Few teams get to enjoy such a bad performance from Aaron Rodgers, which made all of the mediocrity on the Cincinnati Bengals offense, from Andy Dalton who didn’t do anything special to A.J. Green who was defended pretty well throughout the game seem a lot better than it actually was, except for Giovani Bernard who is having one hell of a start to his rookie season.
A game of mistakes, and one big call, ended up with the Bengals winning 34-30. They had a 14-0 lead, but then gave up 30 consecutive points before Aaron Rodgers couldn’t hold on to the lead, fumbling and throwing interceptions that were too much for the better team to handle.
The Bengals, at one point, turned the ball over on four consecutive possessions – once an interception by Andy Dalton, followed by three consecutive fumbles, one of them returned to a touchdown by M.D. Jennings. The Packers found it hard to get in the endzone during that second quarter, but came up with points through field goals three times, which probably means those points cost them the game at the end, when Terence Newman returned a fumble 58 yards into the endzone.
When the Packers were still in the lead (30-27), Mike McCarthy decided he’ll go for it on fourth down and 1. James Franklin fumbled the ball, which eventually ended up in Terence Newman’s hands. After being unable to handle the newly found Green Bay running game for most of the game (182 yards on 30 carries), the Bengals came up with the right stop at the perfect time to get the win. Aaron Rodgers was able to march the Packers to the 20 on the next drive, but couldn’t get it done in the endzone, a day or two after it was mentioned that no one in the NFL does as well as him when it comes to scoring touchdowns and avoiding interceptions in the final 20 yards.
We learned some valuable lessons and survived one today that you don’t survive very often. There’s been a lot of crazy games since I’ve been here. But that one’s up there. Top three.
You’re not supposed to win when you turn the ball over four times, but no one expected for Aaron Rodgers to throw two interceptions, something that hasn’t happened in over 40 games. The Bengals made it very difficult for him throughout the game, including having three passes batted down at the line of scrimmage in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter. Rodgers had only one game in the last five seasons with three passes batted down before the game.
Then there was Andy Dalton waking up from the shock. He couldn’t get anything to work when throwing towards A.J. Green. The Packers defense, while Clay Matthews was healthy, seemed prepared for everything. But once Matthews left the building, things changed, and Dalton was once again connected with his favorite target: 4 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown.
The evolution of Giovani Bernard continues, as the multi-talented back ran for 50 yards on 10 carries, and caught four more passes for 49 yards. The Begnals’ offense isn’t quite “there” yet, but in Bernard they have a versatile and fast weapon they didn’t have with just BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the backfield.