Carlos Dunlap's big defensive play leads Cincinnati Bengals past Indianapolis Colts

By Jeff Wallner, The Sports Xchange  |  Oct. 29, 2017 at 5:48 PM
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CINCINNATI -- Defensive end Carlos Dunlap's interception return for a touchdown with seven minutes left lifted the Cincinnati Bengals to a 24-23 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium.

With the Colts leading 23-17, Dunlap batted Jacoby Brissett's pass up in the air, then caught it and ran 16 yards for a touchdown, putting the Bengals ahead after the extra point.

The Colts moved into Cincinnati territory with less than two minutes remaining, but Brissett's pass on fourth-and-4 at the 48 fell incomplete, denying them a shot at a game-winning field goal.

Colts tight end Jack Doyle had career highs with 12 catches and 121 yards with a touchdown, but the result was another tough loss on the road for Indianapolis (2-6), which has lost three straight games.

Cincinnati (3-4) struggled to contain the Colts' rushing attack led by Frank Gore, who had 82 of the team's 115 yards on the ground. But Andy Dalton passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns to give the Bengals a chance.

The Colts were coming off a 27-0 loss at home to Jacksonville, their first shutout in the regular season in 24 years. After giving up more than 42 points in three prior road games, the Colts were in position to win on Sunday.

Special teams shined for the Bengals in the first quarter, but they could only convert the field position into three points.

Following a sack by Dunlap on third down on Indianapolis' first possession, Jordan Willis blocked the punt and the Bengals took over at the Colts' 49-yard line.

Randy Bullock's 29-yard field goal put Cincinnati ahead 3-0.

Alex Erickson's 29-yard punt return gave the Bengals the ball at the Colts' 39. But a 34-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by Henry Anderson.

But it was Erickson's muffed punt early in the second quarter that helped set up Adam Vinatieri's 29-yard field goal to tie the score.

Brissett's 13-yard touchdown pass to Doyle put the Colts ahead 10-3 to cap a seven-play, 48-yard drive. Brissett passed for 233 yards and two TDs, but had the one crucial pick.

A 67-yard screen pass to Joe Mixon gave the Bengals first-and-goal at the 3. On third down, Dalton found wide receiver A.J. Green for his fourth touchdown of the season, tying the score 10-10.

The Colts held Green to just three catches for 27 yards.

Indianapolis regained the lead on the last play of the half when Vinatieri kicked a 33-yard field goal.

Cincinnati took the lead in the third quarter when Dalton released the ball under pressure into the waiting arms of rookie Josh Malone for a 25-yard touchdown, making the score 17-13. It was Malone's first career touchdown catch.

But Marlon Mack's 24-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass put Indianapolis back ahead, 20-17. And Mixon's fumble in Bengals' territory set up another Vinatieri field goal to increase the Colts' lead to six.

NOTES: The Colts were without several top defensive players with LB John Simon and CB Rashaan Melvin inactive and FS Malik Hooker already out for the year. Rookie CB Quincy Wilson was inactive after aggravating a knee injury this week. ... Bengals QB Andy Dalton made his 100th career start Sunday, which also was his 30th birthday. ... Bengals CB Adam Jones was active after missing one game with a transverse process fracture. ... The Bengals and Colts have met 28 times in the regular season, twice in the postseason, and 26 times in the preseason. Indianapolis leads the all-time regular-season series 17-11.

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