Falcons Lookahead: Bengals


Record: Bengals 1-0

Sunday's game: Defeated Ravens 23-16 in Baltimore. The Bengals blew a 15-point lead before A.J. Green caught a 77-yard touchdown pass with 4:58 remaining to pull off the victory.

The skinny: The Bengals turned the keys to the future of the franchise over to Andy Dalton when they signed the quarterback to six-year, $115 million contract ($17 million guaranteed) despite three playoff losses in three years.

Series history: Bengals lead all-time series 5-7. In last meeting, the Falcons defeated the Bengals 39-32 on Oct. 24, 2010 at the Georgia Dome. Matt Ryan went 24-for-33 for 299 yards with three touchdowns (two to Roddy White) and one interception. John Abraham had two sacks. Carson Palmer went 36-for-50 for 419 years and four touchdowns for the Bengals.

State of the union: "It's big for the team, man," Green told reporters of Sunday's victory. "Just taking that next step to being a great team. I think these games right here prepare us for going into the postseason. When we're not scoring every play, when it comes down to making that play, I think that game will help us."

Three things: 1) To start the season with a road victory over the Ravens, a team many think can be a Super Bowl contender was significant; 2) Dalton threw for 301 yards and a touchdown and no interceptions. It's a good start on the new contract; 3) The Falcons and Bengals held two combined practices last season before playing an exhibition game and the Bengals dominated on both lines in those scrimmages. This will be a test for the new-found Falcons' toughness.