Ben­gals slump to first de­feat against Tex­ans

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LOS AN­GE­LES: Re­lief quar­ter­back T.J. Yates tossed the game-win­ning touch­down pass to DeAn­dre Hop­kins in the fourth quar­ter as the Hous­ton Tex­ans handed the Cincin­nati Ben­gals their first loss of the sea­son with a sloppy 10-6 road vic­tory on Mon­day.

Cincin­nati (8-1) could not over­come nu­mer­ous er­rors, with tight end Tyler Eifert suf­fer­ing three key drops and quar­ter­back Andy Dal­ton strug­gling to find his rhythm against re­lent­less Tex­ans pres­sure at Paul Brown Sta­dium. “This was a big game for us, es­pe­cially when you beat a team like Cincin­nati,” Tex­ans coach Bill O’Brien told re­porters. “Those guys in that locker room understand what we can do.” Hous­ton (4-5) lost start­ing quar­ter­back Brian Hoyer late in the third quar­ter due to a pos­si­ble con­cus­sion and Yates came in to com­plete 5-of-11 passes for 69 yards. Cincin­nati had one last chance when it took over at its own 19-yard line with 3:54 re­main­ing.

Dal­ton con­verted a third-and-18 on a pass to re­ceiver A.J. Green to keep the drive alive. Then, on fourth-and-six, Green ap­peared to make a first-down catch but fum­bled and the ball was re­cov­ered by Tex­ans safety Quintin Demps. “You play all the way to the whis­tle,” said Tex­ans de­fen­sive end J.J. Watt, who had two tack­les and a sack. “That’s the way you have to play against an 8-0 team. This was an in­cred­i­ble team win.” The game fea­tured a sloppy first half in which there were six punts, nine penal­ties and both quar­ter­backs led their teams in rush­ing. The sec­ond half was not much bet­ter. Early in the third quar­ter, Dal­ton’s deep ball in­tended for re­ceiver Marvin Jones was tipped and in­ter­cepted by Tex­ans cor­ner­back Johnathan Joseph.

Joseph, a for­mer Ben­gal, has in­ter­cepted Dal­ton in four con­sec­u­tive games be­tween the teams. Hoyer was es­corted to the locker with the Tex­ans trail­ing 6-3 late in the third quar­ter. Yates sub­se­quently or­ches­trated a nine-play, 79-yard drive, with his 22-yard pass to Hop­kins putting Hous­ton ahead for good.

Hop­kins man­aged to get two feet down in­bounds while fall­ing back­wards to make the score 10-6.”Hop’s a go-to guy for us,” O’Brien said. “That was a great catch and throw.” Dal­ton had an­other rough night un­der the prime-time lights, go­ing 22-of38 for 197 yards and an in­ter­cep­tion. Punter Shane Lech­ler was a weapon for the Tex­ans, help­ing them flip field po­si­tion on sev­eral oc­ca­sions. Lech­ler av­er­aged 46.8 yards on eight punts, in­clud­ing one 64yarder. “We’ve got to clean those things up,” Ben­gals coach Marvin Lewis said. “A.J. won’t fum­ble the ball and Tyler Eifert won’t drop balls (like he did tonight). We’ll make plays and catches like we have been and con­tinue to get bet­ter at it.” — Reuters

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