PHOENIX, Ariz. - The Bengals found an old friend Sunday night at University of Phoenix Stadium and forged a 13-3 half-time lead over the Cardinals when cornerback
And Pro Bowl WILL linebacker
They stoned another old friend, Palmer, on a 31 passer rating in the half after he came in sifting people at a 137 clip and had directed two touchdown drives in the previous two games. But he completed just seven of 19 passes for 92 yards against the Bengals.
“It means something to me, for emotional reasons I guess,” said cornerback
The Bengals special teams (three more penalties in the first half after five last week) did them no favors for the offense with some horrendous field position and the offense sputtered until they get off the deck on their last two drives of the first half. They drove for two Nugent field goals despite drives that started from their 7 and 4, respectively.
“We got a lot of work for our offense in backed-up situations because of the penalties we drew on special teams,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “That’s not exactly what you want, but the offense perked up in the second quarter and moved the ball well. On defense, we had some negative plays, but overall, the effort — and of course the point total — was what you are looking for.”
The Bengals didn’t allow a point Sunday until 18 minutes into the game on a chip-shot field goal set up by poor offense and
But they made a nice stand from their 6, where on second down linebacker
On the previous series before Newman’s interception, Palmer slightly overthrew wide receiver Michael Floyd in the end zone when he ran by Newman and on the next snap Palmer forced a punt when he had Floyd wide open by five yards and overthrew it.
On the interception, Hall passed off Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to Newman in a zone and Palmer thought Fitzgerald was going to stop. But he kept going deep and Palmer threw it right to Newman short.
On the next series Palmer did exploit a blitz when Fitzgerald knifed inside Newman and Palmer got rid of it quickly and was rewarded with Fitzgerald’s 43-yard catch-and-run that featured his stiff arm of Newman.
But the defense stiffened against the run and on third down safety
On that first drive that jump-started their offense with 1:56 left in the first quarter, wide receivers
The Bengals also got a lift from rookie running back
It was a gutty night by Dalton, who had miserable down and distance to go along with the abysmal field position. The big thing is he didn’t have a turnover (the first team offense still doesn’t have one this year) and he made some big throws backed up. He finished the half with a solid 84.8 rating on 13 of 21 for 157 yards and the difference in the first half? Palmer gave it up with the pick and Dalton didn’t.
What Lewis didn’t like is they became field goal drives and not touchdown drives because of holding calls
A holding call on left tackle
The defense then forced a three-and-out when Nelson blitzed and defensive end
Adam Jones waved off the ensuing punt and it rolled to the 4, where Green started the drive with a marvelous leaning-back catch for 13 yards on a ball thrown slightly behind him. Hill, who matched his preseason average of 5.8 yards per pop on 23 yards with four carries in the half, then blasted up the middle for runs of five and 10 yards. That set up Dalton’s pretty loft ball down the seam to Gresham for 33 yards. But he held on the perimeter three snaps later and Nugent had to rescue the drive on a 36-yarder with three seconds left in the half.
Green and Sanu had productive nights with Green catching five balls for 53 yards and Sanu adding five more for 70 as Dalton threw to them a total of 15 times and five to others.
As good as the Bengals first team offense looked in the first two games of the preseason, they looked as bad in the first quarter Sunday as running back
They could get nothing even when they put an unbalanced line right with Whitworth and Gresham flopping, but Bernard’s sweep to the right was stopped for a one-yard loss by linebacker Matt Shaughnessy.
Once the first teamers exited, the Cardinals tied the game at 13 late in the third quarter on a tough back-to-back sequence for veteran cornerback
The Bengals watched their first player carted off the field in the preseason when rookie guard
Then two snaps later, when backup quarterback
The third player carted off with an injury in the fourth quarter was guard-center
Then on third-and-six, wide receiver
On the next drive Peerman bounced another run outside after the play was jammed up in the middle and this time he veered 37 yards down the left sideline. But he injured his hip and left for the rest of the night. But it set up Sharp’s 51-yarder that kept the Bengals perfect in field goal tries this season.
But Lewis would no doubt be unhappy with 11 penalties for 112 yards.
PREGAME NOTES: With running back
Also looking to get a lot of time Sunday is second-year linebacker
Apparently Sanzenbacher and right tackle
Also out were rookie cornerbacks
The Bengals are down to three quarterbacks with the return of backup Jason Campbell and the de-activation of
The Bengals scheduled Vontaze Burfict to start at WILL linebacker in his first appearance on the field since his four-year contract extension was announced on Wednesday. But the Bengals have yet to announce it and Burfict missed the last three practices with had been characterized as a virus.
The Bengals first teamers on both sides of the ball figure to play through at least the first half and they've had a good summer, outscoring foes 27-6. The Cardinals' first teamers have also cruised by a 24-3 count.