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Quick hits: Run game gets hot

Posted Nov 18, 2012


Cedric Peerman

Game Rewind: Cincinnati Bengals» The Bengals came into Sunday's game emphasizing the run and got the biggest rushing game in quarterback Andy Dalton's 26 starts with 189 yards on 38 carries. The Bengals also kept the ball for a season-high 35:22. It was their biggest game on the ground in nearly three years when they went for 210 against the Browns in a Nov. 29, 2009 victory at Paul Brown Stadium.

"The emphasis was to rush it for 100 today," said Dalton, who finished with a triple-digit passer rating for the second straight game. "We got a lot of good looks to run the ball. We challenged the backs and the guys up front this week."

» Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis had his first 100-yard game as a Bengal with 101 yards on 25 carries. It was Cincinnati's first 100-yard game since running back Cedric Benson nicked the Browns for 106 yards on Nov. 27 of last season. It was also Green-Ellis's first 100-yard game since he had 136 against the Jets in the fifth game of last season.

"It doesn't matter how many," Green-Ellis said. "The big thing was executing the game plan."

BJGE becomes the 14th different back to have a 100-yard game for Jim Anderson in his 29th season as the Bengals running backs coach. 

» Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green said the Chiefs took away the long ball, but that allowed Cincinnati to take control in the running game. After Green caught a 40-yard bomb down the right sideline to set up the second Bengals touchdown, Green said the Chiefs dropped back into a Cover 2 zone.

Green was surprised Dalton threw him the record-breaking touchdown pass that gave him touchdowns in nine consecutive games, a club record.

"They rotated to my side late, but he put it where they couldn't get it," Green said of the double coverage.



» Catching a TD now in nine straight games, Green is not only seeting his sight on the Bengals club record of 10 set over two years by Carl Pickens, he's within range of big names who have done it in one season. His nine straight in one year ties him with Lance Alworth in 1963 for the third longest in history. Next up is Crazy Legs Hirsch's 10 in 1951 and Jerry Rice's 12 in 1987.

» Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham, with six catches for 69 yards, had a huge day. After having an early tussle with Chiefs safety Eric Berry, Gresham played with abandon. He set up the third Bengals touchdown when he carried three Chiefs defenders to the end zone from the five-yard line on a third-and-goal from the 11. The touchdown was taken away when the booth review showed that Gresham's knee touched the ground inside the one-yard line. But it was close enough for the Bengals to convert the fourth-and-one touchdown on Dalton's one-yard run.

Gresham wouldn't comment on why Berry got him so upset but Green-Ellis said, "It always pumps you up when you see someone give second, third, fourth and fifth effort. When you see that it makes you want to play even harder."

» The Bengals held the Chiefs to one third-down conversion on 11 tries. Although Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles gained 87 yards on 17 carries, he didn't hurt the Bengals on first down. Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga praised defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer for moving nose tackle Domata Peko closer to the center. He said that helped prevent the Chiefs blockers from getting to the second level.

"I think I only had two guys on me all day," said Maualuga, who finished with five tackles.

» Defensive tackle Geno Atkins tortured the reshuffled Chiefs offensive line with one sack, two forced fumbles, a quarterback sack, and a team-high six tackles shared with cornerback Adam Jones. The sack gave him eight for the year, tying the Bengals club record for sacks set by tackle Dan Wilkinson 16 seasons ago.

"Geno's an animal," defensive tackle Domata Peko said. "He works so hard and it's paying off. He had a great game."   

» It was the first time the Bengals defense kept a team out of the end zone in nearly four years since a 14-0 win over Cleveland on Dec. 21, 2008.

"The Giants game gave us life," Maualuga said, referring to last week's 31-13 victory over the defending champs. "Today was a statement, too. We were coming off a good game. Would we slump and not play as well as we did? I think we answered the call."

» The Bengals were only 4-for-14 on third down but converted all three fourth-down tries in two drives in the first half that gave them touchdowns. On the first one, a fourth-and-three from the Bengals 29, Cedric Peerman ran 39 yards on a fake punt. Special teams coach Darrin Simmons said the play worked because they recognized the Chiefs had a different look than on the previous punt.

"The guys did a good job of communicating with the sideline," Simmons said.

What resulted was a play similar to the one that Peerman broke for 48 yards in Jacksonville earlier this season, but it went the other way to the left side.

It boosted Peerman to a career-high 75 yards on eight carries.

Asked about doing it so early in the game backed up, Simmons said, "That's how much confidence we have in our guys to execute the play."

» It didn't take Carson Palmer's name long to surface in the Bengals locker room now that the next game on the schedule is Palmer's Raiders next Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium in a 1 p.m. game.

"We've got Oakland and a good friend of ours, Carson Palmer, coming  to town,"Peko said when asked about stringing together a run. "We were just talking about him. Getting after him. Getting our hands on him."

Peko said it's nothing personal and indicated that it's got nothing to do with Palmer's trade demand after the 2010 season that resulted in the October 2011 swap with the Raiders.

"I'm just more excited to play him because he's been with us," Peko said. "It's always fun to play against guys you know and you've been with."

» Dalton gave fellow former TCU great LaDainian Tomlinson a nod when he gave an LT-like flip of the ball after he scored on his one-yard run: "Some Horned Frog love."

 

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