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Big Second Half Boosts Bills to Second Win 49-21 over Bengals

From: Sports Network

Steve Johnson caught three scores as Buffalo dominated in the second half to take a 49-31 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

Johnson caught eight balls for 137 yards while Ryan Fitzpatrick was 21-for-34 with 316 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions for the Bills (2-8), who have won their past two games. Fred Jackson scored twice on the ground and finished the game with 116 yards on 21 carries.

“Everybody believed the whole game, even when we came into halftime with that huge deficit,” said Fitzpatrick. “Everybody believed and we made it happen. This is a big win for us.”

Carson Palmer was 19-for-34 with 230 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Bengals (2-8), who have dropped their past seven games after starting the season with wins in two of their first three contests. Cedric Benson had 25 carries for 124 yards with a score.

“It was two different games out there today,” said Palmer. “We didn’t finish, obviously. In this league it’s about finishing football games cause that’s how you win.”

Trailing by 17 points to start the third, Buffalo began the quarter with the ball and went 68 yards over nine plays with Fitzpatrick and Johnson connecting on a 28-yard score to make it a 31-21 game.

On Cincinnati’s second play of its ensuing possession, Benson fumbled the ball with Drayton Florence scooping it up and taking it in from 27 yards out to make it a three-point game.

It stayed that way until early in the fourth quarter when Buffalo took its first lead of the game, 35-31, as Fitzpatrick found Johnson for an 11-yard score with 14:13 to play.

A quick three-and-out from the Bengals saw the Bills start their next drive near midfield and Johnson’s third score of the game was a 32-yard catch for a 42-31 lead with 11:36 to play.

The Bengals responded with an impressive drive that saw the team get into field goal range, but Aaron Pettrey’s 43-yard attempt was wide left with 5:28 to play.

Cincinnati forced a Buffalo punt on the next touch, but Palmer was picked off by Florence and Jackson’s 30-yard run into the end zone with 1:52 to play put the exclamation point on the win.

“We talked at halftime about finding a way to win and they did it,” said Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey. “They believed that they could do that. We don’t have a lot of superstars or prima donnas. What we do have is a lot of guys who fight every time they are on the field.”

The Bengals started the game with the ball and ate up almost seven minutes of the clock as Palmer capped the 13-play drive with a two-yard toss to Chad Ochocino in the middle of the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

Buffalo answered with a long drive of its own as over 12 plays the team marched 89 yards and Jackson went into the end zone from seven yards out to tie the game with just over two minutes left in the first.

Cincinnati went back on top just two plays into the second as Palmer found Terrell Owens on a four-yard score for a 14-7 lead less than a minute in.

Johanthan Joseph’s first interception of the game came on Buffalo’s ensuing drive and Benson turned it into points with a one-yard score for a 21-7 lead.

Joseph again picked off Fitzpatrick moments later and took the ball into the end zone on a 21-yard score for a 28-7 lead.

Rian Lindell later missed a 33-yard field goal, but Buffalo held Cincinnati and a 28-yard touchdown catch by Donald Jones cut the Bills’ deficit to 28-14 with 1:17 left in the half.

Cincinnati, though, quickly got into scoring position and had a 1st-and-goal at the one-yard line, but were held on the next two plays and a 19-yard field goal from Pettrey on the final play of the half made it a 31-14 game at the break.

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