The Cincinnati Bengals not only found a way to win on Thursday Night Football, but did it convincingly. Here are our five takeaways from the week four win.
Vontaze Burfict is the Heart of this Defense
Burfict’s first game back in a Bengals uniform was spectacular. Even though he did not play every snap and did not make every tackle, just his presence alone made all the difference. This is the defense we saw during the 2014 and ’15 seasons.
The Bengals pass rush not only doubled their sack total on the season, but took it one step further to go from four sacks in three games to nine sacks in four games. They only gave Ryan Tannehill time on the first drive, which he took advantage of with a 71-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills. However, after that play, the Bengals nearly shut down the Dolphins offense completely.
Chris Lewis-Harris got his first career interception and ended a drive that the Dolphins looked like momentum was swinging a little. Tannehill is probably blaming the practice squad again.
However, I am still not impressed with George Iloka. He was better but giving up the first touchdown pass and then launching himself into his teammate who was trying to make a tackle is not how you play the game, just ask Burfict, he was suspended for supposedly doing just that.
Overall, the Bengals defense had heart, it was something they hadn’t shown until this week. It was Vontaze Burfict’s first game back from the suspension. It may be coincidence, however, it is more likely the emotion Burfict brings to that sideline.