New York Jets coach Rex Ryan ran with the bulls in Pamplona last summer.
I wonder if he felt like he was being chased by angry beasts again on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.
“This is one of the best performances that we’ve had here from start to finish,” said James Harrison.
“We suffocated them all day,” said Chris Crocker.
The final score was Cincinnati 49 New York 9. Did A.J. Green feel like he was back in a college game at Georgia?
“A little bit,” Green said with a laugh.
It was the Bengals most dominant all-around performance in the Andy Dalton/A.J. Green era. The 49 points scored were 11 more than the Bengals had tallied in any previous game with Dalton at quarterback, and the 40-point margin of victory was Cincinnati’s most lopsided win since Sam Wyche famously rubbed Jerry Glanville’s nose in a 61-7 drubbing of Houston in 1989.
“The whole team’s just clicking,” said Green. “I feel like this is the first game where we actually put all three phases together.”
On offense, Andy Dalton threw a career-high five touchdown passes, joining Carson Palmer and Boomer Esiason as the only Bengals quarterbacks to throw five-or-more in a game (Palmer holds the team record with six). During the Bengals 4-game winning streak, Dalton is 89-for-131 (68%), 1246 yards, 11 TD, 3 INT for a passer rating of 116.8.
“Dalton was hot,” said Rex Ryan. “That’s the thing about him – when he gets hot like that, we’ve seen over the last 3 weeks (he’s passed for) over 300 yards. He’s talented enough to do it and he’s got an outstanding group of receivers and skill position players.”
Green topped 100 yards receiving for the third straight game with three catches for 115 yards, but the star was Marvin Jones who finished with eight catches for 122 yards and four touchdowns. The Bengals have had some outstanding wide receivers over the years like Isaac Curtis, Cris Collinsworth, Carl Pickens, Chad Johnson, and Green (among others), but none of them caught four touchdown passes in a game.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Jones of setting a team record. “It means a lot.”
“I’m happy for him because he comes to play every week man,” said Green. “He plays with a chip on his shoulder like he has something to prove every week.”
“It’s hard when you have a guy like A.J. who is the focal point and going to get a lot of balls, but Marvin’s made the most of his opportunities and has gotten a lot better since his rookie year,” said Crocker. “I’m proud of the guy.”
On defense, the Bengals held their opponent without a touchdown for the second straight home game and scored a pair of TDs on interception returns by Crocker and Adam Jones.
“I give all the kudos to Coach Zim for putting us in great situations the whole game,” said Adam Jones. “We played a helluva game on defense today.”
Perhaps the biggest mistake that the Bengals made all day was when the 33-year-old Crocker tossed the ball into the crowd after scoring his second career touchdown and first in nine seasons.
“I wanted to go back and get it, but that’s the emotion of it,” Chris told me. “When you’re having such a good day like that – let the fans enjoy it too.”
Trust me. They did.
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