The diving pick came against New York's Tim Tebow to create the latest impact play from the much-maligned linebacker.
“I just jumped it and the ball was coming and it just came in my hands,” Burfict said. “He didn't quite see me getting there because I could barely see him about to throw it.”
Burfict plummeted from a first-round prospect to undrafted after character concerns on and off the field doomed him on draft day. Cincinnati took a chance on him and Burfict has been the model citizen to this point. Making plays on the field on both defense and special teams places him well on his way to a redemption story.
The next key for him will be improving his conditioning. Burfict took heat at his pro day for being out of shape and felt it as he played on every special team as well as three quarters of snaps at middle linebacker.
“I was a bit winded,” he said. “I put a lot of good things on film but a lot of bad things on film. I always got stuff to work on. Just get back in the film room and see what I did wrong. I'm excited I got a pick off Tim Tebow, but it is just one play at a time.”
Moch helps himself: LB Dontay Moch spent his career at Nevada terrorizing quarterbacks with 30 sacks in 39 starts from the defensive end position. He made a name for himself with freakish numbers at the combine (4.31 40-yard dash at 245 pounds). The Bengals drafted him in the third-round of 2011, however, with plans on moving him to outside linebacker. With depth at defensive end a concern, he's returned to play defensive end as a hybrid outside rusher.
By the looks of his play Friday, he may have found where he can shine. He shared a sack with Micah Johnson -- a similar DE/LB hybrid likely competing for the same roster spot -- while playing with his hand on the ground. His second sack, which included a strip for a forced fumble, came from the linebacker position. He estimated his snaps were split down the middle between rush end and linebacker.
Being able to move inside and out made Moch look more comfortable than he has since being drafted by the Bengals.
“It felt good going back to the D-line,” Moch said. “Linebacker is a second position for me, but I can work and progress and get better in it. Having my hand on the dirt and being in the trenches is a different feeling than being on my feet, and I feel I'm making steps forward.”
Goal-to-go offense woes: Cincinnati placed focus on improving the goal-to-go offense when it acquired RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis and OL Travelle Wharton as well as drafting OL Kevin Zeitler in the first round.
At the first opportunity to show the improvement, the first-team offense looked much like it did while finishing 24th in goal-to-go situations last year. A 15-play, 76-yard drive by Andy Dalton ended in a Mike Nugent field goal when the Bengals failed three times after a first-and-goal from the 5. Green-Ellis gained a yard on first down but on second the rarity of the preseason occurred when A.J. Green dropped a wide-open slant route that would have been a touchdown. An overthrow to Jermaine Gresham on third down completed the latest red-zone failure.
“On second down, we pumped it in there to A.J.,” Lewis said. “Those are the kind of plays we've got to make. And we'll make those every other time.”
Emotional WR Binns impresses: During the national anthem Friday the television panned to WR Armon Binns, and the second-year receiver appeared to be welling up with emotion. Undrafted out of the University of Cincinnati, he spent last preseason with the Jaguars before being cut and landing on the Bengals practice squad.
One year later, he earned a start amid the hottest competition in camp at No. 2 WR.
“This is such a big moment,” he said. “I have been through so much the last couple of years. To be here with this opportunity nobody would have thought I would have been here. I am just blessed and grateful for this opportunity.”
Binns parlayed the emotion into production with two receptions for 24 yards. Both were corralled at a high degree of difficulty. He broke a short pass through traffic for a 19-yard gain, but it was called back by a holding penalty.
This comes one week after leading the Bengals in receiving in the mock game. Without a doubt, he's increased his chances for playing time in the regular season.
“I was definitely a little nervous, but I was excited at the same time,” Binns said. “Not bad nerves, just anxious. The game really slowed down (after the first catch), and I was able to go out there and just play freely.”
Follow Paul Dehner Jr. for Bengals updates on Twitter at @CBSSportsNFLCIN.