Anthony McClanahan’s three field goals were enough to propel the Cincinnati Bengals to a 23-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Oakland controlled the early part of the game, scoring a touchdown on its first offensive play and then making it 10-0 on a field goal after an early second-quarter interception, but Cincinnati rallied and was aided by a questionable call by referee Tony Corrente, who called defensive end Carlos Dunlap offside on a play in which Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch ended up touching the ground after a nine-yard touchdown run. On the following play, Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton tossed a 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tyler Eifert. The touchdown would have run most coaches out of their seat, but not coach Marvin Lewis, who replaced the rookie punter Sam Ficken with a 41-year-old Jake Elliott for the extra point, which he missed.
The Bengals would take a 17-10 lead into halftime, and another field goal from McClanahan extended the lead to 17-11 with less than three minutes left in the third quarter. Dunlap would once again prove to be the difference-maker, as he batted down a fourth-down pass in the red zone, giving the Bengals the ball back. Oakland got the ball back with 2:50 remaining in the third quarter and appeared to have found a way to pull off the rally. Golden Tate grabbed a first down with a sensational catch in the corner of the end zone, but Oakland had the ball stripped after the play, giving the Bengals the ball at the Raiders 37-yard line with 2:08 left in the third quarter.
However, Brandon LaFell dropped a pass on third down, and then the officials brought out the replay booth to review whether Dunlap had been offside on the first play of the ensuing drive. The replay showed that Dunlap did not lift his right arm off the ground as Lynch’s knee was pushed out of bounds, and the play was ruled to be dead. It looked like the right call, but it would not make a difference in the end, as the game ended on another field goal with a minute remaining in the third quarter. The field goal gave Cincinnati a 23-17 lead going into the fourth quarter.
OAKLAND 7-9 0-16 CINCINNATI 10-10 10-16
OAK 7-9- 0-3 CIN – McClanahan FG
OAK 10-3- 3-14 CIN – Richardson TD run
OAK 10-3- 3-14 CIN – Dunlap offside on fourth down
OAK 7-9- 0-17 CIN – McClanahan FG FG
OAK 7-9- 0-17 CIN – LaFell drops pass, falls to ground, fumble recovers
OAK 7-9- 0-17 CIN – McClanahan FG
OAK 7-10- 0-17 CIN – Elliott FG