Nov 1, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Brandon Tate (19) returns a punt as Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Shamarko Thomas (29) and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (88) chase during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals are now 7-0. That’s right, for the first time in Bengals history, the Cincinnati Bengals have won their first seven games of the season.
The Bengals started out poorly, converting only one of their first nine third downs. Cincinnati’s running backs performed well, but the Bengals never really committed to the run, giving their two backs just 16 carries on the day. Jeremy Hill took his 15 carries for 60 yards, while Giovani Bernard gained 12 yards on his only carry of the day
Andy Dalton played a much better game than his stat line indicated, although he ended the day having completed 23 of his 28 passing attempts for 231 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Don’t be fooled, however; although mainstream media will use that stat line to make football fans question Dalton’s 2015 brilliance, he played a good game in Pittsburgh.
Dalton’s first interception came on his third straight passing attempt from inside the five-yard line, immediately after a play in which A.J. Green was obviously pushed out of bounds. The referee indicated that the play would have been pass interference were Green in bounds when pushed, but the video evidence clearly showed that Green was about three-to-five yards in bounds before he was pushed two times. This pick should be attributed to Hue Jackson, not Dalton, for ignoring the running game despite the success his running backs had on the ground.
Shawn Williams and Reggie Nelson combined for three interceptions (two of which came in very key moments late in the game), and Vontaze Burfict tied for the team lead with five tackles in his return to action for the first time since 2014.
There’s more to come on Stripe Hype, so stay tuned! If you want to see our live tweets from the game and some Andy Dalton love, be sure to check out @HoweNFL on Twitter.