The defense’s final series against the Cincinnati Bengals has been well-covered.
But Thursday marked the first time Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen has talked about the aggressive calls that helped lead to a 24-22 win.
With a first-and-10 just past midfield, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw an incomplete pass. On the next play, Allen dialed up a cornerback blitz, and Jonathan Wilhite came streaking into the backfield to sack the quarterback, leaving the Bengals with third-and-19.
“I think you have to play every situation as it plays out,” Allen said. “We were in a situation there where they had the ball around midfield. They needed a field goal to win the game, so we had to be more aggressive to win the game. I think you play every situation out, and that was situation that we felt as a coaching staff that called for us to bring some pressure and luckily we had the right one called up and were able to get to the quarterback.”
On third down, Wesley Woodyard dove to break up a pass short of the first-down marker, and the defense held strong to force a game-clinching incompletion on fourth down.
Allen said seeing how his team reacted in that clutch situation will be beneficial as the season rolls on.
“I think all those are learning experiences for us,” he said. “We are getting a feel for each other — the way that we think and the way that we coach, as well as the players and the way they react to different situations. We’re going to take in that information and file it away so that we have that for future use.”
Below are photos from Thursday’s practice: