2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bengals QB Dalton has impressive opening game

By JOE KAY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-12 16:27

CINCINNATI (AP) - Andy Dalton fit a sideline throw between two defenders, dropping it just over the one in front for a completion. He made a pump-fake and hit A.J. Green for a 45-yard touchdown.

Virtually everything he did was right on the mark in the Cincinnati Bengals' season opener, an impressive showing that got overlooked in how it ended.

The third-year quarterback completed a career-best 78.7 percent of his passes during a 24-21 loss at Chicago on Sunday, one that came down to turnovers and defensive gaffes. Dalton was 26 of 33 for 282 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, one of which went off Green's hands.

It was as flawless a game as Dalton has played in the NFL.

``He threw the ball well,'' offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said. ``He had a great game. This was one of his better games here. There's still room for improvement.''

If Dalton plays near the level he did in the opener, the Bengals (0-1) will have a good chance of reaching the playoffs for the third season in a row, something that's never happened in franchise history. Dalton completed passes to seven different players, including rookie tight end Tyler Eifert and running back Giovani Bernard, blending the newcomers into a more diversified approach.

``I think we've just gotten better as a team, I think that's a big part of it,'' Dalton said. ``I feel like I've improved, I feel like the offense has improved and (we're) finding ways to keep getting completions and moving the chains. I think that's a big part of it.

``Hopefully we can keep that up and keep completing a lot of balls and keep the percentage up.''

He'll get a good gauge on that Monday night when the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) throw their funky blitzes his way. He's 1-3 career against Pittsburgh, which has contained him most of the time.

In those four games, Dalton has completed only 52 percent of his throws for 688 yards and four touchdowns with five interceptions and nine sacks. He notched his first win against them last December, a 13-10 victory at Heinz Field that put the Bengals back in the playoffs and knocked out the Steelers.

It was a breakthrough win in many ways, and the Bengals want to show it wasn't a fluke.

``For us to go into Pittsburgh last year and win when there was a lot on the line, that was big for us as a team,'' Dalton said. ``Obviously it's a new year, but we know the kind of games we play when we play the Steelers. They're always tough games. They're always close games.

``And so, we know the importance of playing these guys and how good they are.''

The Bengals look to be a lot better themselves with Eifert and Bernard. Eifert had five catches for 47 yards in Cincinnati's two-tight end alignment with Pro Bowler Jermaine Gresham. Bernard caught one pass for eight yards and forced the Bears' defense to account for him out of the backfield.

The Bengals had touchdown drives that covered 97, 91 and 80 yards against one of the NFL's top defenses.

``I felt good about a lot of things,'' coach Marvin Lewis said. ``I'm excited about our guys.''

Two turnovers undercut what they did. Green had a pass go off his hands for an interception inside the Bears' 20-yard line. And Mohamed Sanu fumbled inside the 20 after a catch, giving Chicago a chance to pull off its go-ahead touchdown drive.

Except for those two mistakes by the receivers, the offense was impressive.

``I just feel like there was a lot of positive we got out of that loss,'' said Green, who had nine catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns. ``We want to carry the same momentum, minus the turnovers. That's the biggest thing.''

--

NOTES: LT Andrew Whitworth practiced on a limited basis Thursday, an improvement from the previous week. Whitworth sat out the opener against Chicago because of a sore left knee, which was cleaned out after last season. He could play against the Steelers. ... LB Vontaze Burfict also was limited by a sore right thigh, hit by a helmet during an interception return in Chicago.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

R. Griffin IIIOct 22 11:43p

Updating a previous report, there is no chance Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) plays in the Week 8 game against the Dallas Cowboys Monday, Oct. 27, multiple sources said Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Zach MettenbergerOct 22 11:03p

The Tennessee Titans plan to start QB Zach Mettenberger in Week 8 against the Houston Texans, a source familiar with the situation said Wednesday, Oct. 22. Indications are Mettenberger [ More ]

Jake LockerOct 22 10:53p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (thumb) is in the final year of his contract after the team declined to pick up a fifth-year option. He is reportedly making progress [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 22 09:43p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. [ More ]

Bobby WagnerOct 22 08:03p

Seattle Seahawks SS Kam Chancellor (ankle), DT Jordan Hill (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), C Max Unger (foot) and LB Bobby Wagner (toe) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. [ More ]

Zach MillerOct 22 08:03p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot) and TE Zach Miller (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22, and they have been ruled out for Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers.

