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On the Blitz, Beating the Bengals


Linebacker Tully Banta-Cain checks in with his latest On the Blitz column, breaking down some of the key plays in Saturday night's exciting victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

It was a great win. I think collectively as a team we did what we had to do to get the win. We had a lot of positives on all phases of the game, and I thought we played more consistent than we have in past weeks.

Their offense definitely came in with the game plan to play to the strength of their big play receivers and their big arm quarterback. They are one of the better passing teams in the league and rather than dinking or dunking us they wanted to set the tone early with downfield plays. I think when you go against a good secondary like ours, you have to show that you are not afraid to go deep, so that's what they tried to do.

Fortunately, for the most part we were able to defend most of those and then get off the field on third downs so they couldn't sustain drives.

I watched the film on that one long touchdown pass they completed and it was just a great throw, a great catch and a very hard to defend play. We were a little bit out of position but really he threw that ball on a rope. It wasn't so much of a bad play by us, but a great play by them. We might have been a split second off, but it was a spectacular throw.

Against Minnesota we played mostly eight men down in the box, but we were back to really seven guys in the box to stop the run game against Cincinnati and we were able to do so. I think they had only just over 60 yards rushing on us which was great for us.

They got down inside our 20 in the second quarter but we were able to keep them out of the end zone. I had the one batted ball which Donald Strickland almost picked, but at least they had to settle for a field goal only.

One play that also stuck out was the almost sack on Carson Palmer. B.Y. had him and when I went to him, Palmer ducked, and so I hit and knocked BY off and Palmer wormed his way out of there. That really pissed me off. He's a big guy so you've got to get him down and unfortunately we weren't able to so on that one.

Our offense was on the field for most of the game, and that definitely contributed to the win and managing the game. The third quarter was the biggest difference with us only playing two minutes on defense. That's what you want, but I was actually fired up and ready to get back out there.

They started completing some passes in the fourth quarter, but that last drive was a chance for us to make a pivotal stop and we did. They drove the ball down to our 24 but we stopped them on four downs to give the ball back to our offense and they did a great job of finishing off the game.

I thought Shaun Hill did a great job of managing the offense and creating some plays on his own when things broke down. My dad actually said that his performance was very reminiscent of Steve Young.

Special teams also did well. I thought Maurice Hicks had some key returns to give us good field position and as they've done week in and week out, our coverage units did a great job limiting their returners.

Like I said, it was a collective effort and just a great feeling to get a win, especially at home because we hadn't won at home since week one.

Coach gave us off Sunday and Monday, so I just took it easy on Sunday. Last night I watched the Redskins/Giants game and then a bunch of us Nate, Roman, Strick, Walt, Moran, Frank and I went to check out the R. Kelly, Keisha Cole and R Kelly and J Holiday concert. It was a great show and we had a good time hanging out away from work.

Today, I hung out with my son all day and got some Christmas shopping taken care of, and I'll be ready to go on Tuesday!

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