Bills Hold Off Bengals

Timely Plays Help Team Improve to 3-0

Neil McManus
September 22, 2019 - 5:25 pm
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Orchard Park, NY (WBEN) The Buffalo Bills received clutch plays just when they needed them to scratch out a 21-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in their home opener at New Era Field Sunday.

PHOTOS: Bills Down Bengals 21-17 in Home Opener

The Bills’ defense looked as if it was going to carry the day when the unit limited the Bengals to under 100 total yards in the first half while quarterback Josh Allen found rookie tight end, Dawson Knox for his first NFL touchdown. That score was followed by an Allen to Cole Beasley two-point conversion. The Bills added a pair of field goals from Steven Hauschka and went to the locker room with a 14-0 lead.

The Bengals came to life though in the second half as running back, Joe Mixon got moving after the teams traded interceptions. Mixon was held to under 20 yards in the first half but popped a big run to set up Andy Dalton’s two yard TD and then caught a short pass to tie the game at 14. The Bengals then took the lead with 43 yard field goal with nine minutes left on the clock.

Josh Allen was able to lead the offense down the field with a big, physical 49 yard catch and run by Knox who finished the day with three catches for 67 yards and the first quarter touchdown. The Bills capped that drive with a one yard scoring run by Frank Gore who rushed for 76 yards on 14 carries. Allen meanwhile finished with another 200 yard passing day (243 on 23 completions) but he also had a pair of fumbles (neither lost) and an interception.

The Bills defense finally regrouped and held off a final drive by the Bengals as Tre’Davious White brought down a tipped Dalton pass to secure his second interception of the day.

The Bills are 3-0 and have a big match-up with rival New England next week in Orchard Park.

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EJECTED

Bengals offensive tackle Bobby Hart was ejected for making contact with an official after White's game-sealing interception. The Bengals were upset because White was never touched down and eventually got up and ran through the back of the end zone.

The officials ruled the play had ended because White had already given himself up.

INCONSISTENT ALLEN

Allen finished 23 of 36 for 243 yards with a touchdown and interception. He was picked off while back-pedaling on third-and-7 and threw off his back foot. The weak pass was easily intercepted by Darius Phillips, who returned it to Buffalo's 22 and set up the Bengals first touchdown.

Allen was nearly picked off two more times and almost lost a fumble before being ruled he was out of bounds.

0-NO

Taylor, who took over after Marvin Lewis was fired this offseason, became the fifth of Cincinnati's 10 coaches to open his first season 0-3, and third in a row. The worst start by a first-year Bengals coach was Sam Wyche losing his first five in 1984.

HONORING PANCHO

The Bills honored late superfan Ezra "Pancho Billa" Castro during a pregame ceremony. Castro, a mortician from El Paso, Texas, regularly attended Bills games at home on the road, and died in May after a lengthy battle with cancer. Shortly after being diagnosed with cancer, the Bills honored Castro's wish by bringing him to Dallas to announce their third-round selection of defensive tackle Harrison Phillips at the 2018 NFL draft.

Phillips paid tribute to Castro by wearing a Bills-themed sombrero, which Castro made famous for wearing at games.

INJURIES

Bengals: none reported.

Bills: Starting right guard Jon Feliciano did not return after sustaining a neck injury in the first quarter.

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