Dalton, Bengals roll past Buffalo, 26-13

Published 8:12 pm Sunday, August 26, 2018

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton celebrated a warm reception in Buffalo by completing two touchdown passes in leading Cincinnati to a 26-13 preseason win over the Bills on Sunday.
Dalton began the day by making a donation to Buffalo’s Roswell Park Cancer Institute, then received two standing ovations from Bills fans before kickoff.
Once the game began, he proceeded to complete 11 of 16 attempts for 180 yards over five series.
Linebacker Carl Lawson had 2 1/2 of the Bengals five sacks in the first half, during which Cincinnati’s defense overwhelmed Buffalo’s starting offense and rookie quarterback Josh Allen.
The Bengals improved their preseason record to 3-0, and Buffalo dropped to 1-2.
While Dalton earned most of the cheers, Allen took a step back in his bid to win a three-way competition and become the Bills’ season-opening starter.
Buffalo’s first-round draft pick finished 6 of 12 for 34 yards passing, and was sacked five times for 39 yards in his first preseason start. Allen was also fortunate he wasn’t intercepted on an underthrown pass intended for tight end Charles Clay up the right sideline.
Allen struggled behind a porous offensive line and displayed few signs of the progress he showed during his previous two outings overseeing the Bills’ second- and third-stringers.
Allen’s day ended in the final minute of the first half, when he was escorted off the field to be evaluated for a possible concussion after being tackled by Carlos Dunlap in the end zone. Though Allen was cleared to return, he stayed on the sideline while Nathan Peterman finished the game.
The Bills’ offensive line had difficulty protecting AJ McCarron during the first quarter of a 19-17 win at Cleveland. McCarron hurt his throwing shoulder after being sacked once and hit several other times.
Dalton got off to a hot start by hitting second-year receiver John Ross for a 57-yard touchdown on Cincinnati’s first play from scrimmage. Ross, who missed all but two games due to a shoulder injury last year, beat safety Jordan Poyer and then avoided Vontae Davis’ tackle to waltz into the end zone.
Dalton then capped Cincinnati’s third possession by hitting A.J. Green for a 14-yard touchdown with 4:32 left in the first quarter.
The so-called “Buffa-love” for Dalton was a carryover from New Year’s Eve, when the Bengals’ starter became perhaps the most popular non-Bills player in town.
That’s when his 49-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to Tyler Boyd in the final minute sent the Bengals to a 31-27 win in Baltimore .
The victory eliminated the Ravens from contention and nudged the Bills into the postseason for the first time since 1999 to end what had been the longest active playoff drought in North America’s four major professional sports.
Bills fans almost immediately began a campaign to thank the quarterback by donating to his charitable foundation. As of last week, Bills fans were directly credited for raising more than $450,000 spread over 17,000-plus donations.
The Bengals led 23-0 before the Bills mounted a comeback with two scores late in the third quarter.
Peterman hit Jason Croom for a 17-yard touchdown, and then Travaris Cadet scored on a 1-yard run on a scoring drive set up by Rafael Bush intercepting Bengals backup Matt Barkley.
Bengals: Barkley finished 9 of 16 for 112 yards and an interception. Jeff Driskel went 4 of 7 for 75 yards.
Bills: Peterman finished 16 of 21 for 200 yards and a touchdown.
Dalton joined his wife Jordan in making the donation at Roswell Park, while also unveiling an entertainment hub by donating computers, game consoles and TV and theatre systems.
Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert had one catch for 11 yards while targeted three times in making his preseason debut. The Bengals’ 2013 first-round draft pick is coming off back surgery and was limited to playing just two games last year.
Bengals: Left tackle Cordy Glenn stood on the sideline, but did not return after hurting his right shoulder in the first quarter. Guard Christian Westerman (back) and running back Jarveon Williams (left knee) did not return.
Bills: Backup linebacker Julian Stanford did not return after hurting his nose in the first half. RB LeSean McCoy (hip/groin) and left tackle Dion Dawkins (hip) did not play after being injured in practice this week.
The Bengals stood together along the sideline except for Carlos Dunlap, who stood on the field at the 45 with his hand on his chest. No member of the Bills appeared to protest.
Bengals: Host Indianapolis Colts on Thursday.
Bills: At Chicago Bears on Thursday.

Bengals’ stats
Cincinnati 14 6 3 3 = 26
Buffalo 0 0 13 0 = 13
First Quarter
Cin—J.Ross 57 pass from Dalton (Bullock kick), 13:42.
Cin—Green 14 pass from Dalton (Bullock kick), 4:32.
Second Quarter
Cin—FG Bullock 46, 9:19.
Cin—FG Bullock 37, 3:48.
Third Quarter
Cin—FG Bullock 40, 10:52.
Buf—Croom 17 pass from Peterman (Hauschka kick), 5:45.
Buf—Cadet 1 run (run failed), 1:38.
Fourth Quarter
Cin—FG J.Brown 19, 6:09.
Cin Buf
First downs 22 19
Total Net Yards 435 329
Rushes-yards 27-68 26-143
Passing 367 186
Punt Returns 3-10 4-28
Kickoff Returns 2-46 2-34
Interceptions Ret. 0-0 1-26
Comp-Att-Int 24-39-1 22-33-0
Sacked-Yards Lost 0-0 6-48
Punts 5-47.4 8-42.0
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 8-54 13-125
Time of Possession 31:02 28:58
RUSHING—Cincinnati, Hill 4-24, Carson 4-24, Flowers 7-12, Mixon 6-7, Bernard 4-3, Walton 2-(minus 2). Buffalo, M.Murphy 11-58, Ford 5-32, Ivory 3-31, Cadet 4-12, Peterman 2-7, Allen 1-3.
PASSING—Cincinnati, Dalton 11-16-0-180, Barkley 9-16-1-112, Driskel 4-7-0-75. Buffalo, Allen 6-12-0-34, Peterman 16-21-0-200.
RECEIVING—Cincinnati, T.Boyd 4-54, Green 4-50, Schreck 3-58, Bernard 3-17, J.Ross 2-66, Erickson 2-37, Kroft 2-32, Mixon 1-23, Carson 1-15, Eifert 1-11, Uzomah 1-4. Buffalo, Thomas 4-55, C.Clay 4-24, Benjamin 2-39, Croom 2-38, M.Murphy 2-7, Coleman 2-0, Reilly 1-23, Kerley 1-18, McCloud 1-10, Ford 1-9, C.Phillips 1-7, Z.Jones 1-4.

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