CINCINNATI – A game full of weirdness came down to the final flub, one that bounced right into Terence Newman’s arms.
The cornerback returned a fumble 58 yards for a touchdown with 3:47 left on Sunday, rallying the Cincinnati Bengals to a 34-30 victory over Green Bay in a game of wild momentum swings set up by nonstop turnovers.
“We learned some valuable lessons and survived one today that you don’t survive very often,” coach Marvin Lewis said.
The lesson? Just hold onto the ball.
Each team gave it away four times. Each team returned a fumble for a touchdown – M.D. Jennings ran one back for Green Bay (1-2). The Bengals blew a 14-point lead, and the Packers let a 16-point lead get away in the second half. Green Bay scored 30 consecutive points and lost.
And no, the weather wasn’t a factor. Nobody could blame the cool, sunny day for all the oddities.
“There’s been a lot of crazy games since I’ve been here,” seventh-year cornerback Leon Hall said. “But that one’s up there. Top three.”
The Bengals (2-1) finished it off when Michael Johnson batted down Aaron Rodgers’ fourth-down pass at the Cincinnati 20-yard line with 1:21 left, ending a subpar showing for the quarterback.
It was the first time in 14 years that a team won after allowing 30 consecutive points in a game.
The comeback completed an exhilarating week for the Bengals, who beat AFC North rival Pittsburgh 20-10 on Monday night with an impressive defensive game.
The defense made the difference again as Rodgers was 26 of 43 for 244 yards with a touchdown, but was sacked four times and threw two interceptions.
Bengals 34, Packers 30
Cin – Bernard 3 run (Nugent kick)
Cin – Green-Ellis 2 run (Nugent kick)
GB – FG Crosby 41
GB – Jennings 24 fumble return (Crosby kick)
GB – FG Crosby 19
GB – FG Crosby 26
GB – Franklin 2 run (Crosby kick)
GB – J.Jones 7 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick)
Cin – Green 20 pass from Dalton (Nugent kick)
Cin – M.Jones 11 pass from Dalton (kick blocked)
Cin – Newman 58 offensive fumble return (Nugent kick)
A – 64,633
|Total Net Yards||399||297|
|Time of Poss.||31:51||28:09|
RUSHING – Green Bay, Franklin 13-103, Starks 14-55, Rodgers 3-24. Cincinnati, Bernard 10-50, Green-Ellis 10-29, Dalton 4-3.
PASSING – Green Bay, Rodgers 26-43-2-244. Cincinnati, Dalton 20-28-1-235.
RECEIVING – Green Bay, Nelson 8-93, Cobb 5-54, J.Jones 4-34, Franklin 3-23, Quarless 3-21, R.Taylor 2-11, Ross 1-8. Cincinnati, Sanu 4-68, Bernard 4-49, Green 4-46, Gresham 4-27, M.Jones 3-38, Eifert 1-7.
MISSED FIELD GOALS – Cincinnati, Nugent 52 (WL).