Cincinnati will march into Washington D.C. to face Robert Griffin III, who has been outstanding in his first two NFL games. That isn't good news for a Bengals defense that has been the polar opposite of outstanding.
However, the defense will get Carlos Dunlap back on the defensive line today. He has proven that he can be the driving force on the line and will absolutely put pressure on RG3.
Meanwhile, Andy Dalton's offense had a good showing against Cleveland last week. So the Bengals will look to carry that momentum against a Washington defense that is now without Brian Orakpo.
Which of these young quarterbacks will lead their team to victory?
Cincinnati 38, Washington 31—Final
They struggled in the third quarter, but the Bengals' offense finished strong behind the arm of Andy Dalton. He totaled 328 yards of passing and tossed three touchdowns, two of which came in the game's final frame.
A.J. Green was incredible, gathering nine receptions for 183 yards and a touchdown. The offense was dominant for 75% of this game, and they were even more so in this quarter. Dalton was outstanding and the offense as a whole answered the call.
After a good showing in the first half, the Bengals' offense has shown signs of sputtering. They aren't moving the ball real well and suddenly the Washington secondary is figuring out the receivers.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis is continuing to have a rough day despite the touchdown he's gathered.
This is the offense that Cincinnati fans were hoping for. Everything about the Bengals' offense is working.
Andy Dalton looked darn good in the second quarter, connecting on his passes and making smart decisions with the ball. A.J. Green has been outstanding through two quarters, having already accumulated over 100 yards of receiving and a touchdown.
The running game hasn't been particularly effective, but BenJarvus Green-Ellis tallied his second touchdown as a Bengal, taking the score to where we are now.
The Redskins' secondary is baffled by Cincinnati receivers so far, and it's working heavily in the Bengals' favor.
The Cincinnati offense came out firing right away for an early score—I wish I'd started Mohammed Sanu in my fantasy league. Overall, the team isn't having a lot of issues moving the ball, having been able to get halfway down the field each drive.
The issue is that Andy Dalton is still portraying a tendency to overthrow his receivers. On the flip side, though, his strike to Armon Binns was right on the money. The passing game has ruled this quarter for the Bengals, as BenJarvus Green-Ellis has largely been ignored (only four carries) and ineffective.
Good start so far, just a few minor bugs that kept them from getting an A.
There's no doubt that the defense took a step back in the second half. After keeping the Redskins to only three points in the first half (keep in mind, the lone Redskin touchdown in the first half was a defensive one), they allowed them to put up 21 points and keep this game close.
Terrence Newman further proved that he needs to retire—he is a veteran who leaned with his head as RG3 was going out of bounds. Stupid play. Washington was marching down the field and probably would have scored if the last second penalties hadn't taken place.
There were definitely good signs from today's defense—Carlos Dunlap's return, for example. If we can get this secondary shaped up, it should be a feared defense.
Wow. Day and night change for this Cincinnati defense. Alfred Morris is really impressing me right now as he continues to come out of nowhere to make a serious impact for the Redskins' offense.
RG3 isn't particularly effective still, not even having eclipsed the century mark in passing yardage. The D might be a little harsh, but the fact is that Washington put up more points in quarter three than they put up in the first half—for that, the grade has to suffer a little bit extra.
They would get another A+ had Washington not put up points. Despite that, the Cincinnati defense has been incredible. Coming into the season, they were expected to be tough, but today's game has featured a whole new level of dominance.
Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap have formed an incredible duo on the line and they've been pressuring RG3 all day long.
Oh, and that hit that Pacman laid on Santana Moss—good God it had to hurt!
At this moment, the seemingly powerful Washington offense has been stifled by the Bengals' defense. This is not what I expected—maybe before the season started, it was, but after allowing Brandon Weeden to throw for 300 yards last week, I thought RG3 may get 400.
So far, Michael Johnson has been an absolute monster, recording four tackles and two sacks, which came on consecutive plays.
The defense is clicking on all cylinders and has the young RG3 baffled, so things are firmly in the Bengals' control.
This grade was in serious danger of nose diving had that onside kick worked out. In the end, the late punt that pinned the Redskins way back may have saved the Bengals. Washington was marching down the field without any issues.
If Kevin Huber's punt rolls into the endzone, that finish could have been much more interesting.
Nothing special (again) on special teams. Last week, Pacman Jones made a serious impact on the game, but as of today, he hasn't done anything to make the same sort of noise.
Mike Nugent is lights out.
Given what little criteria I have for special teams, they get a B+ simply because of the long kickoff return by Brandon Banks.
Other than that, Mike Nugent is still perfect on the year, so we're still in good shape.
What else can I give them? Mike Nugent has kicked his extra points and besides that, there's not much else I can grade the special teams on.