The Bengals may have dropped their preseason finale against the Colts tonight by a score of 20-16, but avoided the worst loss possible after QB Andy Dalton went down with an arm injury, but it turned out to be nothing serious, and by all accounts, the Bengals escaped the night with no significant injuries to key players, a first this preseason.
The first Bengals drive of the night was a very promising one, and was 12 plays, 69 yards, and took 5:18 off the clock, and saw a combination of Andy Dalton and Bruce Gradkowski. Dalton went out after he was diagnosed with bruised arm and did not return. On the drive, he was 3-of-4 for 26 yards, and after the drive stalled when he exited, Mike Nugent came in to nail 37-yard field goal to give Bengals 3-0 lead.
Coach Marvin Lewis confirmed later that Dalton’s bruised arm is fine. He also said he’ll be fine for Baltimore. He would have gone right back in this game if it had been the regular season.
Dalton, on leaving the game:
I’m good, no problem at all. I just took a hit on the arm, and my hand got feeling a little numb, sort of like getting hit on your funny bone. But it’s fine now. There was just no point in taking any more snaps in this particular game.
The runnig game looked much better tonight, as Brian Leonard and Cedric Peerman combined for 54 yards on 9 carries.
Dan Herron is not NFL-material and has no chance to make the practice squad. That is all.
Marvin Jones has hada hot preseason, but dropped would-be 25-yard TD pass in end zone, he made up for it when Gradkowski hit him on a back shoulder 7-yard TD pass on third down to give the Bengals a 10-0 lead.
MLB Vontaze Burfict has been a beast all night long, getting several tackles on punt return coverage on special teams, and even came up with a sack.
After containing the Colts offense for much of the half, the Bengals defense collapsed towards the end of the half as the Colts scored twice with 2:33 left to take a 14-10 lead.
The Bengals did get a late field goal to go into the half trailing 14-13.
Lewis, on the first half:
We came out in the first part and both groups — offense and defense — set a good tempo. That’s what I asked them to do, and we accomplished that. We’re where we are with the score right now because of some penalties in the kicking game and on defense.
And to the 2nd-half:
The Bengals took the 2nd-half kickoff and marched 83 yards in 16 plays in 8:49 but only mustered up a 22-yd Nugent field goal.
They later got another field goal to take a 16-14 lead as 3rd-string QB Zac Robinson looked very impressive, going 16/22 for 140 yards and helped lead the team to two scoring drives. He found a nice groove with the rookie receivers, as Mohamed Sanu had 8 receptions for 80 yards, and Marvin Jones had 4 receptions for 39 yards and a TD.
Try as he might, by penalties, fumbles, and just horrible running, Dan Herron tried to give the game away to the Colts. The Bengals held a 16-14 lead with under 10:00 to play but Herron fumbled a dump-off pass and the Colts recovered it and drove 73 yards to take a 20-16.
The Bengals would get several more opportunities to drive fro the game-winning score, but the Colts defense stifled each attempt and handed the Bengals a 20-16 loss to end the preseason.