Cincinnati Bengals: Dalton Stays Clean and Spreads Wealth vs. Eagles

Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton was not sacked and threw for 332 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a win over Philadelphia on Sunday.

It’s been awhile.

It had been 41 days since the last Bengals’ victory, but that finally came to an end on Sunday after a 32-14 drubbing of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Bengals were led offensively by Andy Dalton. The sixth-year quarterback marched the Bengals to scores on each of their first six possessions.

Without A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard, the Red Rifle was forced to spread the ball around, which he did to perfection. Dalton completed passes to nine different receivers on Sunday and recorded his fourth 300-yard performance of the season.

Here’s some of the key plays made by Bengals’ receivers in the win.

  • James Wright: 15-yard catch on opening drive led to a field goal
  • Cody Core: First career reception was a 50-yard snag in the first quarter that setup a four-yard Jeremy Hill touchdown two plays later
  • Alex Erickson: 16-yard catch on Bengals’ final drive of the first half
  • Tyler Eifert: The Pro Bowl tight end was only targeted two times all game, but he hauled in both for 25 yards and a 13-yard score with seven seconds left in the second quarter
  • Tyler Boyd: 21-yard catch in the second quarter, 29-yarder in the third. Both set up field goals
  • Brandon LaFell: 44-yard catch and eight-yard touchdown reception on opening-drive of the second half. Finished with a season-high 95 yards, most since November 8th of last season as a member of the New England Patriots
  • Rex BurkheadSeason-high 28 receiving yards, most since Nov. 14, 2014 in a win over the Saints

The Bengals are now 3-1 this season when Dalton throws for over 300 yards.

O-line Keeps Clean Pocket

It was a great sign for a Bengals’ offense without two of its better play makers. Bernard and Green combined for over 40 percent of Dalton’s targets when they went down in the loss to Buffalo, but 10 different receivers have caught passes in the two-game stretch since they went down.

Even a better sign for the Bengals was Dalton staying on his feet. He had been sacked 32 times (tied second most in the NFL) through 11 games. On Sunday, however, the front five of Cincinnati did not allow a sack. The Eagles were tied for 11th in the NFL with 26 sacks coming into the game.

It was the first time Dalton was not sacked  since last year’s win over the Rams. The offensive line allowed just six hurries and two QB hits.

According to Pro Football Focus, Dalton was the top-graded Bengal with an 89.7 mark. Andrew Whitworth (81.9), Kevin Zietler (79.8), and Russell Bodine (74.1) all churned out high grades, too.

Whitworth didn’t allow a pressure for the fourth time this season. And despite a lower leg injury in the third quarter, the two-time Pro-Bowler returned in the win while Eric Winston received reps at right tackle.

The offensive line draws a favorable matchup in week 14. The winless Cleveland Browns have the fewest sacks (17) in the NFL this season. Although three of them came against Cincinnati in their previous meeting.

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