After Bengals corner Pacman Jones ripped Amari Cooper’s helmet off and slammed the Oakland wide receiver’s head against it, a lot of things could have happened. Benches could have cleared, punches could have been thrown – things could have escalated quickly. Instead, both players went back to their respective huddles and play continued.
“It’s no point to get involved in things like that,” Bengals wide receiver Mohamad Sanu said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “No good can come out of it. The only thing that can happen really is getting fined or suspended or get thrown out of the game. So it’s not going to help your team either way. You pretty much try to end it quickly and get your guy out of there.”
The Bengals did just that. They also left Oakland with a dominant 33-13 win in a game in which they led 33-0 through three quarters. The Bengals controlled the line of scrimmage, forced two turnovers while committing none, and Tyler Eifert had the best game of his career, finishing with nine catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
Eifert joins Sany, A.J. Green, Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard and others as players that opposing defenses have to worry about.
“You got a guy in Tyler who can stretch the field vertically and make big plays,” Sanu said. “He’s a big body guy. He can do a lot of great things for us. We can move him inside, outside – he can line up anywhere. So that’s the kind of guy we need. They can’t double anybody. If they double Tyler, we got three receivers and running backs that can do a lot of great things.”
Andy Dalton, meanwhile, was solid. The fifth-year quarterback was 25-of-34 for 269 yards and two touchdowns and appeared to be in complete control.
“I just see him getting better and better each year,” Sanu said. “He’s able to throw the ball down the field. He just commands our huddle, takes leadership with things we have to deal with as far as getting play changes at the line and picking up blitzes. It’s just unbelievable to see what he has to memorize and go through in the process of one play.”
For Dalton, however, few have questioned his regular-season success. It’s his 0-4 career playoff record that have Bengals fans pulling their hair out. It’s gotten so bad that Dalton – who has one touchdown and six interceptions in the playoffs – has booed during MLB All-Star Game festivities in Cincinnati and then again in the preseason.
How does Does handle so much criticism, especially from hometown fans?
“Andy just stays even-keel,” Sanu said. “He just stays right in the middle – never gets too high, never gets too low. He takes the punches and he rolls with it. He knows what he signed up for and it’s part of the deal. You get criticized when you’re doing bad, and when you’re doing good, you get the praise. That’s how things work being a quarterback.”
The Bengals will face a slightly stiffer challenge this Sunday when they host San Diego (1-0) at 1 p.m. ET.
The Chargers beat the Bengals, 27-10, in Cincinnati during the 2013 playoffs.
“We’re expecting a tough game,” Sanu said. “San Diego has a great team, the defense is tough. Philip Rivers is an awesome quarterback. He has a lot of talent over there and a lot of weapons that he knows how to use. He scores points. So we know we got to score points as well and keep the ball as long as possible.”