Quick hits: Dalton told mates they'd win; Adam powered; Sherman moves; FG drill; Run focus

101115-bernard-gio-art.jpg

Running back Giovani Bernard did his damage with 5.7 yards per carry in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Quarterback Andy Dalton had just authored the second biggest fourth-quarter comeback in Bengals' history Sunday that involved erasing Seattle's 17-point lead and setting the stage for a 27-24 mind-numbing overtime victory before a sold-out gathering of the faithful.

It was also the biggest blown lead in head coach Pete Carroll's six seasons in Seattle.

And right tackle Andre Smith believed every word Dalton told him.

"We never flinched. Our confidence is through the roof, and Andy is a great leader," Smith said. "He told us before we went out on the field in the overtime that we were going to win the game right here. 'Keep your poise. Keep your poise. Be confident. We know we're going to win the game.  Andy went up and down the line one time  and said, 'Stay calm, stay confident. We're going to win and that was it."

Dalton, who finished with a 95.9 against a Legion of Boom secondary where passer ratings go to die, oversaw his second break-neck fourth quarter in three weeks with a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tyler Eifert and a five-yard quarterback sneak that set the stage for Mike Nugent's tying 31-yard field goal as regulation ran out.

"Even before it went into OT, I thought we'd score a touchdown to win it," but it didn't work out that way. said Dalton, who approached Nugent as the overtime began. "I said, 'Hey, go win this game for us when we had a chance,' and he did it."

Dalton came in leading the league in fourth-quarter passing and his 13 of 15 effort for 135 yadrs and a TD in the fourth quarter and OT won't hurt that. His 331 yards were also the most passing yards since Seattle won in overtime in Houston depsite Matt Schaub's 353 yards on Sept. 29, 2013.

The 42-yarder in OT was Nugent's eighth career winning field goal in the last two minutes of regulation and overtime and it had to be sweet because it was his first once since he missed a 36-yarder at the end of overtime 364 days ago at PBS when the Bengals tied Carolina, 37-37.

"I really admire the way (Bears kicker) Robbie Gould has hit the ball his entire career," Nugent said. "I think he (recently)  hit a long one to tie it and a long one to win it and I was kind of thinking to myself, do the same thing."

Nugent said he didn't see the ball go off the left upright. And he didn't hear it.

"I made sure I kept my head down. Looking at it doesn't make it go through," Nugent said. "You can tell the way it goes back if it went through."

 ADAM POWERED: No one had more fingerprints on this victory than cornerback Adam Jones. He made a diving interception of middle linebacker Rey Maualuga's tipped pass that was headed to tight end Jimmy Graham at the Bengals 2 early in the third quarter for just the third red-zone interception of Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson's career.

Then in the fourth quarter he ripped off a 35-yard punt return to set up a touchdown and a 19-yarder in OT to set up the winning points.

"Look at him, he's magnificent,' said cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick when asked about his thoughts on Jones.

Bengals all-time leading receiver Chad Johnson sat next to Jones' locker, agreeing with the assessment Jones had a lot of toughness, and safety George Iloka decided, "I'm glad he's on my team."

The 32-year-old Jones, fighting a groin injury, didn't return in the first half, but he said it loosened up in the second half when his well-known competitiveness boiled over.

"I was (mad) when it was 24-7," Jones said. "I brought everyone (together) and said, 'No matter what, keep playing.'"

"Coach (Marvin Lewis) did a good job telling me when I could go in and out. We're literally fighting over there every time the ball is kicked, just so y'all know. I've got to do what Dad says. I have to respect my elders."

Jones didn't like the call that wiped out his 17-yard return that would have put the Bengals on about their 40 with 2:17 left with no timeouts. But instead they started at their 18 after they called a five-yard penalty for Jones calling a fair catch.

Jones argued he was simply waving away his blocker, cornerback Darqueze Dennard.

SWITCH UP: The Seahawks do what they usually never do and asked cornerback Richard Sherman to follow a wide receiver all over the field. They had to do it because Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green killed Seattle's highly-regarded pass defense early pass.

On  the first nine snaps, Green caught four balls for 116 yards, the last two burning cornerback Cary Williams for 94 yards.

Unfortunately, the last one, a 72-yard touchdown with Green skating past Williams down the left sideline and then cutting back to the middle of the field to beat everyone else, was negated by left tackle Andrew Whitworth's hold on outside linebacker Bruce Irvin.

But that was enough. Seattle switched up, sometimes even doubling Green with Sherman and a safety. While Green finished with six  catches for 78 yards and no TDs, Seattle paid a price.

Cary Williams committed a huge 27-yard pass interference penalty on wide receiver Marvin Jones in the tying drive. And on the 10-yard TD pass to tight end Tyler Eifert that cut it to 24-14,  they exploited a Seattle zone on that side while Sherman was lined up on Green on the other side of the field and Pro Bowl safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas were seen jawing with each other.

"I think it went fine," Sherman said. "There was an opportunity there to help the team, and coach asked me to do it, so that's what I did."

NO FIRE DRILL: Maybe it looked like a fire drill as the Bengals assembled for Nugent's 31-yard tying field goal at the gun and maybe Dalton avoided making the gaffe of the week when he ran with the ball on the final play instead of throwing an incompletion as the clock wound down from about 20 seconds with no timeouts left.

They had to get the offense off the field after linebacker Bruce Irvin crushed a Dalton scramble for one yard at the Seattle 13, get the field goal team on the field, and get Nugent settled.  

But the Bengals do this all the time under the tutelage of special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons. Huber looked up with eight seconds left after he got settled in his stance. Plenty of time. Nugent already had his spot with 12 seconds left after pacing it off.

"I peeked (at the clock). I shouldn't do that because Kevin does a great job letting me know if I have to (hurry). But I guess I just had to know," Nugent said. "I was lucky. There was enough time to take all my steps. There are a lot of times you can just take an angle back. You get a feel for where the ball is, but getting the right spot is nothing exact like taking your steps."

TIP TO HUE: Running back Giovani Bernard thought the key to the game was offensive coordinator Hue Jackson's decision to keep pounding the ball in the fourth quarter even though it was tough sledding.

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Bengals had just 37 rushing yards on 16 carries and finished it off with 15 carries for 72 yards, computing to 109 yards on 31 carries. Bernard, who finished with 80 yards on 15 carries, went for 63 yards on 11 carries in the fourth quarter and OT, including a huge 13-yard zone run behind left guard Clint Boling and left tackle Andrew Whitworth that put them at the Seattle 32 on the winning drive.

"We didn't get away from it," Bernard said. "When teams get down, they forget about the run. And that's usually when DBs forget about the run. They just play coverage, they just drop back deep. We stuck with it and Hue stuck with it and we continued to get into good passing downs."

The meter is running. Dalton is 33-3-1 when the Bengals run it at least 30 times.

 

Cincinnati Bengals host Seattle Seahawks at Paul Brown Stadium in week 5 of the regular season.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising