LONDON— Dustin Hopkins‘ game-winning 34-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left in overtime, leading to a 27-27 tie between the Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1) and Washington Redskins (4-3-1) on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
Just over a minute after the miss, a fumble gave the Redskins the ball back at the Cincinnati 47, but an offensive pass interference penalty on Pierre Garcon negated a 14-yard gain and backed Washington into a Hail Mary situation.
Kirk Cousins‘ last-second heave sailed out of bounds short of the end zone, officially splitting the two team’s records into three categories.
This is the second time in three seasons the Bengals have kissed its sister. In 2014, a battle with the Carolina Panthers resulted in a 37-37 tie at Paul Brown Stadium.
Cousins had a great day passing through the Bengals’ secondary. With not much pressure to deal with, he completed 38 of 56 passes for a career-high 458 yards. Trailing 20-10 in the third quarter, the Michigan State-product led a pair of scoring drives, both capped by touchdowns through the air.
Tight end Jordan Reed caught a 23-yard score, weaving through a heave of defenders to make it 20-17, then the Redskins took its final lead of the game on Jamison Crowder‘s 33-yard touchdown reception with 9:30 left in the game, 24-20.
The Bengals responded with a touchdown march to regain the lead, a drive highlighted by a 40-yard reception by A.J Green with Josh Norman draped all over him. Jeremy Hill‘s one-yard touchdown sprint gave Cincinnati a 27-24 edge, but neither team would find the end zone again.
Andy Dalton brought a 14-5-1 career record against the NFC into this matchup with the Skins. The Red Rifle completed 27 of 42 passes for 284 yards and tallied two touchdowns. However, two turnovers by the sixth-year signal-caller left points off the board for the Bengals late in the game.
The Bengals led by three and drove to the Washington 20 early in the fourth quarter, but Dalton was picked off by Will Compton. It was Dalton’s first interception since a week-three loss to Denver.
After Hopkins’ shank gave the Bengals one final chance to win in overtime, Dalton was stripped while converting a 3rd and short on a quarterback sneak. Cincinnati’s offense never got back on the field.
Green was Cincinnati’s leading receiver in the game with nine catches for 121 yards, but the emergence of Tyler Eifert was a great sign for the offense.
After playing just 15 snaps against Cleveland last week, Eifert received a full workload in the tie with Washington, hauling in nine receptions for 102 yards and a 15-yard score that gave the Bengals a 13-10 lead in the third quarter.
It was a tale of two different defensive lines in this game, with pass rush being the deciding factor. The Bengals only managed one sack on Cousins, which belonged to Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
Meanwhile, Washington’s front four got pressure when they needed it most. On the Bengals’ final possession of regulation, Su’a Cravens‘ sack of Dalton forced the drive to stall, causing overtime.
In the extra period, the Bengals moved to the Washington 40, but Ryan Kerrigan‘s sack forced another Kevin Huber punt.
It was a tough day for kickers on both teams. Hopkins missed the game-winner, while Mike Nugent‘s struggles continued. After missing two field goals in the win over Cleveland, Nugent hooked a 51-yarder that would have tied the game in the second quarter. Following Eifert’s touchdown, Nugent once again hooked his kick, missing an extra point which proved to be the difference in the game’s 27-27 decision.
- Giovani Bernard scored a rushing touchdown for the second consecutive game. He capped off Cincinnati’s first possession with an eight-yard score to tie the game, 7-7. He finished with 52 yards on 11 carries
- After four touchdowns in the previous three games, Brandon LaFell caught just one pass for six yards
- Cincinnati was eight for 15 on third down
- Dalton’s third-quarter interception broke his career-long streak of 165 pass attempts without a pick.
- George Illoka provided the only takeaway for the Bengals, intercepting Cousins with 2:33 left in the first half
- Washington’s tight ends — Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis — combined for 14 catches for 192 yards and a touchdown
- With Matt Jones out, undrafted rookie running back Robert Kelley made his first career start. The Tulane-product ran for 87 yards on 21 carries and opened the game’s scoring with a four-yard touchdown run.
- Rookie receiver Tyler Boyd caught five passes for 38 yards
- Dalton’s one-yard touchdown run gave the Bengals a 20-10 lead in the third quarter. It was his 16th career rushing score, tying him with Ki-Jana Carter for 13th most in franchise history.
- Alex Erickson‘s only kick return went for 65 yards, setting up the Bengals first touchdown.
- It was the first overtime game in the NFL’s international series (17 games).
- First time the NFL has had a tie in consecutive weeks since 1997
The Bengals will head to the bye week in second place in the AFC North. They will head to MetLife Stadium for the second time this season when they battle the New York Giants on Monday, Nov. 14th.
Photo: The Toledo Blade