Refo: Falcons @ Bengals, Week 2
What was a tight game for most of the first half turned into a comfortable Bengal win, as they broke it open with three touchdowns in just over 10 minutes from the end of the second to mid-third quarter. Like in their opening week win in Baltimore, the Bengals did just enough on offense, while the defense shut down the opponent.
Conversely, the Falcons played nothing like the team that edged the Saints a week ago, looking unstoppable at times on offense. As they always do, turnovers played a big role as Atlanta coughed up the ball twice (with an additional turnover in garbage time).
Let’s take a look at some of the standouts.
Atlanta Falcons – Performances of Note
Levine Toilolo, TE: -3.5
Breakdown: Like Tony Gonzalez often was, Toilolo proved a liability in the run game against the Bengals; he was beaten for several stops on the afternoon, most of them coming at the hands of Carlos Dunlap. Unlike Gonzalez, Toilolo provided little in the passing game, catching two passes for just 13 yards.
Signature Play: At 3:05 of the first quarter, Toilolo was beaten by Wallace Gilberry down the line for a tackle-for-short-gain.
Matt Ryan, QB: +0.3
Breakdown: Ryan nearly did more running than he did passing, picking up 28 yards three scrambles up the middle, two of which went for first downs. Passing was more a mixed bag with his good throws, like the one at 3:12 of the third, too often followed up by bad ones – see the interception two plays later. A long way from the form he showed in Week 1.
Signature Stat: The quarterback was 7-of-20 on passes over the middle, beyond the LOS.
Robert Alford, CB: -2.0 and Desmond Trufant, CB: +1.4
Breakdown: Gambling will eventually get a player burned, which is what happened to Alford at 11:09 in the third quarter, as he whiffed going for the pass defense, allowing Mohamed Sanu a walk-in 76-yard touchdown. Trufant, on the other hand, was able to get his hands on an Andy Dalton pass at 12:41 of the second, following up his big Week 1 with another strong game.
Signature Stat: The second-year CB duo combined to allow four catches and 135 yards on eight targets.
Cincinnati Bengals – Performances of Note
Leon Hall, CB: +4.1
Breakdown: When healthy, Hall is one of the best slot CBs in the league and he showed why on Sunday. Hall saw plenty of action with eight balls thrown into his coverage, but he held the Falcons to just five completions for 31 yards on those plays, getting his hands on two of them.
Signature Play: One of the two aforementioned plays came at 1:18 of the first when he read the throw and jumped the route to knock the ball away.
Geno Atkins, DT: -1.1
Breakdown: Slowly working back to his pre-injury form, Atkins saw the field for 46-of-69 snaps, but without his usual dominant impact. He only notched a pair of QB hurries in 39 snaps rushing the passer, while his work against the run was mixed.
Signature Stat: Through two games, Atkins has a Pass Rushing Productivity rating of 4.9. Comparatively, he had a rating of 9.3 before going down last year, following a ridiculous 12.7 in 2012.
Andy Dalton, QB: -0.1
Breakdown: This was a solid, if unspectacular, performance by Dalton, who threw for 253 yards on 15-of-23 passing. He was off target early on with a string of overthrows midway through the first quarter and into the second, but he seldom put the ball in harm’s way and heated up in the second half. His TD to Sanu was superb, the kind of throw under pressure that will warrant the big contract.
Signature Stat: Dalton has been pressured on just 16% of drop-backs through the first two weeks.
PFF Game Ball
While Mohamed Sanu has a case with his pair of big plays, this one goes to Carlos Dunlap, who was a large part of the Cincinnati effort in shutting down the high-powered Atlanta offense. Dunlap notched six pressures rushing the QB, a PD dropping back into coverage, along with three stops.
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