The Cincinnati Bengals finish off their first perfect home season on Sunday since 1988, behind a dominant defensive effort, taking down Joe Flacco and picking him off three times in the fourth quarter. As cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, pick six with about four minutes left, sealed a Cincinnati 34-17 victory after a crowd of 62,000 inside PBS, and finishing the regular season at 11-5, and at the process eliminating the Ravens from playoff contention.
Quarterback Andy Dalton had a career high four interceptions, with a passer rating of 62.2. His stat line for the game: 21-36 for 281 yards, 2TDS (1 rush) 4INT. He finished the season 4-0 at home against super bowl winning quarterbacks (Brady, Rodgers, Rothelisberger, Flacco.).
Like I said in the beginning, the defense had itself a great day. When Dalton threw those two early picks, it hold the Ravens offense to six points in the first quarter. We said it all year, in order for this team to go far in the playoffs, Dalton must be “Good Andy”. As one person put it, Dalton was “Greedy Andy”. I like that name nickname for him. We must see “Good Andy” next Sunday or it will be one and done in the playoffs again.
The Patriots kept the AFC’s no. 2 seed and first round bye with a win over the Bills, and that means the Bengals will take on the San Diego Chargers at 1:05pm Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium in the wild card game. Coach Marvin Lewis got his wish, a Sunday game with no break routine.
It was four weeks ago, the Bengals beat the Chargers in San Diego, 17-10. Since then, they have won four in a row and Cincinnati have won five of their last six games.
The Bengals announced there is still about 10,000 tickets available for their first home playoff game since 2009.
If the game sells out by the Thursday 1pm deadline it will be televised locally on TV (Channel 12). A win Sunday and the Bengals will head to Foxboro for the divisional round the next week against the Patriots.
Plays from yesterday’s win vs Ravens
(BAL): J. Tucker Field goal (3-0)
(BAL): J. Tucker Field goal (6-0)
(CIN): A. Green TD catch (7-6)
(CIN): M. Nugent Field goal (10-6)
(CIN): M. Jones TD catch (17-6)
(BAL): J. Tucker Field goal (17-9)
(BAL): M. Brown TD catch (15-17), R. Rice 2-point conversion run (17-17)
(CIN): A. Dalton TD run (24-17)
(CIN): M. Nugent Field goal (27-17)
(CIN): D. Kirkpatrick interception return for TD (34-17)