Bengals improve to 5-0 for first time since 1988
CINCINNATI — Andy Dalton led Cincinnati from a 17-point deficit to a signature win, the kind they’ve rarely gotten in the past. One that showed this Bengals team is indeed in a different class.
The Bengals remained unbeaten by matching the second-biggest comeback in their history on Sunday, this one against the two-time defending NFC champions.
Mike Nugent’s 42-yard field goal bounced off the left upright, but went through for a 27-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Dalton’s fingerprints were all over it.
Trailing 24-7 at the start of the fourth quarter, he threw for a touchdown, ran for another and led the Bengals (5-0) on a 69-yard drive without a timeout. Nugent tied it with a 31-yard field goal on the final play of regulation.
Seattle (2-3) punted twice in overtime, giving the Bengals a chance to pull it out. Nugent’s deflection off the upright ended it with 3:36 left in overtime, leaving Cincinnati 5-0 for the first time since 1988, the last time it went to the Super Bowl.
It was the second time Cincinnati had overtime a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter and won, according to STATS. The Bengals also did it at Baltimore in 2004 for a 27-26 victory. Cincinnati overcame an 18-point deficit to beat Arizona 24-21 in the 1997 season.
The Seahawks looked to be in good shape after scoring a pair touchdowns during a 2-minute span of the third quarter. Undrafted rookie running back Thomas Rawls ran 69 yards for a touchdown, part of a career-best 169-yard game.
Bobby Wagner then returned a fumble 23 yards for a touchdown, handing a 24-7 lead to the NFL’s second-ranked defense. Unlike Monday night, when Kam Chancellor stripped the ball from Detroit’s Calvin Johnson to preserve a 13-10 win, it couldn’t come up with the big play at the end.
Dalton was 30 of 44 for 331 yards with two touchdowns, an interception and a season-high four sacks. His 11-yard TD pass to Eifert on the game’s opening drive ended Seattle’s streak of 20 defensive possessions without allowing a touchdown.
That was all the Bengals managed until Dalton — who leads the NFL in fourth-quarter passer rating — started the big comeback.