Bengals 15 Broncos 10
The Bengals had to have it. They got. In a 60-minute grind and slog, they snapped a two-game losing streak with a gut-check 15-10 road win at Denver.
The Bengals move to 8-6 and into first place by virtue of a tiebreaker in the AFC North after the Ravens lost to the Packers 31-30. They are now 5-2 away from PBS. The franchise record for road wins is six (1981, 2005, 2012, 2015). They have doubled their 2020 win total (4-11-1) and exceeded their combined 2019-2020 win total (6-25-1) by two wins. They have won 8 of 14 games. Prior to this season they had won 8 of 43 games dating back to Week 6 of 2018. They are 10-7 over their last 17 games.
Play(s) of the Game: Trailing 10-9 in the 3rd quarter, Joe Burrow connected with Tyler Boyd for a 56-yard TD to put the Bengals on top 15-10. CJ Uzomah made a beauty of a block to buy Burrow a tick.
The Broncos trailed 15-10 and faced 2nd and goal at the Bengals 9-yard line in the 4th quarter. Kahlid Kareem grabbed the ball away from QB Drew Lock and rumbled 26-yards out to the Bengals 37. But then he had the ball poken away by Lock and recovered by the Broncos. But replay review ruled Kareem down after the initial strip. Kareem was injured on the play. He had 2 tackles, fumble and QB hit. Kareem had played 26 snaps (PFF) prior to Sunday, he played 13 vs the Broncos.
Doing it with D:
The defense rose up and stopped Denver's final three drives of the game after the Broncos had taken their first lead at 10-9. They forced a fumble, a punt and stopped the Broncos on downs to end the game. The Broncos had taken over on their own 25 with 64 seconds left. The D was on the field for 71 snaps to 51 by the offense.
Broncos had just 292 yards of offense: 159 passing and 133 rushing (3.9). Melvin Gordon III and Javante Williams entered averaging about 4.6 yards per carry, but were held to 3.9. Their longest run was 14 yards.
Germaine Pratt had 15 tackles. Pratt and Markus Bailey shared their first career sack. Trey Hendrickson was a game-long disruptor, recording a half sack (13) and pressure after pressure. He drew multiple flags, including a hold on 1st down on Denver's final drive. Larry Ogunjobi 1.5 sacks. Eli Apple had a big pass break up to prevent a TD. Joe Bachie injured his left knee and left the game in the 3rd quarter. Trae Waynes was active, but struggled, and was picked on for a TD. He did offer 69 snaps at that altitude.
Joe Burrow: 15 of 22, 157 yards, TD, 0 INT, QB rating 103.8, 3 sacks. He made a 3rd and 10 money throw on a 15-yarder to Tyler Boyd over the middle with 3:28 left to extend a drive. He had clutch runs (5 for 25), including three big 3rd down conversions. 5 yards on 3rd & 3 own 23 in 1st quarter,
8 yards on 3rd & 5 own 23 in 3rd quarter, 5 yards on 1st & 10 own 45 in 3rd quarter, 8 yards on 3rd & 5 own 20 in 4th quarter. The Bengals are 4-0 in Burrow's four lowest passing yardage games: 190 vs Steelers, 172 vs Steelers, 157 vs Broncos, 148 vs Raiders.
The offense managed just 249 yards. They had 91 yards at the half (58 pass/33 rush). 3rd down 4 of 13.
Tyler Boyd: 5 catches/96 yards, TD. Ja'Marr Chase had one catch on his only target, a 3-yarder in the 3rd quarter.
The offense did not turn it over. They are now 7-1 when they don't lose the turnover battle.
Joe Mixon: 17 for 58 (3.4). He appeared to twist his ankle and left in the 4th quarter. He did not return. He continues to pile up "this close" to breaking it runs.
Perine had a nice 22-yard run to get the Bengals into the red zone...
Fred Johnson got the start for an injured Riley Reiff at right tackle. Jackson Carman replaced an injured Hakeem Adeniji in the 2nd quarter and finished the game.
Decision making: Leading 15-10, Zac Taylor faced 3rd and 8 on the Bengals 38 yard line with 2:00 left and Denver out of timeouts. He opted for a Semaje Perine run that went for two yards and they punted to turn things over to the defense.
Evan McPherson kicked three field goals (53-58-26), including a franchise record 58-yarder. He's 9 of 10 on kicks of 50+ yards and has made seven straight.
Trent Taylor took over KR and PR duties. He had three punts for an average of 7.3 and long of 12. He returned one kickoff for 23 yards.
Stanley Morgan down a Huber punt at the 2-yard line.
Tied 3-3 with :14 in the half, the Broncos missed a 51-yard FG. On the very next play, Burrow found Boyd for 19 yards. McPherson then hit a 58-yarder to give the Bengals a 6-3 halftime lead.
An uncharacteristic 6 penalties hurt the Bengals. Quinston Spain's hold wiped out a 45-yard catch by Chase.
Denver QB Teddy Bridgewater took a blow to the head. He was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital.
Keep in mind:
The Bengals won on the road without starting LB Logan Wilson, CB Chido Awuzie, RT Riley Reiff and lost starting RG Hakeem Adeniji during the game.
Next: Bengals host Ravens
I wondered.....so....I started looking:
8th time franchise history the Bengals scored 15 points (4-4). 3rd time playing in a 15-10 game (3-0)
15 points scored by Bengals
'72 15-10 (W) Steelers
'83 20-15 (L) Chiefs
'93 17-15 (L) Chiefs
'93 15-3 (W) Rams
'94 38-15 (L) Steelers
'02 29-15 (L) Jaguars
'10 15-10 (W) Ravens
'20 15-10 (W) Broncos