Mohamed Sanu out-dueled his own quarterback early against the Washington Redskins. (AP)
If Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton isn't careful, he's going to be embroiled in a quarterback controversy ... with one of his own receivers. On the first play of the game against the Washington Redskins, the Bengals lined up in a version of the Wildcat formation, with rookie receiver Mohamed Sanu from Rutgers in shotgun with a back on either side, and Dalton lined up wide right.
The Redskins, obviously expecting a running play, had 10 defenders at or near the line, which gave Sanu the read he was apparently looking for. The Redskins should have been more aware of Sanu's passing prowess -- in college, he completed 8 of 18 passes for 207 yards and four touchdowns.
Beastly receiver A.J. Green blew up the coverage up the middle of the field, and went 73 yards for the touchdown on Sanu's long, somewhat wobbly, but accurate throw.
[Also: Brett Favre sees public evidence against Saints as 'just hearsay']
On the next Cincinnati drive, which started at the Bengals' own 1-yard line after Redskins punter Sav Rocca nailed the ball there on a 58-yard punt, Dalton threw a short pass intended for running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Under pressure from outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, Dalton was intercepted by linebacker Rob Jackson, and the resulting play was actually a zero-yard return for a touchdown.
Dalton was able to rebound, throwing three touchdown passes and completing 19 of 27 passes in a 38-31 win. He also managed to make a little bit of history with that pick. Per Pro Football Reference, there have now been five zero-yard interception returns for touchdown in NFL annals.
The last one happened last season, when Chicago Bears defensive back and noted Jay Cutler critic D.J. Moore had one against the Carolina Panthers.
The great irony of the Bengals using the Wildcat is that Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis allegedly called New York Jets head coach (and former Baltimore Ravens assistant coach compadre) Rex Ryan, "begging" the Jets not to use the Wildcat this preseason in a gentleman's agreement that is not altogether uncommon in the preseason. Tim Tebow, the Jets' projected Wildcat weapon, went 4 for 8 for 27 yards and ran for 34 yards in conventional sets in a 17-6 Bengals win in early August.
As we know, there are no gentleman's agreements in the regular season.
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