Frostee RuckerOct 22 06:53p

Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (knee) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. S Rashad Johnson (knee) was limited, while DE Frostee Rucker (calf) practiced in full.

Johnathan JosephOct 22 06:53p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (knee), CB Darryl Morris (ankle), LB Brooks Reed (groin), LB John Simon (ankle) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 22 06:33p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery (groin) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the St. Louis Rams. WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) did [ More ]

Tre MasonOct 22 06:32p

St. Louis Rams RB Tre Mason could be the top candidate for a majority of carries since he is averaging 5.4 yards per carry. Mason rushed for 85 yards [ More ]

Dion SimsOct 22 05:53p

Miami Dolphins T Branden Albert (elbow), CB Cortland Finnegan (neck), WR Brandon Gibson (knee), CB Brent Grimes (groin), C Samson Satele (hamstring), TE Dion Sims (neck) and S Jimmy [ More ]

Jo-Lonn DunbarOct 22 05:43p

St. Louis Rams C Tim Barnes (shoulder), DE William Hayes (illness), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), S T.J. McDonald (concussion) and OT Rodger Saffold (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. [ More ]

Scott SolomonOct 22 05:43p

Cleveland Browns WR Jonathan Krause, Seattle Seahawks TE Rashaun Allen and Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Solomon Patton and DE Scott Solomon cleared waivers and became free agents Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Billy WinnOct 22 05:33p

Cleveland Browns DE Desmond Bryant (wrist) and LB Barkeveous Mingo both fully participated in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. DE Ahtyba Rubin (ankle) and CB K'Waun Williams (concussion) were both [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 22 05:23p

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (hand, hip) and SS Danny McCray (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. LB Jonathan Bostic (back) and LB Lance Briggs (ribs) [ More ]

Sharrif FloydOct 22 05:13p

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (hernia), LB Gerald Hodges (hamstring) and C John Sullivan (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. DE Corey Wootton (back), DT Sharrif Floyd (ankle), [ More ]

Dashon GoldsonOct 22 05:13p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Jonathan Casillas (hamstring), OT Anthony Collins (knee), S Dashon Goldson (ankle) and S Keith Tandy (hamstring) were limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. C Johnthan Banks (neck) practiced in full.

Brandon BrownerOct 22 05:13p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. CB Brandon Browner (ankle), LB Jamie Collins (thigh), OG Dan Connolly (concussion), DE Dominique [ More ]

Josh McCownOct 22 05:13p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) was listed as a limited participant in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Brett KeiselOct 22 05:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert (concussion), DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), DT Steve McLendon (shoulder), FS Mike Mitchell (non-injury) and SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamOct 22 04:53p

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Jonathan GoodwinOct 22 04:53p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle, knee) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. CB Keenan Lewis (knee, shoulder), LB Ramon Humber [ More ]

Thomas DavisOct 22 04:53p

Carolina Panthers CB Bene Benwikere (ankle), LB Chase Blackburn (knee), WR Philly Brown (concussion), LB Thomas Davis (non-injury), S Roman Harper (non-injury), OG Amini Silatolu (calf), OG Trai Turner [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 22 04:43p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) wasn't feeling good enough to return to practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. Head coach Marvin Lewis said Green won't play in Week 8 against [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 22 04:43p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Reggie WayneOct 22 04:33p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Jake LockerOct 22 04:33p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (thumb) was a limited participant in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Kelechi OsemeleOct 22 04:33p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (wrist) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. OT Eugene Monroe (knee) and OG Kelechi Osemele (knee) practiced in full.

Gosder CherilusOct 22 04:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Jack Doyle (knee) and OT Gosder Cherilus (rest) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. CB Darius Butler (ankle) was limited during practice, while DT [ More ]

James StarksOct 22 04:33p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. Starks injured the ankle in Week 7 against the Carolina Panthers.

Brandon ThompsonOct 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Baltimore Ravens. DE Robert Geathers (toe), CB Leon Hall (back) and OG Mike Pollak [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 22 04:23p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Alan Ball (bicep) and DE Andre Branch (groin) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. C Luke Bowanko (ankle), CB Aaron Colvin (knee) and S Craig Loston (hamstring) were limited.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group