The Bengals scored 22 straight points to take a third quarter lead, but they couldn’t hold off the Falcons and eventually lost 39-32.
Extensive use of the no-huddle offense had the Bengals passing game in high gear, although QB Carson Palmer rued two incompletions on deep passes to Terrell Owens.
Andre Smith started at right tackle for the first time for the Bengals and did a good job run blocking, but he was also whistled for two false starts and got beaten for two sacks by DE John Abraham.
Sloppiness in all phases of the game helped doom the Bengals.
Bengals CB Adam Jones struggled against Roddy White all day, but did contribute a touchdown on a fumble return.
White’s huge day for the Falcons — 11 catches, 201 yards, two touchdowns and a two-point conversion — was a crucial part of holding off the Bengals.
Falcons RB Michael Turner had 121 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 30 for his Falcons career.
The Falcons offensive line didn’t give up any sacks and allowed only two negative-yardage plays all day.
Said Falcons QB Matt Ryan, “The best part about our football team is the mental toughness. Understanding that there are going to be some ups and downs throughout the game. There are going to be plays that don’t go our way. You need to respond to those. We did that today and we were able to come away with the win.”
Ryan left the game after a hit in the fourth quarter, but Chris Redman made only a cameo appearance as the Falcons got their starting quarterback back after one play.