A fan in Paul Brown Stadium Sunday had a banner that said “8-8 starts today.” Well, in order to get to 8-8, you have to go to 1-8, and for the Bengals, they were finally able to get to that mark Sunday with a 21-19 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Everything that the Bengals did finally seemed to work. They got a good game from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who went 21-for-31 for 162 yards with two TD’s and one pick.
Chad Ocho-Cinco caught two TD passes in the first half, helping Cincy to build a 21-3 lead before the Jags made a game of it with 16 fourth quarter points. They were able to get within two when Maurice Jones-Drew scored with 1:17 left, but David Garrard’s two-point try on a pass was incomplete, and the Bengals were able to hang on.
The Jags fall to 3-4 with the devastating loss. They were not able to exploit the Bengals run defense like many others had, and had just 68 yards on 21 carries, with Jones-Drew going for 33 yards on 10 carries, and Fred Taylor going for just 12 yards on five carries. Garrard was 23-for-38 for 236 yards with no TD’s and one interception.
The Bengals got a surprising day from new feature back Cedric Benson, who went for 104 yards on 24 carries (4.3 yards per carry) and he also scored to make it 21-3 at the 9:15 mark of the third quarter. What helped the Bengals win was the way their defense finally showed up and sustained their aggressive play the whole afternoon.
They outgained the Jags 312 to 289, and they sacked Garrard three times for minus 15 yards. It seeemed that the Bengals secondary played their best game as well, as they hit hard all day, and made sure that even with the Jags rallying in the fourth quarter, this team that had underachieved all season long finally were able to get in the win column.
The Bengals will get the bye next week and then will play at home against the Eagles. The stunned Jags will go to Detroit to play the Lions.