LANDOVER, Md. — The Bengals pulled everything out of their bag in Sunday's first half except the Fifth Amendment here on the outskirts of Washington D.C and were rewarded with a 38-31 win over Redskins at FedExField before 80,060.
After watching the Redskins tie the game at 24 late in the third quarter, Bengals quarterback
Dalton then watched as Washington drove 90 yards in 12 plays capped by quarterback Robert Griffin III's one-yard quarterback sneak that cut the Bengals lead to 38-31 with 3:35 left. On the ensuing onside kick, the Redskins were called for an illegal touch as the ball did not travel 10 yards. The Bengals took over at the Washington 44 and after three plays netted eight yards, opted for a
The Redskins drove to the Cincinnati 19-yard line but a
With the game tied at 24 early in the fourth quarter, Dalton responded with a drive of five completions capped by tight end
The score came courtesy of a 31-yard beauty down the sideline to wide receiver
The Bengals defense rode the terrific play of right end
As thoroughly as the Bengals dominated the Redskins in the first half to take a 24-10 halftime lead, Washington buried the Bengals in the third quarter with two tying touchdowns on drives totaling 19 plays while the Bengals were just taking three snaps as the game veered into the third quarter at 24-all.
Part of the carnage involved Bengals running back
The Redskins took the second half's opening kickoff and went 80 yards on nine plays in 4:37 in a drive that saw a penalty called on cornerback
BENGALS PULL OUT THE STOPS IN FIRST HALF
The Bengals fittingly capped off their wild and wooly first half when Green-Ellis took a direct snap for a one-yard touchdown run with 3:13 left after Green ran a reverse for 11 yards.
And that came after Bengals left end
The Bengals didn't get really nicked in the half against the NFL's highest-scoring team with Washington's touchdown coming on an end-zone interception and Billy Cundiff's 36-yard field goal late in the half coming off a bad special teams penalty.
On the kickoff following BJE's TD to make it 24-7, safety
After giving up 71 points and 869 yards in the first two games, the Bengals defense stepped up against RGIII and his offense scoring two points per minute. With right end Michael Johnson getting back-to-back sacks, new outside linebackers
While holding the 'Skins to 41 yards in the first quarter, the Bengals offense hogged the ball for the opening minutes of the second quarter (and had it nearly 18 minutes in the half) and threatened to go up 21-7 when their no-huddle offense generated two runs of 11 and seven yards for backup running back
But the drive (kept alive by Dalton's third-down dart to Gresham over the middle) gummed up in the red zone. On second down, Dalton held the ball in the pocket looking for receivers and took a sack off a delayed rush from the right edge. But the Bengals eschewed field goal from the 5 and Huber, the holder, lost a yard when he tried to run it in.
The Bengals beat the Redskins to the punch Sunday when rookie wide receiver
It was the longest TD pass for the Bengals since Terrell Owens caught a 78-yarder in Cleveland in 2010.
But then just as quickly, the Redskins turned the tables when the Bengals were backed up on their own 2 on a second-and-nine thanks to a 58-yard punt. Dalton was hit in the back as he threw by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan coming in from the right side untouched. The ball fluttered, tipped of the hands of Green-Ellis in the flat and linebacker Rob Jackson picked it off for the touchdown to make it a wild 7-7 in the game's first four minutes.
The Bengals got backed up on the 1 when return
Then on Cincinnati's next drive, Gresham atoned for a false start by catching his season-long 22-yard pass down the seam on the next snap. Dalton hit Green out of the pocket on a scramble to his right for a 14-yard gain, but the drive stalled on a third-down coverage sack when Dalton went down for an NFL-high 11th time this season.
But Dalton kept channeling his best RG III, finishing the half 10-of-15 for 152 yards. When Sanu missed a crack-back block on running back
Then after a holding call on center
Green had four catches for 104 yards at halftime and came back after he got the wind knocked out of him on the reverse. It was Green's first 100-yard game since Dec. 18 in St. Louis.
PREGAME NOTES: Bengals cornerback Leon Hall's calf problem didn't improve as much as much as the Bengals had hoped and he was scratched for Sunday's game against the Redskins at FedExField.
Hall, who tweaked the calf during a blitz drill when he leaped to knock down a pass in Wednesday's practice, has only missed seven games in his six NFL seasons and that was because of last season's torn Achilles.
Both defenses are officially decimated. Hall, Cincinnati's best cornerback, joins the team's best linebacker,
Getting the start for Hall is 10-year veteran
With Hall out, the Bengals kept every other defensive back active, including
The concern for Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III appeared to surface on the inactive sheet. The Bengals activated their newest player, defensive end
Also inactive for the first time this season was rookie wide receiver
The best way to contend with Griffin is probably keeping him off the field, but he's piloting one of the best ball-control teams in the NFL with an average possession time of 33:53. It's been a good formula to take heat off a battered defense that dating back to last year has allowed an average of more than 350 yards in its last seven games.
With the Bengals giving up 71 points and 869 yards in their first two games, the Redskins have no doubt taken note. It's the most points the Bengals have allowed in the first two games of a season during head coach Marvin Lewis's 10 years, tying the 1-1 start in 2007.
While eyes are on the guys replacing Hall at corner, the key lies with the safeties. Griffin has thrown touchdown bombs of 68 and 88 yards this season, both off play-action passes where safeteys bit on the play-fake.