Andy Dalton led the Cincinnati Bengals to a late comeback against the Arizona Cardinals, but the defense couldn’t come up with a big stop to follow his lead.
The Bengals scored two touchdowns in the final five minutes to tie the game before rookie quarterback Kyler Murray took back the momentum. Murray scrambled for 24 yards to set up the game-winning field goal as time expired.
Zane Gonzalez’s 31-yarder gave the Cardinals a 26-23 win Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, their first win under coach Kliff Kingsbury. The Bengals are still waiting for their first win under Zac Taylor, as they fall to 0-5 and continue to look more and more like the 2008 team that went eight games to start the season without a win.
Cincinnati had halted a seven-quarter touchdown drought when Dalton connected with Auden Tate on a 2-yard touchdown pass with 4:11 left, and the defense forced a three-and-out to give the Bengals some hope at their first win. Dalton tied the game at 23-23 when he found Tyler Boyd wide open for a 42-yard touchdown with two minutes left, but that left too much time for Arizona to make something happen.
The Bengals had appeared out of it when they gave up a 37-yard touchdown run to Chase Edmonds with 7:11 left. To that point, the offense looked stale, aside from the opening drive when Joe Mixon ran eight times for 60 yards and Cincinnati had to settle for a field goal, despite making it to the Cardinals’ 4-yard line. Randy Bullock made a 23-yard field goal, and the Bengals wouldn’t reach the red zone again until the fourth quarter.
Murray, this year’s top overall draft pick, got things moving for Arizona when he ran for a 6-yard touchdown on fourth-and-2 to take the lead at 7-3 with 3:40 left in the first quarter. The Cardinals hadn’t had a lead all season entering this game.
Gonzalez missed a 37-yard field goal on the Cardinals’ next drive, but he chipped in a pair of short field goals late in the second quarter to add some cushion, including a 20-yarder as time expired going into halftime with a 13-6.
Cincinnati lost Alex Erickson to a concussion in the second quarter when he hit his head on the ground making a catch that originally was ruled an incomplete pass. The Bengals won a challenge and got the first down but ended up punting.
Bullock made a 48-yard field goal late in the second quarter and added another one in the third, as the teams combined for seven field goals Sunday.
The Cardinals finished with 514 yards of offense, including a season-high 266 yards rushing, and the Bengals totaled 370 yards. Murray completed 20 of 32 passes for 253 yards and had 93 yards on 10 carries, while David Johnson added 91 yards on 17 carries. Murray was sacked just once, despite the Cardinals entering the game with a league-worst 20 sacks through four games.
Mixon finished with 93 yards on 19 carries.
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