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

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

Ray McDonaldMar 24 02:02p

Free-agent DE Ray McDonald (49ers) is signing an undisclosed deal with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24.

Stephen BowenMar 24 01:32p

Free-agent DE Stephen Bowen (Redskins) is signing an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, March 24.

Geno SmithMar 24 01:22p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback ahead of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick entering training camp this summer, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. 'You [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerMar 24 01:12p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota is a realistic option for the Tennessee Titans with the second overall selection in this year's NFL Draft, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt is impressed [ More ]

Jarvis JenkinsMar 24 10:42a

Free-agent DE Jarvis Jenkins (Redskins) agreed with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24, on a one-year deal.

Johnny ManzielMar 24 08:52a

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is expected back with the team for offseason workouts April 20 after completing more than two months of treatment.

Adrian PetersonMar 23 07:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, said Monday, March 23, that he doesn't think 'it's in Adrian's best interest to play in Minnesota' in 2015 and beyond. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 06:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is expected to be part of the Vikings next season, according to general manager Rick Spielman. 'Adrian's a member of our football team,' Spielman [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 23 01:22p

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees will not be traded, according to general manager Mickey Loomis. Recent speculation said that Brees may be on the trade block after his [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 12:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's preference is to play elsewhere than with the Vikings in 2015, according to a league source. He is under contract through the 2017 season [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 22 08:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's future remains unclear, but head coach Mike Zimmer recently said that the Vikings are 'excited' to have him back. Zimmer had previously said that [ More ]

James HarrisonMar 22 12:42p

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Steelers) signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, March 22. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Branden OliverMar 21 03:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Branden Oliver is penciled in as the starting running back at this point.

EJ ManuelMar 21 12:52a

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel is not locked in as the starting quarterback. Head coach Rex Ryan said Friday, March 20, that the quarterback competition will be open. 'It's [ More ]

Kevin VickersonMar 20 05:52p

Free-agent DT Kevin Vickerson (Chiefs) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Friday, March 20.

Matt MooreMar 20 04:32p

Free-agent QB Matt Moore (Dolphins) re-signed with the Miami Dolphins Friday, March 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonMar 20 02:42p

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is clearly wanted back by the organization, and general manager Rick Spielman once again stressed that they will make every [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group