Bengals start and finish well in 30-27 win over Bears

 

Bengals Bears

Andy Dalton tossed two touchdowns as the Bengals offense flashed. The first team defense looked beastly. Auden Tate hauled in a 33-yard TD catch from Jeff Driskell to deliver the go-ahead and game-winning touchdown with 2:00 left. The Bears missed a game-tying 52-yard field goal in the final seconds and the Bengals beat the Bears in their preseason opener 30-27. While things bogged down on both sides of the ball for most of the second half, and the Bengals wound up with 10 penalties for 96 yards, it was certainly a productive night for the starters and an overall performance to feel good about. Attendance: 35,633. Next: The Bengals hit the road for their second preseason game August 18 at Dallas.

Gamebook/stats HERE

Opening thoughts before watching the game on tape............

Offense

1st team was crisp and efficient in 2+ series. The first team put up 139 yards in the first quarter.

The 1st team O scored two TD's. A year ago the starters did not produce at TD in four preseason and the first two regular season games. The Bengals outgained the Bears in the first half 283-105.

Simple formula: Get the ball into the hands of your best players and let them make plays.

Joe Mixon took a 4-yard pass in the flat from Dalton, made a make you miss shimmy move, spun, broke a tackle, balanced himself one one arm and dashed 24 yards for a TD. It was sweeeeet. 

Dalton:  6 of 8 for 103 yards and 2 TD passes with the interception. Passer rating: 116.7. The best decision on the Pick 6 was Dalton opting out of the tackle attempt.

Dalton threw to Green’s back shoulder for a 26-yard play down the left side, along with a 22-yard catch on a crossing route during the opening drive.

I liked moving the WR's around like chess pieces on a board. 13 different players caught a pass.

23 points in first half, scoring points on five of their six possessions.

The starting OL seemed to hold up well...no sacks and space to run. 

OL overall: 28-144-5.1 rush. One sack (Driskell) on 36 pass attempts.

Giovani Bernard broke loose for 8 and 11-yard runs up the middle.

The back-ups on the OL struggled. I saw Fisher and Ogbuehi whiff.

3rd QT: 7 rushes/22 yards, 28 yards passing and one first down.

3 false starts: Kroft, Hill and Redmond (struggled).

I enjoyed watching a center that moved people, as opposed to being move.

John Ross slipped and fell on his first target and it resulted in a Pick 6. Marvin put him right back in on next series. Had a really nice 20-yard catch and cut. He could not get both feet down in back of end zone on Barkley pass. He had one catch on five targets.

I continue to like what I hear about and see from Tyler Boyd. He knifed inside CB Kyle Fuller for a 3-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.

Matt Barkley made a nice end of half pass to Josh Malone...but he's still a guy with 8 career TD to 18 career TD. 1st H: 5 of 13 for 64 yards and a 54.6 passer rating.

Malone hauled in a 23 yard pass on the sideline and drew a flag in coverage for 17 yards.

Brian Hill rumbled 18-yards after a nice pull by Redmond.

Beauty of final drive to win it by Jeff Driskell: 4-91-1:43. It included a 39-yard screen to Williams. Whitfield had a nice catch. Auden Tate had a nice leaping/body catch that was waived off by penalties. He was called for offensive PI on same drive. Then he hauled in a 33-yard TD catch from Driskell to give the Bengals the lead and the win.

Driskell played the entire second half: 10 of 14 for 140 yards, TD.

Defense

The No. 1 D line put bibs on right away. They were eating. Geno, Carlos and Carl in the backfield often.

The first team defense allowed minus-1 yard in two series and the overall defense allowed just 28 first quarter yards. Dunlap picked up a penalty for roughing the passer extended the first Bears drive.

Still can't cover the TE....they chase after the catch. TE went down the seam for 55-yards to Daniel Brown.

 Vinny Rey injured his knee in the first quarter and did not return.

Malik Jefferson had a nice drop, run and cover of a RB/incomplete, but was involved in the big gain run and pass play.

Brandon Bell picked off Chase Daniels on a ricochet.

Sam Hubbard just missed a TFL rushing inside. Later, he was victim of jet sweep around him for a 3-yard TD.

Clayton Fejedelem was the first violator of the new use of helmet rule. Seemed like a good call.

KeiVarae Russell picked off a pass. Good for him.

3rd QT D allowed a 69-yard run.

Special Teams

How about that fake punt? Clayton Fejedelem takes a direct snap and ran for 49 yds to the Bears 26.

Nice seal off by Brandon Bell and Hewitt on the fake. But do you want to play that card in the preseason?

CJ Goodwin with a downfield nice tackle on a punt. Trayvon Henderson had a nice wrap/tackle on a PR, but left with an injury to the ribs.

Jonathan Brown converted his first field goal (24 yards) and first extra point ever in a game on any level of football. Amazing.

 
Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister covers everything in Cincinnati sports! Host of sports talk on Cincinnati News Radio 700WLW and ESPN 1530! Read more

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