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Cincinnati fans are excited to see how the Bengals new coach and new offensive scheme would play out in their first game of the season in Seattle. Well, it didn’t take long, at least the first series, as Andy Dalton threw the ball 7 straight times before the drive stalled and the Bengals had to punt. Dalton was 4 of 7 for 24 yards and 2 first downs in their first series.
Seattle would start their first drive on their own 20 yard line but found no success against the Bengals defense going 3 and out and punting the ball back to the Bengals who appeared ready to test Seattle’s defense again.
The Bengals would start their 2nd drive from their own 28 yard line but would promptly draw a holding penalty putting the Andy Dalton led offense on their own 18 with a 1st and 20. Dalton would make his 8th consecutive throw with a 20 yard strike good for a first down. Running Back Joe Mixon finally got a chance to run the ball at the 8:36 mark of the first quarter for 1 yard. Dalton would then make 5 more pass attempts before Mixon got his second carry for 2 yards. Cincinnati would settle for a Rand Bullock 39 yard field go to go up 3-0 over the Seahawks.
Seattle would start their 2nd drive on their own 25 yard line and much like their first drive, they would go 3 and out and have to punt. Carlos Dunlap would play a huge role in that as he sacked Russell Wilson for a 10 yard loss. The Bengals Alex Erickson would return the punt 11 yards before fumbling the ball. Seattle would recover on the Bengal 45 yard line.
Seattle would get a first down at the end of the first quarter on a 3 yard rush by Chris Carson. Seattle’s drive would stall at the Bengal 44 and resulted in their 3rd punt.
The Bengals next drive did not fair well at all as they went 3 and out giving the ball back to the Seahawks with 11:12 to go in the half. The Seahawks started to gain momentum as they marched down field for a touchdown as Chris Carson pounded it in on a 1 yard touchdown run, making the score 7-3 Seattle.
The Bengals however did not appear to be phased as they marched 75 yards for a score when Dalton hit John Ross III on a 33 yard touchdown pass. This was one play after Dalton had hit CJ Uzomah on a 36 yard strike. Cincinnati’s score would move them back out front 10-7 with 5:12 to go in the half.
After both teams traded punts, Seattle got the ball back at their own 23 yard line with 1:53 to go in the half. They would march the ball down field largely behind Russell Wilson’s arm and a 42 yard pass to DK Metcalf. Seattle would regain the lead 14-10 after Chris Carson scampered 10 yards for the go ahead score.
Not to be out done, Dalton would take over for the Bengals at their own 25 with :52 seconds on the clock. The drive would culminate with a 55 yard bomb to John Ross III putting the Bengals back up 17-14 going in to the half.
At the half, the Bengals offense was pretty much all passing as Dalton would finish 18-26 for 245 yard and 2 touchdowns. Dalton hit 7 different receivers and John Ross III finished the half with 108 yards and 2 scores. On the rushing side of the ball, Joe Mixon would carry the ball 5 times for 9 yards and a 1.8 YPC. On the defensive side of the ball, Dunlap and Hubbard would both get a sack.
For Seattle’s offense, Russell Wilson would hit on 8 of 13 for 98 yards and a touchdown. Seattle, known as a rushing team, would rush the ball 13 times for 40 yards and a Chris Carson touchdown. Carson carried the ball 8 times for 28 yards. Russell would hit 3 receivers with Carson catching 4 passes out of the backfield.
If there was any question about the Bengals juiced up offense, a lot of questions were answered as Cincinnati threw the ball 26 times and had 3 plays over 30 yards in the first half alone.
The second half was quite different from the first as neither team could scratch the score board. The Bengals moved the ball a little with Dalton 10-13 for 133 yards in the quarter but could not get any points on the board. Wilson was 4 for 4 for 49 yards in the quarter but could not produce points either.
That would all change with 7 seconds into the 4th quarter when Wilson hit Tyler Lockett down the middle for a 44 yard touchdown making it 21-17. Cincinnati would kick a field goal with 7:00 to go in the game. Both teams battled back and forth and the Bengals had one last gasp with 28 seconds to go to try to get in field goal range with no time out. This was not to be as the game would end on a controversial fumble call that would end the game. Dalton was scrambling and in what looked like a incomplete pass was ruled after review to be a fumble. Seattle would hang on to win 21-20.
Moving forward, the Bengals have 3 glaring issues to fix. One is stopping the big play in their pass defense and how to continue on a good first half by putting points on the board in the 2nd half. The third issue is finding a ground game.
Dalton would finish 35 for 51 and 418 yards with 2 scores. The Bengals would only rush 14 times for 34 yards.
Cincinnati has another chance at Home next week as the 49ers come to town for a 100pm Sunday game.
“Imitation is the greatest form of flattery”