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Cincinnati Bengals' Fast Start Paves Way to First Win of 2022

Cincinnati improves to 1-2 on the season.

The Bengals secured their first win of the season beating the Jets 27-12 Sunday.

Although the game was closer than the score indicated, Cincinnati played significantly better than in their first two games.

Members of the team and staff emphasized the importance of starting fast leading up to the game. The Bengals did just that with an 11 play opening drive for a touchdown after winning the coin toss and choosing to receive the ball first.

Cincinnati has usually deferred the coin toss for the defense to take the field first if they have won. They knew they needed to break their funk and get in the endzone after not scoring a first half touchdown in either Week 1 nor Week 2.

"We talk about the coin toss every week," Zac Taylor said. "This week we felt like we needed the ball to start and get us going to get some momentum."

Joe Burrow found Samaje Perine for a 12-yard score on Cincinnati's first drive. He completed 8-of-10 passes for 95 yards on Cincinnati's opening possession. His 95 yards passing were the most on an opening drive since 2014 according to ESPN Stats and Info.

Burrow hit Tyler Boyd for a 56-yard score later in the quarter. 

The Bengals never trailed following the initial points. They hadn't held a lead in a game prior to Sunday.

"That's critical going forward for the rest of the year," Burrow said. "Coming out fast, putting points on the board, staying close, now you're not in two-minute the whole game. That puts the offensive line in better position, it makes it easier to call plays. That was critical."

Burrow looked more confident behind center with the offensive line's best showing. He was given more time to get the ball out and extended plays without forcing throws. He finished 23-of-35 for 275 yards and three touchdowns. He was sacked three times, but didn't turn the ball over.

The offense's fast start allowed the defense to stick to their game plan and not play from behind like in past weeks. 

"The defense played awesome," Burrow said. "They put us in position to get points multiple, multiple times. They just keep playing great."

Cincinnati's defense held the Jets offense to four field goals. They entered the redzone one time early in the fourth quarter.

Trey Hendrickson had 2.5 sacks. He also forced two of the four turnovers, including a strip-sack on the Jets first possession of the second half that led to a Bengals touchdown. Hendrickson forced fumble at the start of the fourth quarter. B.J. Hill recovered both fumbles.

Joe Flacco was sacked four times in the game. Cam Sample (1) and and Hill (.5) added to Hendrickson's field day.

Logan Wilson snagged his first interception on the year dropping down field into coverage to pick off Flacco's intended pass to Braxton Berrios. Wilson has five interceptions in the last two seasons, the most by any linebacker in the NFL over that span. 

Jessie Bates would cap the game with an interception late in the fourth.

Hendrickson, Wilson, Bates, and Hill were awarded with game balls following the game.

The Bengals host Miami Thursday night for a primetime showdown at Paycor Stadium. The Dolphins are the lone undefeated AFC team after beating the Bills Sunday. It will be imperative for Cincinnati start fast like they did Sunday as they look to continue to build off Sunday's win.

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