Bengals Beat The Bills 20-16
Bills don't take advantage of opportunities in defeat.
by Steve Saslow
at
Week 5
Bills  16
Bengals  20
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
A.J. Green caught seven passes for 189 yards including a 77 yard touchdown reception as the Bengals beat the Bills 20-16 to force Buffalo into a three way tie for first play in the AFC East. The Bills forced three turnovers and had the advantage of a big punt return by Brandon Tate along with a penalty that brought it to the Bengals 12 yard line but it wasn't enough as a poor offensive effort led to the loss. Tate caught a 12 yard touchdown pass from Taylor for the Bills only touchdown. It was his first receiving as a Bill. Taylor threw an interception in the Bills final drive ending the game and a streak of 18 quarters without a turnover.

The Turning Point:
TD Failure: There isn't one turning point but the Bills scored only 7 points on three turnovers and a big punt return. Not getting more was the difference in the game.

The Big Drive:
Bengals Final FG: They went 59 yards in 11 plays and took 5:26 off the clock as they drove for a game clinching field

Stat I Did Like:
Turnover Ratio: They were +2 on turnovers and went a team record 18 quarters without a turnover before Taylor threw an interception that wrapped up the loss.

Stat I Didn't Like:
Points off of Turnovers: They only had 7 when they needed much more.

Scene Setters:
- The Bills wore all white while the Bengals wore orange jerseys and black pants. They were 4-0 lifetime with those jerseys coming into the game.
- Dion Dawkins got the start for Cordy Glenn who was active but not 100 percent. Surprisingly Vlad Ducasse was active and got the start for inactive John Miller. Adolphus Washington go the start instead of Marcell Dareus after being inactive last week. Brandon Tate got the start in the three WR set.
- Injured scratches were Jordan Matthews, E.J. Gaines, and Ramon Humber. Healthy scratches were Miller, Khari Lee, Jerel Worthy, and Conor McDermott.
- It was the first bad weather game of the season for the Bills and the pouring rain kept a lot of the fans away limiting the Bengals home field advantage.
- The protests seems to be calming down as no Bills knelt for the National Anthem today.

Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
LG John Miller vs. LB Vontaze Burfict: Winner: Burflict. It ended up being Ducasse against Burflict with Miller inactive. Didn't matter as the front four dominated for the Bengals. Burflict had 13 tackles and a sack.
C Eric Wood vs. DT Geno Atkins: Winner: Atkins. He had four tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble.
DB E.J. Gaines vs. WR A.J. Green: Winner: Green. Gaines didn't play but Green dominated with 189 yards receiving on 7 catches. He did lose a fumble and had two deflections go as interceptions.
LB Matt Milano vs. RB Joe Mixon: Winner: Mixon. He only had 51 yards but Milano didn't do much and Humber was missed.

Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. No Letdown: Failure! They certainly letdown and lost to a one win team.
2. Pressure Dalton: Failure! Dalton had time to throw all day.
3. Run The Football: Failure! They tried but didn't do it consistently.

My Take:
We have seen this so often during the playoff drought. They get off to a good start of the season and then they lose a game they could or should have win. The Bengals were ripe for the taking but the Bills were very Billsy and couldn't make the plays they needed to and came away with a loss. Yes, they had injury issues but so did Cincinnati. This team is much improved but the bottom line is they just aren't talented enough to handle a rash of injuries.

What's Ahead:
The Bills get an early season bye before playing at home for the first time in just about a full month for a matchup with Tampa Bay.

Gameballs
  • Brandon Tate - He scored a touchdown and his kickoff return setup a field goal.
  • Jordan Poyer - He had an interception and a fumble recovery.
  • Micah Hyde - Had a big interception that setup a Bills short lived go ahead touchdown.
  • Stephen Hauschka - Was 3 for 3 again kicking field goals.


  • Goats
  • Tyrod Taylor - Yes they were down many weapons in the passing game but he constantly held the ball too long and couldn't make the plays when he had too. His interception was awful.
  • LeSean McCoy - It may be time to get worried about him. He looks a step slow.
  • Dion Dawkins - He gave up two sacks.
  • Tre'Davious White - Gave up two big passes including the big Green touchdown.
  • Shareece White - He struggled mightily replacing the injured Gaines but he did make a couple of plays.
  • Rick Dennison - Keeping Taylor in the pocket is not a recipe for success on offense.


  • Player Of The Week
  • Brandon Tate - Took advantage of his opportunities and was the only reason they had a chance to win.


  • Positional Breakdown and Grades
    NFL.com Gamebook
    Bengals Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage