Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister

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


Opening thoughts: Bengals get offense cranked up, beat up Lions

Photo: Getty Images

Bengals 34 Lions 11

The Bengals are 4-2.....a year ago they were 4-11-1. That's back-to-back road wins. The 23 point margin of victory is the largest of the Zac Taylor era, besting previous mark of 16 vs Jets (22-6) in Week 14 of 2019. Overall, it's the Bengals largest margin of victory since a 24 point win over the Browns (31-7) in Week of 2017.

Bengals scored on their opening drive for first time this season: 8 plays/61 yards, capped by a nifty Chris Evans TD catch. The offense fell into a rut after that........until: Two big moments: (1) After a frustrating first 29:00+ of the first half, Joe Burrow found Chase on a 34-yard dime that set up an Evan McPherson FG to make it 10-0 at the half. That seemed to unleash the offense. (2) Facing 4th and 1 on opening drive of 2nd half, Taylor elected to go for it from the Detroit 40-yard line. Burrow hit Mixon in the flat after a fake jet sweep rollout and Mixon scooted 40-yards for a TD to make it 17-0. They scored on their first four second half possessions: TD-FG-TD-TD on drives of 9-56, 8-75, 11-58, 8-95. Second half offense: 249 yards and 14 first downs. They have scored a TD on opening drive of 2nd half in 5 of 6 games.....and double-dipped three times with a score to end half and score to begin second half.

I liked the use of motion, play action, and Burrow under center more.

Points this season: 52 in 1st H........96 in 2nd half and OT.

Bengals outgained Lions: 398-228 in posting a season high for points. As frustrating as the offense/play-calling has been, thank the heavens it's not the Detroit offense.

Joe Air Show: Burrow 19-29-271. 3 TD, 1 INT 2 sacks, 115.7 rating. 2+ TD passes in all six games to open season, tying Dan Marino for QB's doing that to start season 1 or 2 of career.

Joe Ground Show: Mixon got 23 touches....153 total yards.....18 carries/94 yards (5.2)....5 catches/59 yards, 4-yard TD catch.

Ground game: Mixon and Evans combined for 22 rushes/112 yards (5.09) as OL seized control of Detroit DL and had their way.

Dynamic duo: It was Burrow to Chase late in the half, again....this time 34 yards to get up a FG. It was a 43 yarder in the 3rd QT. Total: 4-97.

D lockdown: Shutout until FG, TD and two point conversion in final 8:37 with a number of starters pulled. 228 total yards (3.7 per play).....a good chunk came in garbage time late. Allowed just 51 yards on 29 plays in first half (1.8). Lions rushed 18 times for 36 yards (2.0). Goff 28-42-204 yards, INT, rating 67.8. They are now 5th in the league in points allowed (111/18.5)....after allowing 26.5 per play a year ago.

Playmaker: Logan Wilson picked off his 4th pass of the season.

Sackmaker: Trey Hendrickson recorded his 5th season of the season.

2-minute offense: The Bengals have scored all 31 of their 2nd quarter points this season in the final 2:00 of first half.

Flash! Chris Evans ran (4-18), caught (3-49) and blocked. Nice move off the line/catch for a 24-yd TD to open the scoring. Big blitz pick-up on long pass to Chase. And....3 special teams tackles.

The blocking by RB/WR was superb. Chase hustled from opposite side of field into the Mixon 40-yard TD catch, got ahead of him and led way with blocks! An Evans blitz pick-up bought Joe a split second to find Chase on the 43-yarder.

Right guard roulette: Rookie Trey Hill started at RG. He was quickly overwhelmed with back-to-back early penalties. Jackson Carman replaced him, but then left due to an illness in the 2nd QT and Hill finished the game at RG.

Settle down: 1st quarter penalties wiped out nice plays....18 yard pass to Higgins, 11 yard pass to Boyd. But they committed just one penalty rest of the way after committing just two penalties vs Green Bay.

Mop-up duty: Brandon Allen replaced Burrow with about 8:00 left and tossed a TD to Auden Tate.

Swap out: Darrin Simmons appears to have seen enough of Darius Phillips return punts. He was replaced after his first return (0 yards) by Trenton Irwin: 2-26.

Taking a knee: Bengals were at 400 yards until final two kneel downs by Allen.

Really? Bengals have won 11 consecutive coin tosses.

Next: at Baltimore (5-1)

AFC North through Week 6 Ravens (5-1) Bengals (4-2) Browns (3-3) Steelers (3-3)

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