1. Dalton rebounded from one of the worst outings of his four-year career with an elite, efficient performance, completing 73 percent of his pass attempts for three touchdowns. A.J. Green recorded his third 100-plus receiving yard this season and Jermaine Gresham broke the plane for the first time this year, not once, but twice against a Saints secondary who might need to take remedial classes in tackling.
2. Rookie running back Jeremy Hill had another big game as he spelled the injured Giovanni Bernard, rushing for 152 yards. When Bernard returns, the Bengals will possess a legitimate 1-2 in their backfield.
3. Earlier in the season the Bengals defense was respected as one of the NFL's stingiest. They, without sacking or intercepting Brees once all game, limited the Saints offense to 10 points and not the 26.1 they averaged leading up to today. The key to shutting down the Saints is to prevent Mark Ingram from running loose.
Offensive tackle Zach Strief left the game with a concussion and his absence was taken advantage of.
4. We find these tidbits interesting. Brees only had eight incompletions. This is normal. His first and only touchdown pass went to Kenny Stills. The Saints' 61 percent (third-down efficiency) is sky-high. Numbers and stats are fun, but without chemistry? Good luck moving forward.
6. Fourth-year pro Ryan Mallet was flat-out efficient today. When I first saw him (live) back in August at the Redskins Training Camp, instantly I fell in love with his lazor-sharp accuracy and powerful throw. I also watched Alfred Blue run to daylight (156 yards).
The Ravens defense and Dean Pees will watch the Bengals-Saints footage this week trying to figure out how Cincy locked the Saints outside the gates.