Sep 7, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) is tackled after a catch by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
So much for the idea that the Cincinnati Bengals’ new offensive scheme might reduce their reliance on the passing game. In a season-opening win against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, quarterback Andy Dalton passed for 300 yards while Bengals’ RBs ran for just 79 on 26 carries.
Dalton hit wide receiver A.J. Green for a 77-yard score with 4:58 remaining to ice a game that Cincinnati led until less than a minute before.
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Despite those late-game heroics, the big scorer in this one was Bengals’ kicker Mike Nugent, who connected on five-of-six field goals, with a long of 49.
The Bengals’ leading rusher was Giovani Bernard, as expected, but he managed just 48 yards on 14 carries, and Jeremy Hill contributed 19 yards on four attempts. That’s an inauspicious start for new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson’s scheme, which purported to bolster the running game.
In a milquetoast game, the Bengals’ defense provided a spark by sacking Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco three times, and LB Vontaze Burfict recovered a fumble.
All in all, not a great game, but a very nice win to start the season.