Sep 20, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) catches a touchdown pass against San Diego Chargers cornerback Brandon Flowers (24) in the first quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals are now 2-0 after a nice home victory over the San Diego Chargers in the team’s home opener at Paul Brown Stadium. After the defeat, the Chargers now stand at 1-1. Cincinnati will take on the Ravens in Baltimore next week, while San Diego will travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings.
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Cincinnati jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after
threw a dagger to
for the game’s first touchdown. After San Diego responded with two touchdowns, the Bengals took a 14-6 lead when
caught a 45-yard bomb in the end zone.
Both quarterbacks played well; Philip Rivers finished the game with 21 completions on 27 attempts, tallying 241 yards and two touchdowns. Andy Dalton also excelled, completing 16 of 26 passes, throwing for 214 yards and three touchdowns. Rivers threw an interception on the last drive, but Andy Dalton didn’t turn the ball over for the second straight week.
Giovani Bernard had the best day of any running back on the field, taking 20 carries for 123 yards. Jeremy Hill lost two fumbles and only tallied 39 yards; keep an eye out to see if Cincinnati gives Bernard more carries going forward.
Melvin Gordon had a nice day, rushing for 88 yards on 16 carries, adding a 10-yard reception in the passing game. Danny Woodhead also played well, gaining 36 yards on seven carries and catching six passes for 68 yards.
Cincinnati’s pass-catchers weren’t outstanding, but they all managed to contribute. No pass-catcher caught more than three passes or gained even 50 yards, but eight different players managed to contribute in the passing game, including second-round offensive tackle, Jake Fisher. Green, Jones and Tyler Eifert all caught touchdown passes.
Marvin Lewis has a lot of work to do this week. He needs to help Jeremy Hill work on ball-control, he needs to get some improved play from his linebackers and he needs his players in the secondary to work on catching passes and limiting penalties. Cincinnati’s win was ugly, but the Bengals are now 2-0 after a blowout in Oakland and today’s win.
And Mike McCoy’s plate will be full too; San Diego’s receivers made almost no impact on the game whatsoever, catching a dismal nine passes after Keenan Allen caught 15 passes himself last week. Brandon Flowers was beaten on two touchdown passes, while Jason Verrett gave up a couple of bad penalties. San Diego’s mental toughness looked nowhere near where it was last week; the Chargers didn’t sack or intercept Dalton even once all game. San Diego will need to pull its act together next week as it takes on the Minnesota Vikings.