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Morning after hangover, Bengals win 44-31

The defense picked off a pass, recovered three fumbles, sacked the quarterback three times and scored two touchdowns (Dexter Jackson, Keiwan Ratliff) on their way to a 44-31 win Friday night. Here are other notes from the game.

  • Doug Johnson, while playing against 3rd team (or worse) defenses, played well finishing 8/14 for 133 yards and a touchdown. For the pre-season, Johnson has a better passer rating (121.3/87.8), completion rate (67.9%/51.4%) and average yards per attempt (9.3/5.7) than Anthony Wright.
  • Justin Smith's line: seven tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble -- all in the first half.
  • Kyle Larson had five punts; a result of five three-and-outs by the offense. On drives they gained at least a first down ended with a field goal attempt or touchdown (one fumble). Larson averaged 47.2 yards per punt with a 50-yarder as his longest. His punts went 50, 45, 48, 44 and 49 yards.
  • The Bengals had 10 penalties. They are:
  • Bobbie Williams (false start)
  • Stacey Andrews (false start)
  • Rich Braham (offensive holding)
  • Doug Johnson (delay of game)
  • A.J. Nicholson (holding, punt return)
  • Robert Geathers (defensive off-sides)
  • Ahmad Brooks (5-yard face mask)
  • Kelley Washington 2 (unnecessary roughness and illegal block above the waist)
  • Johnathon Joseph (unnecessary roughness)
  • The Bengals dominated the time of possession -- 32:07 to 27:53 with 10:11 in the second quarter.
  • It's safe to say Domato Peko will have a job come regular season game #1. Against Washington, Peko finished with six tackles and half a sack. Against Buffalo, Peko finished with six tackles, half a sack, and a forced fumble. He's been the most impressive rookie in pre-season games so far. The best part is the rookie is earning some first half snaps against the better offensive units.
  • DeDe Dorsey is the perfect example making good on an opportunity where he was given a small chance at winning a roster spot. This wouldn't happen if Michael Wilbon (whom I like) and others had their way of removing pre-season games completely. Against Buffalo, Dorsey had 102 total yards (22 rushing, 80 receiving). Did Dorsey just jump to #3 on the depth chart?
  • The rush defense started off horrible. Willie McGahee rushed for 88 yards on nine rush attempts; including a 61 yard touchdown run where he was barely touched.
  • Players that did not play: Meyer, Palmer, Perry, Brooks, Kaesviharn, Tahi, Mitchell, Thurman, Fanene, Kieft, Anderson, Jones, Chatman, Rucker, Adams and Pollack.
Bengals' defense, backups come up big
The 44 points were the third most scored by a Bengals team in the preseason, behind only 45 in 1973 against Philadelphia and 45 in 1977 against Tampa Bay.

QB, Chad get on the same page in Game 2

Anthony Wright looked solid in his Bengals debut Sunday, but the quarterback needed to show he could develop a rapport with star receiver Chad Johnson in case he ends up starting the season opener because Carson Palmer is not ready.

Friday, he accomplished that.

In his second straight start, Wright completed nine of 19 passes for 99 yards and one touchdown while playing the first half against the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. But perhaps more importantly, five of those passes including one touchdown found Johnson for 73 yards. Johnson had zero catches Sunday against the Redskins.

Curnutte's Bengals notebook

Palmer ran briskly around the perimeter of the field and did a series of calisthenics at the goal line with strength and conditioning coach Chip Morton.

Palmer was on the field for more than one hour. After stretching, Palmer then worked with quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese, who provided a mock pass rush and chased Palmer out of the pocket. Palmer rolled out right and left and threw on the run downfield some 40 yards.

Big plays and penalties mar performance

While the defense forced four turnovers, which led to 20 points in the first half, the Bills were able to capitalize on some big plays and the overall play was sloppier than in last Sunday's 19-3 win against Washington.

"We got good work in and got to see a lot of good situations that should be helpful down the line for us," said the head coach. "We can't give up the explosive plays on defense and we had too many penalties throughout the game."

Wright doing solid job

Wright completed just 47 percent of his passes in Friday night's 44-31 win against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium but he threw for one score, didn't turn over the ball and continued to improve in running the offense as a whole.

"Anthony made some nice plays tonight and what we're asking him to do he's got to continue to be successful in those areas," said head coach Marvin Lewis. "He can't play outside of his body. He's got to do the things that we can do successfully when he's in there and handling the offense."

Big plays fill second preseason game

The Cincinnati Bengals got a nice surprise Friday morning when Disney hosted a private, advance screening of the football movie Invincible for the team at a suburban Buffalo cinema.

Another gift was in store Friday night in the form of a 44-31 victory over the Buffalo Bills, who suffered four turnovers, in front of 49,488 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.