Andy Dalton somehow makes it happen with the game on the line. That’s just one of many takeaways from Cincinnati’s 30-20 win in Jacksonville.
1. Dalton looks like a rookie quarterback each week for three quarters, but the kid has a knack for big plays with the game on the line. This makes three fourth quarter comebacks this season. The Bengals were down to a fourth-and-six in the fourth quarter; Dalton made a nice read and Jermaine Gresham leaped to keep the go-ahead drive.
2. The Bengals have the team Jack Del Rio wants. The defense is good enough to carry their rookie quarterback. Outside of a busted coverage (by former Jag Reggie Nelson), the Bengals defense shut the Jaguars down.
3. A.J. Green caught five passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. He is just as good as a rookie as Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald were. He’s a complete receiver. He can pick up the long scores (37-yard touchdown) and the short third down conversion.
4. The Jaguars put up 20 points, but the passing attack is too consistent to compete. 7 Jacksonville drives gained four yards or less. They consistently set up the Bengals in good field position. Blaine Gabbert did some good things, but feels the pass rush too much.
5. The Bengals have a good chance to head into their bye week at 4-2. They host the Colts next week before getting a week off. Carson Palmer could have made the playoffs with this team.
6. Jack Del Rio is coaching on borrowed time. If they can’t win this game at home, what can they win? They could be 1-7 heading into their bye week. Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Houston is up next. Del Rio may not be around after that.