Atlanta, GA – Andy Dalton found A.J. Green for a 50-yard touchdown strike as the Cincinnati Bengals held off the Atlanta Falcons, 24-19, in a preseason matchup on Thursday at the Georgia Dome.
Dalton, in his second season under center out of TCU, went 8-for-14 for 125 and a score, while Green finished with two catches for 59 yards. Cincinnati's third-round pick this season, wide receiver Mohamed Sanu of Rutgers, added two catches for 11 yards and a touchdown.
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan finished 18-of-21 for 174 yards and a touchdown, while second-year wide receiver Julio Jones caught three passes for 41 yards and Roddy White hauled in four passes for 54 yards.
Rookie signal-caller Dominique Davis out of East Carolina went 11-for-17 for 121 yards and a touchdown in fourth-string duties for the Falcons.
After Dalton barely overthrew Green in the back of the end zone on third down during Cincinnati's second drive, Mike Nugent drilled a 54-yard field goal late in the first quarter to give the Bengals a 3-0 lead.
Ryan started the game a perfect 11-of-11 for 90 yards, but the Falcons third drive of the game stalled deep in Cincinnati territory and Atlanta settled for a 20-yard field goal from Matt Bryant to tie the game at 3-3.
The Bengals responded with a 9-play, 80-yard drive, capped by Dalton's 50-yard touchdown to Green for a 10-3 advantage.
Atlanta answered on its next drive as Ryan drove the Falcons 88 yards down the field, finding Lousaka Polite for a two-yard touchdown reception to tie the game before Bryant nailed a 22-yarder later in the second quarter to send Atlanta into the locker room with a 13-10 lead.
The Bengals scored on their first possession of the second half as backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski scrambled for 31 yards before finding Sanu three plays later for a 12-yard score to take a 17-13 edge.
Neither team would crack the scoreboard again in the second half until rookie running back Jourdan Brooks' one-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter gave Cincinnati a 24-13 lead.
Davis led the Falcons down the field on their ensuing possession and found LaMark Brown for a seven-yard touchdown to account for the final margin.
It was the first time the Bengals have beaten the Falcons in exhibition play since a 13-7 overtime victory on Aug. 17, 1974. Atlanta has lost its last seven preseason contests.