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Bengals overcome turnovers to beat Bills 20-16

Posted Oct 8, 2017

Despite Buffalo's defense forcing three turnovers, Cincinnati came away with the win.


Location: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH

Regular season records: Buffalo (3-2), Cincinnati (2-3)

In a nutshell:
The Bills had another opportunistic day on defense as they forced three turnovers, which the offense turned into 10 points. But the Bills run game was shut down by Cincinnati’s stout defensive front and their passing game was just too inconsistent. In the end it cost them in a 20-16 loss to the Bengals.

A 10-10 tie at the half between the Bengals and Bills stayed that way until the end of the third quarter. Buffalo went ahead on a Stephen Hauschka field goal, only to surrender the lead one possession later on a Joe Mixon touchdown run early in the fourth quarter (17-13).

A 40-yard punt return by Brandon Tate put the Bills in scoring territory, but they could only manage a field goal to pull within a point with nine minutes remaining. It would be as close as the Bills would get.

After converting five of their first 10 third down situations in the first half, they converted just one of eight in the second half.

On their last three possessions the Bills gained just seven yards on 13 plays, while Cincinnati went for 135 on 21 plays with a touchdown and field goal to show for it before their late interception sealed the game and the Bengals ran out the clock.  

The loss dropped the Bills to 3-2 on the season.

How it went down:
-The Bengals needed just 10 seconds on their second possession to strike for a touchdown. Andy Dalton used play action and hit a wide open A.J. Green for a 77-yard catch and run for a score. The one-play drive put Cincinnati up 7-0 early in the first quarter.

-Before the first quarter was over Buffalo put together a 10-play drive that was capped by a 31-yard field goal by Stephen Hauschka to make it a 7-3 game.

--Cincinnati pushed their lead back to seven with a field goal drive of their own. Randy Bullock was good from 30 yards out to put the Bengals up 10-3 with nine minutes left in the first half.

-Buffalo tied the score when Tyrod Taylor found Brandon Tate in the back of the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown pass. It capped a six-play, 23-yard scoring drive (10-10) with three minutes left in the half.

-The offense finally broke the tie late in the third quarter following the third takeaway by the defense. After a Jordan Poyer fumble recovery, Buffalo drove 51 yards on nine plays, and Stephen Hauschka put a 38-yard field goal attempt up and through for a 13-10 advantage with two minutes left in the third quarter.

-The Bengals again turned to A.J. Green as he pulled in a 47-yard pass to bring Cincinnati to the Bills five-yard line. One play later Joe Mixon reached the end zone on a five-yard touchdown run to put the Bengals ahead 17-13 just second into the fourth quarter.

-A 40-yard punt return by Brandon Tate helped to put Buffalo in the red zone. Unfortunately the Bills couldn’t reach the end zone and had to settle for a 28-yard field goal to pull within one (17-16) with nine minutes left in the game.

-Cincinnati came back with a field goal drive of their own as Bullock put a short 28-yard attempt through for a 20-16 lead with 3:33 remaining in regulation.

Subplots:
-Brandon Tate had a touchdown catch in the first half and a key 40-yard punt return in the fourth quarter to put the Bills in scoring territory.

-Micah Hyde made his fourth interception of the season off a tipped Andy Dalton pass. It made him the first Bills defensive back to post four interceptions in the first five games since Henry Jones in 1992.

-Jordan Poyer recorded a pair of takeaways, an interception off a tipped pass and a fumble recovery after Lorenzo Alexander dislodged the ball from A.J. Green.

-Charles Clay was carted off the field with a knee injury late in the first quarter and did not return to the game.

-Leonard Johnson left the game with a hamstring injury in the first half and did not return. He was replaced in the lineup by rookie Greg Mabin, with Shareece Wright playing in the slot and Mabin outside.

-Vladimir Ducasse made his first start of the season in place of John Miller at right guard. He had been inactive each of the first four weeks this season.

-Buffalo’s inactives were CB E.J. Gaines, LB Ramon Humber, OT Conor McDermott, G John Miller, WR Jordan Matthews, TE Khari Lee and DT Jerel Worthy.

Up next:
The Bills have a bye week before returning to New Era Field to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 22nd for a 1 pm kickoff.