Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Nugent's 54-yard field goal as time expired gave the Cincinnati Bengals a 27-24 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
A 28-yard punt from Sam Martin gave the Bengals the ball back near midfield and the first play saw Andy Dalton hit Dane Sanzenbacher for seven yards. The next snap went for eight yards on a catch by Giovani Bernard to get the ball at the Detroit 36.
Cincinnati then called timeout with four seconds remaining and, after Detroit called a timeout, Nugent calmly drilled the ball down the middle for the win.
Dalton passed for 372 yards and three scores on 24-of-34 attempts with A.J. Green catching six passes for 155 yards and a score for the Bengals (5-2), who have won three straight and sit atop the AFC North.
"This was a really good road win against a really good football team," said Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis. "That was a hell of a game out there from both teams, on both sides of the ball. But there's some things we need to do better, especially holding the other team on third downs."
Matthew Stafford went 28-for-51 for 357 yards and three touchdowns for the Lions (4-3), who were coming off a win in Cleveland. Calvin Johnson had his best game of the season as he caught nine passes for 155 yards and two scores.
"We didn't do a good enough job of executing at the end," said Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz. "We couldn't make plays, we got a bad punt and they got the long field goal. We didn't make plays and they did, that about sums it up."
Trailing by seven points, the Lions got the ball early in the fourth quarter and tied the game. Facing a 3rd-and-18 at the midfield marker, Stafford stepped up in the pocket to avoid the rush and threw the ball deep. Johnson, in triple coverage, was able to leap up and make the grab to tie the game with 11:59 to play.
Detroit crossed midfield on its next possession after holding Cincinnati, but a pass on 3rd-and-11 to Joique Bell was incomplete and the Bengals got the ball back at their own 11.
Cincinnati briefly got the ball across midfield and faced a 3rd-and-1, but a false start followed by a sack forced the team to punt.
It was a beauty of a punt as Kevin Huber pinned the Lions back at their own 6 with 1:43 to play.
The Lions got one first down to give themselves some space, but a Stafford pass on 3rd-and-4 fell incomplete and Martin's poor punt set up the winning score.
Cincinnati ran just three plays on its first drive, but the third one paid off as Dalton went deep down the right sideline for Green, who made the catch and took it in the end zone for an 82-yard score and a 7-0 lead four minutes in.
Detroit, though, came right back with a long march to tie the game. Running 16 plays and eating up almost eight minutes off the clock, the Lions converted three third downs on the drive and faced a 3rd-and-goal at the 3. On the play, Stafford fired a short pass over the middle that saw Brandon Pettigrew make the catch in the end zone to tie the game with 3:02 left in the first.
Following a three-and-out from the Bengals, the Lions got the ball back at their own 26. Going on another long march, the team snapped the ball 13 times and got down to the Cincinnati 18, but the drive stalled there and a 36-yard field goal from David Akers gave the team a 10-7 lead with 11:43 to play in the first half.
The Bengals came back with a drive of its own and quickly moved across midfield thanks to catches of 13 and 27 yards from Green. The team lined up for a 47-yard field goal try from Nugent, but he hooked it just a little past the left upright and Detroit got the ball back at its own 37.
Moving the ball again with precision, the Lions got into scoring range and lined up for a 34-yard field goal attempt by Akers, but Carlos Dunlap bulled his way through the middle and blocked the kick. Dre Kirkpatrick eventually recovered the rolling ball and Cincinnati got the ball back at the Detroit 40 with 2:17 to play.
Facing a 2nd-and-10 at the Detroit 12, Dalton floated a pass to the back of the end zone where Marvin Jones came down with the leaping catch as the Bengals took a 14-10 lead going into the break.
Starting the second half with the ball, the Bengals added to their lead as Dalton floated a pass down the left sideline where Tyler Eifert came down with a leaping 32-yard score near the left pylon for a 21-10 lead just over four minutes into the second half.
The Lions came right back to keep the game close as Stafford hit Johnson through traffic just near the goal line for a 27-yard score to make it a 21-17 game with just over eight minutes to play in the third. The big play of the drive came on 3rd-and-20 as Stafford floated a pass down the right sideline that Kevin Ogletree caught for a 43-yard gain.
Cincinnati came back with a scoring drive of its own as Nugent connected from 48 yards out for a 24-17 lead with 3:37 to play in the third. The big play of the 50-yard drive was a 30-yard catch over the middle by Jermaine Gresham.
Detroit controlled the ball for 34 1/2 minutes and outgained Cincinnati 434-421 ... The two teams combined for just 134 rushing yards, 77 from Detroit ... The Lions host the Cowboys next week ... The Bengals next host the Jets ... Cincinnati has won five straight against Detroit.