NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers gave the Bengals the full onslaught of the high-tech Packers offense with a devastating first quarter where he unleashed 146 yards in the game's first 12:30 that included his touchdown scrambles of 12 and five yards while the Bengals first offense struggled during Green Bay's 27-13 victory.
Green Bay clicked into a much faster gear at Paul Brown Stadium Thursday night in the preseason's third game before 52,584 and it was never clearer than when the Bengals lost 11 yards when they had a first-and-goal and had to settle for
This flat egg came out of nowhere because the first team had been pretty efficient in the first two games. In six series before Thursday night the first-teamers were seven out of 10 on third downs and had allowed just one coverage sack. But the Packers sacked Dalton twice and kept him guessing by sending different rushers or dropping eight into coverage. And after rushing for 11 yards on 10 tries last week in the first half, the first offensive line could get running backs
The inability to run it went on all night. Bengals running backs ran it 14 times for 32 yards.
Trailing 14-3, the Bengals got back in the game when cornerback
But on first down a play-action yielded nothing on a short incompletion and on second down running back Cedric Peerman had nowhere to go on the left side for a two-yard loss. Then on third down with four receivers, no one picked up blitzing linebacker Eric Walden over Dalton's left side and he had no shot on a nine-yard sack.
To add to a very tough night for the defense in which it gave up 216 yards on the first 33 snaps, former Bengals running back Cedric Benson picked up an 11-yard gain on the next series and added another first down on a 10-yard catch out of the backfield to set up Mason Crosby's 46-yard field goal to make it 17-6 with 4:59 left in the first half.
While Rodgers hit six of his first nine passes for 85 yards, the Bengals went three-and-out on their first two series that included a coverage sack, an incomplete pass courtesy of a quarterback hurry and right tackle
The Bengals didn't get going until they trailed, 14-0, and it took Dalton's scramble of his own, a career-long 28-yarder up the middle to jump-start them. Leonard followed pulling left guard
But there was no room on the left edge for Leonard's one-yard loss on first down, Dalton barely overthrew Binns in the end zone on second down and on third down Dalton had to check down when the Packers dropped eight and it was incomplete to Leonard. Nugent came on for a 42-yarder that made it 14-3 with 22 seconds left in the first quarter.
The dust had barely cleared from Rodgers's feet, which racked up 52 yards rushing compared to his 57.0 passer rating, and that didn't count the rollouts that accounted for much of his 12-of-22 passing for 154 yards.
That's how he hit wide receiver Greg Jennings to get the second drive of the game ignited, a 19-yard comeback route on cornerback
Cincinnati's second straight three-and-out took all of 1:14 and Rodgers was back at it with the help of old friend Benson. On the first carry of his post-Bengals career, Benson (38 yards on six carries) went right inside and backup end
Rodgers then drilled a frozen rope over the middle to tight end Tom Crabtree (on a play tackle
Working against primarily the first defense, Benson didn’t get touched until safety
Atkins flexed his muscles on the game's first drive when he personally forced the Packers to punt with back-to-back moves. After Atkins got out of position on Rodgers's scramble up the middle for 15 yards to the Packers 49, Atkins dropped running back Alex Green for no gain and on third down he split a double team that helped right end
When the backups came on the field rookie wide receiver
Moments later Jones added an 18-yard punt return, his first pro return after he had a fair catch earlier in the preseason.
Bengals third string quarterback
The Packers finished the scoring with 2:57 left against fourth-string quarterback
Then the Bengals turned it over for the third time in the fourth quarter when running back
PREGAME NOTES: Both teams iced 16 players each before the game. There were no surprises for the Bengals when former Packer
The Packers were without four starters in tight end Jermichael Finley, running back James Starks, fullback Jon Hoese, and middle linebacker Desmond Bishop.
Also out for the Bengals were cornerbacks
Free-agent wide receiver
An early guess at the Aug. 30 preseason finale in Indianapolis and the Sept. 10 regular-season opener in Baltimore is that Maualuga, Gresham, Dunlap and Scott won't play in Indy but are going to be available Sept. 10. Green-Ellis could get a few carries in Indy and definitely goes in Baltimore. Dunlap and Scott are probably going to be questionable for the opener.