Bengals: Secondary Concerns

There were positives and negatives in the Bengals' secondary on Sunday in Oakland. Head coach Marvin Lewis explains.

The Bengals held the Oakland passing game in check Sunday, in part because starter Derek Carr was knocked out of the game in the second quarter, and also because the Bengals put adequate pressure on backup Matt McGloin and received a quality performance from the secondary.

The big stopper was cornerback Adam Jones, who led the Bengals with 10 tackles with a pass defensed, while also doing the dirty work, literally.

Jones attempted to intimidate Oakland rookie receiver Amari Cooper in the game after ripping Cooper's helmet off his head and then smashing Cooper's head on his own helmet.

There was no penalty, but that didn't mean that coach Marvin Lewis liked it.

“It’s been handled," the coach said. "It was handled after the game, and reaffirmed this morning. No doubts about it.”

Safety Reggie Nelson came up with the lone interception during Sunday's 33-13 road win, the first ever in Oakland. Safeties George Iloka and Shawn Williams also played well. Lewis was particularly pleased with the young veteran, Williams, who is trying to make his mark.

“I think Shawn did a good job. He’s done a nice job, basically took snaps all spring for us when George was out," Lewis said. "We felt really good about Shawn, and I thought he stepped in and did a good job.”

When asked if converted cornerback Leon Hall, now a safety, was still able to sniff out plays, Lewis, “Well, he’s just doing his job. Not necessarily sniffing out, but staying sound to his responsibilities.”

Hall had three tackles, one for loss. Behind Jones, cornerback Darqueze Dennard was next in the secondary and fourth on the team with five tackles, all solo, with a pass defensed. Corner Dre Kirkpatrick, Iloka and Williams each had a pair of tackles.

While the Raiders were held to 183 passing yards, they were able to complete 70 percent of their passes Sunday with mostly a second-string quarterback, a percentage that is much too high to ignore. Oakland QBs finished with a rating of 85.7.

The Bengals did contain the deep game. The longest Raiders pass went for 24 yards. The next-longest was 13.

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