DETROIT - The Detroit Lions lost to the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday with a final score of 27 to 24. Mike Nugent kicked a 54-yard field goal as time expired to give Cincinnati a dramatic victory at Detroit.
Andy Dalton was 24-of-34 for 364 yards with three touchdowns, and top target A.J. Green had six catches for 155 yards and a score for the Bengals (5-2). Nugent, whose career long is 55 yards, atoned for a missed field goal in the second quarter by making two in the second half to help Cincinnati win its third in a row.
Matthew Stafford went 28-of-51 for 357 yards and three TDs for the Lions (4-3), including two to Calvin Johnson in the second half. Johnson, who had been slowed by a sore knee, had nine receptions for 155 yards.
The Bengals struck first when Dalton hit Green on an 82-yard bomb on the team's third play from scrimmage, but the Lions answered with a 16-play, 80-yard drive that took up nearly eight minutes - ending with Stafford's 3-yard TD pass to tight end Brandon Pettigrew. Cincinnati's Carlos Dunlap blocked David Akers' field-goal attempt late in the first half to set up Dalton's 12-yard scoring pass to Marvin Jones for a 14-10 halftime lead.
Dalton extended the lead by hitting rookie tight end Tyler Eifert on a 32-yard scoring pass on the opening drive of the second half, but Stafford responded with two TDs to Johnson — the second on a desperation 50-yard pass into triple coverage to tie it at 24-24 with 12:10 remaining. Both teams had the ball in the final two minutes, but a poor punt by Lions rookie Sam Martin put the Bengals at midfield with 26 seconds remaining, setting the stage for Nugent's game-winner.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Johnson passed Herman Moore for the most 100-yard receiving games in franchise history (35). … Green's touchdown was the longest play of his career. … Stafford is the first quarterback to pass for more than 300 yards against the Bengals in 21 games, including the playoffs.
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