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Dołączył(a):19 lip 2017, o 07:35
CINCINNATI (AP)Andy Dalton completed 16 throws in a row Josh Allen Jersey , had a hand in four touchdowns, and finished with the second-highest passer rating of his career. The Bengals’ decision to change offensive coordinators has made a huge difference in the quarterback. Dalton is back in form now that Bill Lazor is putting together the game plan and calling the plays. Dalton threw four touchdown passes for only the fourth time in his career during a 31-7 victory in Cleveland on Sunday. His re-emergence gives the Bengals (1-3) some hope that they could pull out of their dismal start and get back into the AFC North race. They trail the Steelers (3-1) by two games as they prepare to host Buffalo (3-1), which leads the AFC East. ”We’ve changed,” coach Marvin Lewis said Monday. ”That’s what we said we were going to do, and Bill’s done a great job with that.” The question is whether they waited too long. No 0-3 Bengals team has finished a season with a winning record, so history is against them. Coordinator Ken Zampese was fired after the Bengals failed to score a touchdown in their first two games. Dalton had four interceptions and a fumble during the 0-2 start, with the Bengals averaging only 4.3 yards per play. In the past two games, it’s been 5.3 per play. The biggest change is in Dalton, who was under heavy pressure in the first two games and had a combined passer rating of 47.2, lowest in the NFL. In the past two games , he’s thrown for six touchdowns without an interception for a rating of 138.2. Lazor’s priority was getting Dalton back into a comfort zone. Receiver A.J. Green complained that under Zampese, the team’s playmakers weren’t getting involved enough in the passing game. Lazor’s game plans have included a lot of low-risk throws early so Dalton and the entire offense can get into a flow. In Cleveland, Dalton completed 16 consecutive passes and finished 25 of 30 for 286 yards. The previous time he threw four touchdown passes in a game was 2013 against Minnesota. His only higher rating was 146.8 against the Browns in Cleveland during the 2015 season, when Dalton led the AFC in passer rating. ”I think guys are comfortable with what we’re doing,” Dalton said. ”I think that’s what it comes down to and guys are playing with more confidence. We have to keep getting better.” The problems aren’t all fixed. The line remains an issue – Dalton has been sacked 14 times, tied for fourth-most in the NFL. The running game has been held under 100 yards in three games and ranks 23rd overall. If Dalton can put together a stretch of good games, there’s a chance to make the season interesting after the 0-3 start. ”The last two weeks, he has had high completions and good yardage,” receiver Brandon LaFell said. ”When he is out there going, our offense is flowing.” KEEP ROTATING: Lewis indicated the Bengals will continue their unusual arrangement of rotating tackles. Andre Smith started at left tackle for Cedric Ogbuehi and was in for 45 of their 64 plays. Jake Fisher started at right tackle and was in for 52 plays. Ogbuehi had 31 plays. The line’s struggles have contributed significantly to the 1-3 start. Teams prefer to have a set line Josh Oliver Jersey , but the rotation at tackle is the best they can do for now. ”It’s just what it is,” Lewis said. BURFICT’S RETURN: Linebacker Vontaze Burfict was on the field for 52 of the 65 plays – 80 percent – in his return from a three-game NFL suspension for his latest egregious hit. He had six tackles, second to linebacker Nick Vigil for the team lead. Lewis expects Burfict to be capable of playing a full game against the Bills. — Tennessee owner Amy Adams Strunk shot down speculation that Mike Mularkey’s job is at risk, saying her coach is going nowhere after helping change the Titans’ culture and getting their first playoff victory in 14 years.

National reports first had Mularkey potentially fired if the Titans lost their regular-season finale and again if Tennessee lost its AFC wild-card game at Kansas City. Instead, the Titans pulled off a major comeback after trailing 21-3 at halftime.

Strunk tried to stop all the talk with her statement on Mularkey’s job security Sunday .

”I regret that outside rumors gained a life of their own,” Strunk said. ”No one has been a bigger supporter of Mike Mularkey than I have over the last two-plus seasons. … Just to eliminate any distractions moving forward, Mike Mularkey is our head coach and will be our head coach moving forward.”

Strunk made Mularkey interim head coach in November 2015 after firing Ken Whisenhunt who went 3-20 in his short tenure. Mularkey went 2-7 before Strunk gave him a three-year contract as head coach in January 2016, two days after hiring Jon Robinson as general manager.

Mularkey addressed the national reports that his job was on the line after the Titans beat Kansas City 22-21 on Saturday.

”No,” Mularkey said. ”I haven’t had any support to say that I was (secure). No. I just assumed the worst.”

Hours after his owner’s statement of support, Mularkey said that the Titans ”absolutely” are on the same page together. He also called Strunk’s statement nice and that he had only wanted to talk about the Titans beating a good team in their own backyard after the game.

Asked if the statement has put his mind at ease , Mularkey said he’s addressed the situation with his staff and won’t talk about it anymore.

”I’m already onto New England,” Mularkey said. ”It’s been addressed, and I’m full-speed ahead getting ready for New England with our staff.”

Strunk credited Mularkey and Robinson with changing the culture of the organization and said she’s so happy they’ve been able to win 19 games over the past two seasons, including the first playoff victory since Jan. 3, 2004. She said the Titans have plenty of work ahead starting with the AFC divisional round, visiting No. 1 seed New England (13-3) on Saturday night.

”I am looking forward to the journey,” Strunk said.

With the win over the Chiefs, Mularkey now has a victory in his first postseason game. He also is 21-21 since taking over the Titans. Their latest win needed an amazing comeback from a 21-3 halftime deficit, tying for the second-largest rally by a road team in the playoffs. They tied Dallas’ comeback from an 18-point deficit in 1972 in the divisional round to beat San Francisco.

Only Detroit’s rally from 20 points down in 1957 to beat the 49ers in the divisional round was bigger than Tennessee’s comeback.

Tennessee rallied by sticking with the run. The Titans set a postseason franchise record by running for 202 yards against the Chiefs. Derrick Henry ran for a career-high 156 yards, while Marcus Mariota added 46.

Cornerback Logan Ryan Ryquell Armstead Jersey , a free agent signee this past offseason, says the Titans have done a lot with the first playoff appearance since 2008 and first playoff win in 14 years.

”That’s a pretty good coach to me,” Ryan said.

NOTES: Mularkey says RB DeMarco Murray, who has missed the past two games with an injured right knee, will be day to day this week and might have a limited role. Mularkey says having an extra day would have helped. The coach also needs to see Murray run.

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