Bengals Rally Falls Short, Cardinals Win

Arizona boots rallying Bengals, 34-31 on last second field goal, handing Cincinnati its second loss in a row.

All is no longer perfect in Cincinnati.

The Bengals are 0-2 after their 8-0 start.

Their latest defeat came at the hands of the high-powered Arizona Cardinals, who outlasted visiting Cincinnati, 34-31 Sunday night on Chandler Catanzaro's 32-yard field goal with 2 seconds remaining.

The Bengals (8-2), their own worst enemy the entire contest, beginning with running back Jeremy Hill's 15-yard taunting penalty that derailed the first drive, made it easier for the Cardinals with a move that led to a questionable call after quarterback Carson Palmer put the Cardinals (8-2) in position for the game-winning field goal.

Catanzaro's winning chip shot was considerably closer than it would have been because Cincinnati defensive tackle Domata Peko was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for calling out the offensive signals as the Cardinals were about to spike the football to set up the kick.

The official who caught Peko was within a few yards of the veteran lineman, and immediately ran to the head official who called out Peko's misdeed. The Bengals, who were penalized 10 times for 108 yards, said Peko was not guilty of the infraction. Arizona had just 40 yards in penalties.

Palmer overcame two early interceptions to throw four touchdown passes. With 57 seconds left, he completed three quick passes to move the Cardinals into field goal range after the Bengals rallied to tie it at 31 on a field goal by Mike Nugent.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes, both to tight end Tyler Eifert. The second one, a 10-yarder, whittled the Cardinals' lead to 31-28 with 3:44 to play.

The Bengals bend-but-don't-break defense, bent too much on the Cardinals' final drive which was accomplished without a time out as Palmer came back to haunt his old team.

He had help while finishing 20-of-31 passing for 317 yards. Among all the Cardinals' big-play receivers, it was rookie J.J. Nelson who came up the biggest with four receptions for 142 yards, a 35.5 average, including a 64-yard touchdown catch. Receiver Larry Fitzgerald was very effective while snaring eight passes for 90 yards. Running back Chris Johnson rushed for 63 yards on 18 carries, with some key gainers.

Dalton finished 22-of-39 passing for 315 yards and was sacked four times, some for big losses that threw Cincinnati off schedule against the blitzing Arizona defense. The Bengals' offensive star was running back Giovani Bernard, who totaled 147 yards from scrimmage, 128 on eight receptions, one going for 41 yards.

Hill carried 13 times for 45 yards and scored the Bengals two other touchdowns. Eifert's scores tied him for the NFL lead with 11. Receivers A.J. Green (79 yards) and Marvin Jones (60 yards) each had four receptions.

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict led the Bengals with eight tackles. Safety Reggie Nelson and cornerback Leon Hall came up with interceptions for the suddenly banged-up Cincinnati secondary.

Defensive end Michael Johnson and defensive tackle Geno Atkins had one sack apiece for the Bengals, who were barely outgained, 383-377 despite running 13 more plays than the Cardinals (71-58).

Bengals Insider Top Stories