The Cincinnati Bengals worked over the Atlanta Falcons in a 24-10 victory on Sunday. Matt Ryan, the current NFL offensive player of the week, struggled against one of the best defenses in the league. Ryan accounted for one touchdown and three interceptions on a day in which Atlanta could not get the offense rolling.
For the second week in a row, Cincinnati turned their opponent into one dimensional passing teams. The Falcons threw the ball 44 times and only ran the ball 19 times in the 14 point loss.
Both teams traded field goals in the first quarter, but Cincinnati controlled the middle two quarters. After taking a 10-3 halftime lead, Cincinnati put the game away with two more touchdowns in the third quarter.
The three touchdown scores were highlighted by Andy Dalton’s 76 yard touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu. The scintillating play put Atlanta in a 17-3 deficit, and it was too much to recover from. Cincinnati’s other touchdowns were a four yard run by Giovani Benard, and a one yard run by Jeremy Hill.
All three of Cincinnati’s touchdown drives were provided in different ways. They hit Atlanta with a prolonged 90 yard touchdown drive. Then they hit the quick strike that took the top off of the defense. The final drive was an 8-play 43 yard drive to put the game away in the third quarter.
In the keys to victory, it was important for Atlanta to establish a running game. Well, Cincinnati took heed and dominated the play calling with 45 carries. Even though they averaged 5.1 yards per carry, Atlanta only ran the ball 19 times. Cincinnati averaged a measly 3.8 yards per carry. Still, the Bengals almost doubled the production on the ground.
Part of the reason Cincinnati was eager to run the ball was because of the injury to A.J. Green. The fantastic fourth year receiver tried to give it a go, but was unable to perform with a bad toe. Green took himself out of the game on the first possession.
Julio Jones accounted for the only touchdown reception midway through the fourth quarter. Jones caught seven passes for 88 yards, while Roddy White caught five passes for 42 yards.
Atlanta gets a chance for a quick turnaround from this loss with a Thursday night home game against winless Tampa Bay. The Falcons are now (1-1) and in second place behind the undefeated Carolina Panthers.