breaking news

Springfield hospital system awarded for using tech to improve health

Bengals Report Card vs. Browns


Report Card

Rushing offense: C

It was another day of plodding for Bengals backs as the team averaged just 3.4 yards per rush, including a mere 2.2 in the first half with 20 yards on nine carries. It’s now been 14 games since the team has had a 100-yard rusher (BenJarvus Green-Ellis had 106 at Philadelphia on Dec. 13 last year). On the plus side, Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard were strong in the fourth quarter after the Browns had closed to within 31-20. Green-Ellis averaged 5.4 yards on seven carries in the final stanza, and Bernard went for 6.0 a pop on his four rushes.

Passing offense: D+

Andy Dalton threw interceptions to Cleveland’s Joe Haden on successive passes in the first quarter, with the second one resulting in a 24-yard return for a touchdown. The score put the Bengals in 13-0 hole that they probably would not have been able to overcome had the offense not been bailed out by the defense and special teams. The unit’s grade gets a boost from wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, who executed a double pass perfectly with a beautiful, across-the-field throw to Giovani Bernard for a 25-yard gain that set up the go-ahead touchdown. Both of Dalton’s first two TD passes were excellent throws, but they also were rare on a day when he was 13 of 27 for 93 yards and a passer rating of 62.7 despite good pass protection that kept him from being sacked for the first time since Week 2.

Rushing defense: B

The Bengals allowed 102 yards to an rushing offense that was ranked 26th in the league and averaging just 81.6 yards per game. Cleveland went for 5.4 yards per rush Sunday, although that number was inflated by Chris Ogbonnaya’s 43-yard run midway through the first quarter. After the Ogbonnaya play, the Browns gained only 58 yards on 15 carries (3.9) over the final 3 ½ quarters.

Passing defense: B+

Hard to earn an A when you allow a 74-yard touchdown, as Dre Kirkpatrick did against Josh Gordon in the third quarter, but that really was the only blemish on a day when the Bengals had three interceptions, 15 passes defensed, four sacks and nine quarterback hits against Jason Campbell. Cincinnati kept Campbell under 50 percent passing (27 of 56) and held the Browns to 4 of 18 third-down conversions. The three interceptions were the most since Dec. 24, 2011, when the Bengals picked off three passes by Arizona’s John Skelton.

Special teams: A

The special teams were the highlight of the day by far. Rookie Jayson DiManche blocked a punt that Tony Dye, who was making his NFL debut, returned 24 yards for a touchdown, and rookie Shawn Williams got his hands on another Lanning effort, resulting in a 9-yard punt that set up the go-ahead score. With time running out in the first half and the Bengals needing a good return for a chance at more points, Adam Jones gave them 27 yards to set up Mike Nugent’s 41-yard field goal with 1 second left before the break. Nugent was a perfect 2 for 2 on his field goal tries, and Kevin Huber averaged 45.3 yards per punt, including a season-long 66-yarder. The coverage units also were strong, limiting Cleveland to a 14.0-yard average on three kick returns and an 8.3 mark on three punt returns.

Coaching: B

It was a not a good sign to see to see an offensive game plan fail to show any real signs of improvement from the first loss to Cleveland in Week 4. But the defensive game plan was as solid as ever despite not having much film to work with as Browns quarterback Jason Campbell made just his third start with the team. Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons continues to work magic with a revolving cast of youngsters. While it’s true the players get most of the credit for the big plays in the record-breaking second quarter, the coaching staff gets some credit for keeping the adversity from snowballing after falling behind 13-0 on the heels of back-to-back overtime losses.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Dragons drubbed, but Siri extends hit streak to 28 games

By John Cummings Contributing Writer Somewhere, a switch was flipped on the Dayton Dragons and manager Luis Bolivar is trying to switch it back. The Dragons, who had five of their last seven games decided by two runs or less, were banged out of Fifth Third Field for the second consecutive night Saturday, 8-2 by Burlington. Dayton lost 8-1 to Peoria...
Reds notes: Scuffling Votto not ready to rest
Reds notes: Scuffling Votto not ready to rest

Much was made of New York Yankees phenom Aaron Judge going eight games without hitting a home run before he almost launched one out of Seattle Safeco Field on Friday. Many were wondering if participating in the Home Run Derby might have sapped some of Judge’s stamina. Other sluggers have gone through similar struggles, most notably Todd Frazier...
Tom Archdeacon: Still treasuring Barcelona 25 years after Olympics
Tom Archdeacon: Still treasuring Barcelona 25 years after Olympics

LaVonna Martin-Floreal ended up with two keepsakes from the Barcelona Olympics. One was her silver medal. The other? Her husband. This coming Tuesday marks 25 years since the Olympic Games opened in Barcelona, Spain in 1992. While LaVonna said she hadn’t realized the anniversary was right around the corner, she wasn’t surprised. &ldquo...
Hartsock: Gilkison expands lead in Dayton Metro golf tournament
Hartsock: Gilkison expands lead in Dayton Metro golf tournament

He knows what it’s like to come from behind to win the Dayton Metropolitan Championship, now Josh Gilkison is on the other side. The defending champion took a six-shot lead into Sunday’s final round at Heatherwoode Golf Club in Springboro. He trailed by six shots a year ago before rallying to force a playoff with Adam Armstrong, he won...
Ole Miss football coach made phone call to number tied to escort service
Ole Miss football coach made phone call to number tied to escort service

University of Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze announced his resignation Thursday night after school officials cited personal conduct issues that included a one-minute telephone call to a number associated with a female escort service, USA Today reported. >> Read more trending news The phone call was raised as a potential issue in a legal...
More Stories