Now you can stuff and mount the passer rating of Falcons Pro Bowler Matt Ryan next to the helmets of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, and Andrew Luck. In a building where the Bengals held four Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks to a combined rating of 56 last season, Ryan hits a mere 48.6 today in the Bengals' 24-10 victory just a week after he led the NFL with 448 yards passing. The 2-0 Bengals have now won 10 straight at home to tie a franchise record in a suffocating streak they've held opposing passers to a rating of 57.1. And for the third straight game at The Paul they have three interceptions. The Bengals cornerbacks show why new coordinator Paul Guenther calls them the best group in the NFL. Working against a corps that singed the Saints last week for 195 yards after the catch, the Bengals hold the Falcons top four wide receivers to 170 yards total. Devin Hester, who had five catches for 99 yards last week, has just one catch for two yards. Roddy White, who lit the Bengals for 201 yards the last time they played in 2010, has 42 yards. The great Julio Jones, who had 116 yards last week, finishes with 88 and didn't have his longest catch of 24 until 11:01 left in a 24-3 game after Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick advises them to be physical with his teammate at Alabama.
"We stuck to our game plan. We don't change what we do," cornerback Adam Jones says. "We're going to send the pressure, give guys enough time to rush and cover in the back. It's going to be a physical game. I got two holding penalties today. It's going to be like that. I'm going to play as hard as I can play every down. Every now and then I'm going to get caught. One was a hold, the other I don't know. You've got to be physical." Meanwhile, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton coolly outperforms the more ballyhooed Ryan on 15 of 23 passing for 252 yards and dwarfs Ryan with a 116.6 rating as he's off to the most efficient start of his career at 105.4 with the big numbers no interceptions and 9.1 yards per attempt.
With Dalton's help, the Bengals flash their vat of depth. Wide receiver Marvin Jones is already out and perennial Pro Bowler A.J. Green leaves after the first series with a toe injury deemed not serious. So slot receiver Mohamad Sanu plays like a starter and catches a 76-yard touchdown when Dalton takes a shot on the blitz. Running back Giovani Bernard adds 169 total yards. "I think the way that I'm seeing the field and the way that I've kind of been directing this offense, I think I've got a better understanding of when to take a chance and try to fit things in and when to check it down," Dalton says. "It's been good to us so far, we've got to keep that up and not try to turn the ball over."