DETROIT (AP) — Jeremy Hill scored a touchdown on Cincinnati’s first possession, but that was it for the Bengals when their top offensive players were in the game.
“I think we need to score more points,” Hill said. “We left too many on the field when we were out there. We did finish one drive, which we didn’t do last week, but we need to do a better job of converting third downs.”
Hill ran for a 9-yard touchdown, and the Bengals went on to a 30-14 victory over the Detroit Lions on Thursday night, but this was not a great offensive show by either team’s first stringers. Cincinnati benefited from a defensive touchdown and didn’t really put the game away until the second half.
Hill hurt his left hand in Cincinnati’s preseason opener last week, but he had three carries for 16 yards against the Lions and also caught a pass.
Former Cincinnati wide receiver Marvin Jones, signed by the Lions in the offseason, had four catches for 65 yards against his former team.
“It was neat seeing them,” Jones said. “Those are the guys I’ve gone against every day for four years, so it was good to kind of be on the other side and go against them.”
Detroit’s Matthew Stafford was 8 of 11 for 113 yards, but the Lions went without a touchdown until the final minute of the game.
Cincinnati’s Derron Smith returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Andy Dalton was 7 of 9 for 78 yards for the Bengals.
LACK OF BALANCE
Detroit has struggled for years to develop a running game good enough to complement Stafford and his receivers. In the first quarter Thursday when the top players were in, the Lions passed for 103 yards and rushed for 14.
“I think across the board, I don’t think we did a lot of things well,” Detroit coach Jim Caldwell said. “I don’t think we tackled well, I don’t think we ran the ball well, I don’t think we stopped the run very well. So we’ve got work to do.”
Bengals: WR Tyler Boyd continues to impress. After a 40-yard catch in last week’s game, he made a nice diving grab of Dalton’s pass for a 26-yard gain on Cincinnati’s first possession. Boyd later caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from AJ McCarron with 12 seconds left in the first half.
“That’s why he’s here — he’s supposed to make plays,” Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said. “He’s a smart kid who understands how to play this game, and he’s done a good job of taking advantage of the opportunities he’s getting.”
Lions: TE Cole Wick was beaten by a pass rusher in the first quarter on a play in which Stafford was hit and fumbled, but he also had two catches for 26 yards.
Bengals: T Jake Fisher walked off slowly in the first half with a sprained right ankle. He took over at RT after Cedric Ogbuehi injured his toe last week, so now Cincinnati’s depth could be tested even further.
Lions: The absences of TE Eric Ebron and LB DeAndre Levy weren’t huge surprises, and Detroit didn’t appear to have any major health issues among those who played.
Bengals: Mike Nugent missed a field goal on the opening drive last week against Minnesota, and he missed an extra point and a field goal against Detroit. There was no real competition for his job, but if he falls into an extended slump, perhaps there could be. Nugent did make a 50-yard kick in the fourth quarter.
Lions: There’s some uncertainty at the backup quarterback spot, with Dan Orlovsky doing little to inspire confidence when his interception was returned for a touchdown. Rookie Jake Rudock received a nice hand when he came on in the fourth quarter, but the University of Michigan product was also intercepted on just his third pass attempt.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. I’m going to start triple-taping my ankles, and I’ve never taped them at all in my career,” Cincinnati T Andrew Whitworth on the team’s injury issues.
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