Dalton sharp in 27-19 win over off-target Titans

JOE KAY (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated Press

CINCINNATI (AP) -- With All-Pro receiver A.J. Green watching again, Cincinnati's offense was impressive

The Bengals' starters scored had a solid first half during a 27-19 preseason victory over the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night. Everybody got involved for the Bengals (2-0).

''It was a successful Week 2,'' coach Marvin Lewis said. ''We had a lot of positives. All in all, we got some things done that we look forward to getting done.''

By contrasts, the Titans (0-2) had a lot of things go wrong again. They failed to get a touchdown out of their starting offense, their kickers missed three field goal tries and the defense gave up several big plays.

''That was disappointing to watch,'' coach Mike Munchak said. ''It was frustrating. We missed some plays when they were there. We missed field goals. That's why it was disappointing.''

Five things learned from the second preseason game:

1. GIO DOES IT ALL: Rookie running back Giovani Bernard started in place of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and made quite an impression.

The second-round pick carried seven times for 37 yards and a touchdown, and turned a short pass into a 22-yard gain. It's the diversity out of the backfield that Cincinnati has been seeking.

''I'm eager to prove myself,'' Bernard said. ''I want to be an everyday back. I don't want to just be a speed back, a guy who's shifty, or a guy who can catch the ball out of the backfield. I want to be able to do it all.''

2. CINCINNATI'S OFFENSE IMPRESSIVE: After failing to score in the first quarter of a 34-10 win in Atlanta last week, the Bengals' starters piled up 220 yards in the first half on their way to a 17-3 lead.

Andy Dalton was 9 of 14 for 115 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu in the back corner of the end zone.

''I think we were a little bit hungry tonight,'' Dalton said. ''After last week, we wanted to put points on the board with the (starters) in there. So we go out of this game feeling a little bit better than last week.''

The Bengals did it without Green, who didn't suit up for the game. He bruised his left knee on the first day of training camp and and returned to practice last week on a limited basis. He hopes to play in one of the two final preseason games.

3. TITANS HAVE NEW INJURY CONCERN: Receiver Kendall Wright - Tennessee's first-round pick last season - injured his right knee while running a pattern.

He walked around after the game with a wrap on the knee. He got an MRI but didn't have the results back. Asked if he was worried, Wright said, ''Right now, I am. I'm just waiting and being patient.''

4. TITANS O-LINE SHAPING UP: The Titans spent the offseason reconfiguring their offensive line through free agency and the draft. They had a new combination for the second preseason game.

Right tackle David Stewart was back after missing the first preseason game against Washington with a sore right ankle. It was his first game action since he broke his right leg last Dec. 2. He settled in next to guard Chance Warmack, the No. 10 overall pick in the draft. At center was Fernando Velasco, competing for the job with Rob Tuner, who started the first preseason game.

The Titans got 182 yards in the first half and averaged 4.4 yards per rush, an encouraging statistic.

5. WHAT ABOUT THE KICKERS: Rob Bironas didn't play in the 22-21 loss to Washington last week because of a bad back. He resumed kicking on Monday and missed two of his three attempts.

Bironas was on target from 44 yards out on the opening drive, but was wide from 38 and 37 yards, showing some rust.

''He hasn't been kicking, and that's going to factor into every position,'' Munchak said. ''He's been in the league long enough that we know how he'll respond.''

Maikon Bonani then missed from 47 yards before making one.



AP NFL site: http://pro32.ap.org

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