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    Categories: NFL

Another intramural scrum for defense

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Guenther assures his hot-and-cold defense is going to end up stats-wise where they were last season, In order to do that and get his unit steadied for a second-half run, Guenther is channeling another former Bengals coordinator who is a winning head coach, Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer, Guenther’s old boss and predecessor.

“Just like Zimmer used to call us out,” said nose tackle Domata Peko of Guenther’s Monday message. “He went through each group, the defensive line, the linebackers, the secondary … Paulie is just trying to get us to pick it up in a certain area … He wants us to be more precise in the run fits and make sure we’re in our gaps and on third down he wants us to make sure we’re coming off the ball and pinning their ears back.”

“Game film is not today. It’s not that particular day, moment, or situation,” said head coach Marvin Lewis, who wouldn’t say if they’d rotate again. “He can study all the game film he wants, but when you’re in the heat of the moment and you’ve been through it, now you can take a step back and take a deep breath. Then you go back in and finish it out.”

Rookie Emmanuel Ogbah, a 6-4, 275-pound second-rounder who came into the game with one sack, got Ogbuehi on two bull rushes even though he weighs 25 pounds less than Ogbuehi. Bull rushes are where the pass rusher overpowers the offensive lineman and backs him up into the quarterback instead of going around the pass protector.

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All they knew was that Jackson had brought Hogan off the bench earlier in the game in place of Kessler to give them a different look with funky zone read and he stunned them with back-to-back runs of 15 yards. Then suddenly he was the guy a few plays later.

“That guy,’ said safety George Iloka when asked how the Bengals adjusted, pointing to defensive coordinator Paul Guenther passing through the locker room.
Hogan, joining two of the great rushing quarterbacks in history, Kordell Stewart (1998) and cheap jerseys and Cam Newton (2014) with 100-yard games against Cincinnati, had a memorable NFL debut. But unlike Denver’s Trevor Siemian on Sept. 25 in his third NFL start and Dallas’ Dak Prescott in his fourth NFL start on Oct. 9, he didn’t beat them.

“It was going be a gut check. We were down two four. We can’t go to 2-5. Not an option. We’ve got some great leaders,’ said Green, who is certainly one of them after offering a 169-yard clinic on eight catches romping through the Cleveland green-as-grass secondary.

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Now the offense can see some light as they head for London and a date next Sunday with old friend Jay Gruden’s Washingtonians. Pro Bowl tight end , their maestro of the red zone, played for the first time this year and even though he played sparingly (one catch for nine yards on two targets and 15 snaps) he said he’s ready to play as much as needed. The running game, dormant all season, ripped off its biggest game in 16 years with 271 yards, more than half the 539 they lugged into Sunday. And quarterback Andy Dalton’s 11 yards per pass attempt generated 559 yards, the most since a 1990 overtime win in Los Angeles.

“My hat goes off to the offensive line,” said Bernard. “We’ve been working on this for a while now and it’s something we’ve really wanted – to run the ball this well. It was really those guys up front. They dominated every aspect of the run game and the pass game.”

“That’s what we’ve been looking for all year,” said Bodine. “We’ve been missing one little thing here and one little thing there and we’ve been saying that we need to put it together and have a day like we’ve had in the past. Obviously we were able to have a good one today. Now we need to build on that and keep going in the right direction.”

It was a we-really-needed-that day for a Bengals offense that had come in reeling averaging just 18 points per game and 28th in red zone touchdown efficiency. But with Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert playing in limited fashion during his first game of the season Sunday, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel as they head to London for next Sunday’s game against Washington

“This is good for the guys,” said right tackle Eric Winston, who rotated every third series with Cedric Ogbuehi. “I think it reinforced a lot of things the coaches have been saying and what we’ve been saying. We’re close, but we have to go that extra mile to get it done. I think today you saw some guys throwing some blocks downfield with a little extra effort and at the point of attack. Exploding some big runs. A.J. (Green) was A.J. and everything played into itself.”

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