  The Bengals need Green to play well now, right now.  Green carried a 21.2 yards/catch average on Sunday as he caught six passes for 127 yards and a touchdown.  The Saints had no answer for Green and it showed.  Well done to “earn your stripes” A.J., well done.