The Cincinnati Bengals really laid an egg on Sunday—somewhat literally, in fact, as they were shut out by the Ravens—but they won’t have much time to regather themselves before they attempt to rebound, because their next game comes on Thursday night.
Very little of what they hoped to do on offense went particularly well, and that included quarterback Andy Dalton having easily one of the worst games of his career. He completed just 16 of his 31 passing attempts, barely over 50 percent, for 170 yards, averaging a rather poor 5.5 yards per pass attempt.
On top of that, he not only failed to complete a touchdown pass, he topped it off with four interceptions, only the second time in his career in which he has thrown four interception in a single game. He only threw eight interceptions all of last year.
Rookie running back Joe Mixon gained just nine yards on eight carries, although that includes a combined total of nine yards of lost yardage on his final two carries at the end of the game. The other running backs combined for 66 yards on 13 carries, a respectable average, but a light workload.
The only real performer was A.J. Green, who’s five receptions for 74 yards were both game-highs for either team. But he only caught half of his 10 targets, so even by that standard there is a caveat in his performance.
Somehow impressive is the fact that they managed three trips inside the red zone, yet not only failed to score a touchdown, they netted zero points in total. I would imagine it’s not all that common for a team to have three trips in the red zone in a game in which they were shut out.
Cincinnati’s first trip deep into Ravens territory game on their first drive of the second quarter. They had a first down from Baltimore’s 12-yard line, but after two straight runs for three yards, Dalton was intercepted on third and seven.
The Bengals got back deep into Ravens territory early in the third quarter, netting a first down at the 14, but on third and two from the six-yard line, Dalton was sacked and fumbled, and the defense recovered. Unsurprisingly, the final trip into the red zone came late in the game, where an incomplete pass on fourth and five from the 13-yard line resulted in a turnover on downs.
Cincinnati’s new and impotent offensive line yielded five sacks of Dalton on the day, including a pair from Terrell Suggs, who also forced the fumble that was recovered by the defense to save points off the board.