You lead by 14, fall behind by 20 and then come back in the fourth quarter to win by four. It was just how the Cincinnati Bengals planned it in their 34-30 win over Green Bay.
The game of the day was as telling as any game so far this season.
Andy Dalton outdueled Aaron Rodgers. The Packers running game found an identity. Oh, and if you were wondering, each team’s defense played evenly, sacking the quarterback four times
Here are five things we learned from the game.
1. This was the best game of the day
I said this game had the making of being one of the best. I now think it was the best of the early games. Scoring and more scoring. I did not expect there to be as much offense as their was, but I will take it any day. The quarterbacks may not have thrown for 300 yards, but they did not need to. The running games helped to balance them out.
2. Giovani Bernard is a super hero
You knew after his game against the Steelers last week, Bernard was going to be special. He continues to be a real thrill on offense. Bernard only had 50 yards rushing and 49 yards receiving. But what he did do was make the Packers defense find him every time he was on the field. The dual threat is something that will pay off for Cincinnati.
3. Aaron Rodgers almost brought them back
Rodgers had a game rating of 64.5, which was abysmal for him, but he almost pulled off the win. Rodgers had 244 yards passing and a touchdown and ran for 24 yards. He threw a touchdown, but did suffer two interceptions.
What we saw was the greatest quarterback in the game today versus who could be the greatest in the game a few years from now.
4. A running game from Green Bay
Yes, you read the headline correctly. The Packers ran for over six yards a carry in this game. While there was plenty of vertical passing (thanks, Al Davis) the running game showed up. Rookie Johnathan Franklin led the way with 103 yards on 13 carries. He also scored a touchdown. If Franklin continues to be the “go to” back while Eddie Lacy remains on the sidelines with an injury, the Packers will find more balance in its offense.
5. We could see these two teams again
I still believe the Bengals will be the best team in the AFC this season. I also believe Andy Dalton will be one of the best quarterbacks in this league in five seasons.
We all know how good the Packers are with its host of receivers and Rodgers behind center. Both of these teams will be in the playoffs and they could meet again - this time in New York.
There is plenty of parity in the NFC, but the AFC is not as deep, which means the Bengals could have an easier road to the grand prize.