The Cincinnati Bengals took out their primetime aggression on the Chicago Bears Saturday night. Looking like a well-oiled machine, the Bengals used a no huddle offense to engineer a 16 play, 77 yard drive and score the game’s first touchdown.
Quarterback Andy Dalton looked crisp, as he completed six of six passes for 52 yards. The Bears did a nice job of making a couple key stops at the goal line, but on fourth and goal Dalton was able to dive across the line to give Cincinnati a 7-0 lead. The Bengals went on to win 21-10.
The Bengals had a scare, when Andy Dalton suffered a neck injury. Dalton was taken from the game as a precaution but remained on the sidelines. The Cincinnati quarterback seemed to be fine. He probably won’t be seen again until the Bengals September 13 opener against the Oakland Raiders.
Quarterback AJ McCarron took over after the injury to Dalton and was just as spectacular. He also completed his first six passes. McCarron capped off his first appearance with a TD strike. On a third and nine play, Bengals backup McCarron dropped back and found a wide open Marvin Jones slicing across the middle. Jones showed some flashy moves and trotted into the end zone, for the 24-yard score.
After being embarrassed on Monday Night Football, the Bengals defense came out fired up. The defense played smart and strong. The Bengals gave Bears quarterback Jay Cutler fits all night. They applied pressure and consistently pushed him out of the pocket. The swarming Bengals defense sacked Cutler three times.
The Bengals stingy defense finally yielded a field goal, as the second quarter came to an end. This was just what the Bengals needed to gain momentum going into the regular season. Cincinnati safety George IIoka told Bengals.com that he was pleased with the effort.
“We came out with more focus and more energy. We knew we had to do that after last week. We’ve got a lot of veteran leaders, and even though it’s just preseason, you never want to put two bad performances back to back.”
As the game progressed into the third quarter, there was spotty action. The regulars were replaced. The intensity level was still NFL-caliber but with the rookies looking to make big hits and plays, the errors began to show up.
The Bengals stiffened on the Bears the rest of the game. The only other score against Cincinnati was made on a blocked punt caused by Bears wide receiver Ify Umoodu. According to 247Sports, there’s a good chance he’ll make the team.
Bengals fans watched, as Umoodu did a karate kid style celebration, after the touchdown. It was really cool. But not as cool as the Bengals win.
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]