Football returned to Cincinnati on Saturday night as the Bengals hosted the Kansas City Chiefs.
While the Bengals scored first, they quickly fell behind and were unable to regain the lead. There was very little to be excited about in this disappointing preseason loss.
The Bengals’ first possession started on the 25-yard line after a Kansas City touchback. The first-team offense started out strong, relying on the legs of Jeremy Hill, who had 3 rushes for 17 yards, and a 22-yard reception by A.J. Green on 3rd and 20.
Ultimately, the drive stalled when Andy Dalton overthrew Green on 3rd and 6, so they had to settle for a field goal. Randy Bullock split the uprights from 47 yards, putting the Bengals on the scoreboard first.
12 plays, 46 yards, 4:24 on that #Bengals drive.— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) August 19, 2017
With 10:36 left in the first quarter, the Bengals led the game 3-0. Following a Bullock touchback, Alex Smith and the Chiefs wasted no time in answering the Bengals. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt took the Chiefs down to the red zone, tallying 13 yards on the ground and 23 yards through the air.
The Bengals defense did not break, however, and forced the Chiefs to settle for a field goal. From the five-yard line, Sam Ficken buried his 23-yard field goal to level the score.
Despite a 39-yard kick return by Alex Erickson, the Chiefs forced the Bengals to punt. Will Monday shanked the punt, netting a total of 11 yards. On the first play, Hunt went back to work running through the Bengals defense and picking up 25 yards.
Billings, Burfict and Williams all missed tackles on the big Kareem Hunt run.— Anthony Cosenza (@CJAnthonyCUI) August 19, 2017
Hunt would get the ball two more times, but Kansas City still failed to convert on 3rd down. Their 4th down conversion attempt from the 12-yard line was successful, which gave them a 1st and goal. The drive concluded on a 5-yard scoring pass to Demetrius Harris. Ficken’s extra point was good, and the Chiefs took the lead at 10-3.
The Bengals took the next drive down to the red zone. Dalton went 3-for-5 with 44 yards but failed to connect with A.J. Green on 3rd down at the 14-yard line. Jake Elliott came in to make his first field goal attempt of the game from 32 yards, cutting the deficit from seven points to four.
The Chiefs took the field and continued to pound the ball. C.J. Spiller took his first carry for 12 yards and later received a screen for 16 yards. Pat Mahomes engineered his first drive of the game from the quarterback position, even contributing a 14-yard run immediately following the two-minute warning.
Initially ruled a touchdown, the ball was moved back to the two and a half-yard line. This only delayed the eventual touchdown, as Mahomes connected with Harris three plays later. Ficken missed his extra point, but the Chiefs still led 16-6 with 1:05 left in the half.
AJ McCarron took over on the next Bengals possession and drove the Bengals down to the red zone in the span of 65 seconds. He completed his last three attempts and collected 62 yards on their trip to the red zone. After some questionable clock management, Bullock was called on to complete a 26-yard field goal. At the end of the half, the Bengals trailed the Chiefs 16-9.
Bengals WR snap count while AJ Green was still playing: Brandon LaFell 23, AJ Green 21, Tyler Boyd 14, Josh Malone 4. Out of 25— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) August 20, 2017
Upon receiving the opening kickoff, the Chiefs continued their strong momentum and took the ball all the way down the field. Mahomes was able to move the ball through the air despite constant pressure from the Bengals defensive line. Kansas City capped off their 12-play, 80-yard drive with a reception by Derrick Thomas. After the seven-yard pass from Mahomes, Ficken converted the extra point to extend their lead.
The next drive was nothing short of disastrous. A poor kick return from Kermit Whitfield forced the Bengals to start from their own 13-yard line. McCarron followed it up with an intentional grounding penalty. The next play, McCarron’s pass to Chris Brown was tipped and intercepted by Eric Murray.
McCarron's pass to Chris Brown deflected and picked. Chiefs start at #Bengals 18— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) August 20, 2017
Tyler Bray in at QB for KC
Tyler Bray, who came in the game to replace Mahomes, threw a touchdown pass to Seantavius Jones for 18 yards on the first and only play of the drive. The Chiefs had their second touchdown in 61 seconds. After the Ficken extra point, the Chiefs led 30-9. The Chiefs had scored on every possession and had reached the end zone on their last four.
The Bengals and Chiefs traded punts, and the Bengals would get the ball at their own 41-yard line. Tra Carson had four carries for 29 yards and helped set up a 39-yard field goal by Jake Elliott. As the third quarter concluded, the Bengals still trailed 30-12.
The Bengals defense finally showed some signs of life, sacking Bray twice and forcing a three-and-out. Chris Smith, who had an amazing outing last week, recorded the first sack, followed up by the highly anticipated rookie Jordan Willis.
And now Jordan Willis, the KC native, gets a sack. Pass rush is eating Chiefs alive in second half. #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) August 20, 2017
The Bengals next drive resulted in a punt as well, but Monday continued to make up for his first quarter gaffe by pinning the Chiefs on their own 1-yard line after a penalty.
Will Monday's last two punts have gone for 59 and 48 yards, respectively, after his first punt was good for all of 11 yards— Nick Manchester (@TheManch93) August 20, 2017
The Chiefs would not stay in their own red zone for long. Running back Charcandrick West got the nod on the first three plays, including two of 25 or more yards. After crossing into Bengals territory, the Chiefs drive came to a screeching halt. They went attempted to convert on 4th down, but Bene Benwikere defended a pass meant for rookie Jehu Chesson. The Bengals took over on their own 34-yard line with 5:15 remaining in the game.
Driskel, who was the best offensive player for the Bengals last week, came into the game with 5:11 left. Unfortunately, he failed to replicate his performance, gaining only seven yards on one completion and two attempts. Monday added a 56-yard punt to his impressive night, and the Chiefs took over.
West received the handoff on the first play, and promptly gained 50 yards, putting him at 113 on only seven carries on the night. For the second time in as many drives, the Bengals denied the Chiefs offense a 4th down conversion, allowing the Bengals to try to score one last time with 1:52 remaining. The Bengals were unable to capitalize, however, and ended up turning the ball over on downs after four plays.
The Chiefs would then kneel the ball to end the game, completing their beatdown of the Bengals at 30-12.