|Ohio NFL Round Up|
|Monday, September 09, 2013 12:13 AM|
BEARS 24, BENGALS 21
CHICAGO — The Cincinnati Bengals lost their lead, their cool and the game.
They’ll have to do better if they want to live up to the lofty preseason expectations.
Andy Dalton threw two interceptions and Rey Maualuga got called for a penalty near the end to wipe out any chance at a comeback, sending the Bengals to a 24-21 season-opening loss to the Chicago Bears after blowing an 11-point lead on Sunday.
Jay Cutler passed to Brandon Marshall for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, helping the Bears give Marc Trestman a victory in his first game as an NFL head coach.
Dalton threw for 282 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. A.J. Green had 162 yards receiving and two touchdowns, including a 45-yarder.
But it was a disappointing opener for a team coming off back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 1981 and 1982.
They were up 11 in the third quarter, only to have Chicago rally down the stretch.
The Bengals would have had one last chance to win or tie it but Maualuga committed a personal foul away from the play when Cincinnati stopped Michael Bush after a short gain on third-and-6 at the Cincinnati 45 with a little over a minute left.
The unnecessary roughness penalty kept the drive going and allowed Cutler to take a knee twice, ending the game.
“We had a lot of guys unfortunately lose composure today,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “We can’t do that.”
For the Bears, it wasn’t quite the performance they were looking for after making some big changes in the offseason.
But they made the most of a handful of big plays by Cutler and repeated mistakes by the Bengals.
Cutler threw for 242 yards behind a line with four new starters. Marshall had eight catches for 104 yards and the offense pulled it out after struggling most of the way.
The Bengals led by 11 in the third quarter and were up 21-17 early in the fourth when Tim Jennings jarred the ball from Mohamed Sanu following a reception and made the recovery.
Chicago took over at its 19 and got an 8-yard run from Matt Forte on fourth-and-inches at the Bengals 27 to keep the drive going.
Cutler then found Marshall in the front corner of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown with 7:58 remaining.
The offense seemed stuck most of the afternoon but came through in the end, with Cutler completing 21-of-33 passes. He also had two touchdowns to go with an interception.
Charles Tillman matched a career high with two interceptions, giving him 35 overall for Chicago.
And Robbie Gould set a franchise record with a 58-yard field goal at the end of the first half following some questionable clock management by Cincinnati.
Up 14-10 at the half, the Bengals started the third quarter with an 80-yard scoring drive.
Tillman got called for interference on a deep pass to Green that put the ball on the 1 and BenJarvus Green-Ellis plowed in from the 5, making it 21-10.
But the Bears responded with an 80-yard drive that ended with Forte running it in from the 1 to get them back within four.
Vontaze Burfict intercepted Cutler near midfield early in the fourth quarter, taking a shot to the right knee from Chicago’s Kyle Adams.
Cincinnati took over at the Bears 40 but Sanu’s fumble at the 17 led to a big swing.
DOLPHINS 23, BROWNS 10
CLEVELAND — As long as he’s Miami’s quarterback, Ryan Tannehill will play in Dan Marino’s shadow.
Someday, he hopes to cast his own.
Tannehill, surrounded by more offensive weapons in his second NFL season, passed for 272 yards and a touchdown, leading the Dolphins to a 23-10 win on Sunday over the Cleveland Browns, who lost their ninth straight opener and fell to 1-14 in Week 1 since 1999.
Tannehill threw a 34-yard TD pass to Brian Hartline in the third quarter and completed 6-of-7 passes for 78 yards on the Dolphins’ game-clinching TD drive in the fourth.
Daniel Thomas had a 1-yard scoring plunge with 6:48 left, putting the Dolphins up by 10, and Miami then handed it over to a defense that recorded six sacks and pummeled quarterback Brandon Weeden from start to finish. Defensive end Cameron Wake had 2 1/2 sacks and Dimitri Patterson had two of the Dolphins’ three interceptions.
Hartline had nine catches for 114 yards.
Tannehill went 7-9 as a starter during an up-and-down rookie season (12 touchdowns, 13 interceptions) but the former first-round pick showed the Dolphins enough promise that they invested more in his future. The club signed free-agent wide receivers Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson, and re-signed Hartline to a 5-year, $30 million contract.
For the Browns, coach Rob Chudzinski’s opener was like so many previous ones.
Cleveland hasn’t won its first home game since 2004 and despite some renewed energy with the addition of better players, the Browns haven’t changed. Weeden finished 26-of-53 for 289 yards and one TD but he was plagued by several drops and his offensive line was manhandled.
Rookie Caleb Sturgis kicked field goals of 49, 45 and 36 yards for the Dolphins, who were leading 13-10 when Tannehill took the Dolphins 85 yards to set up Thomas’ short TD.
Tannehill opened the drive with completions of 24 yards to Gordon and 16 to Hartline. Tannehill moved the Dolphins down the field without once hooking up with Wallace, who had just one catch for 15 yards.
Weeden was missing top wide receiver Josh Gordon, who is suspended for the first two games for violating the league’s drug policy. Gordon would have helped some but the Browns also hurt themselves with nine penalties and couldn’t get running back Trent Richardson away from Miami’s tacklers. He had 47 yards on 13 carries but none in the fourth.
Tannehill connected with Hartline in the third quarter to give the Dolphins a 13-7 lead.
Three plays after Browns safety T.J. Ward dropped a possible interception in the end zone, Tannehill waited for Hartline to run a double move and get past cornerback Buster Skrine before hitting his wide receiver in stride down the left sideline.
Weeden and the Browns’ offense overcame a bizarre, ugly first half — five penalties, three interceptions — to somehow lead 7-6 at halftime.
With 28 seconds left, Weeden hit a leaping Jordan Cameron in the back of the end zone for Cleveland’s lone TD, a score that brought a fist pump from Chudzinski, a lifelong Browns fan who landed his dream job and knows he has a lot of work to do with one of the league’s youngest teams.