EditorsNote: adds “Adam” in 10th graf
Clayton Fejedelem picked up a fumble and returned it 83 yards for a touchdown in the final minute as the Cincinnati Bengals held off the Indianapolis Colts for a 34-23 season-opening victory Sunday afternoon at Indianapolis.
The play came at the end of quarterback Andrew Luck’s third-down pass to tight end Jack Doyle, who was crunched on a hit from multiple players. Fejedelem scooped the ball and scored with 24 seconds left. Doyle would have converted a third-and-15 had he not fumbled.
Fejedelem had a mostly clear path to the end zone, though he dodged Luck’s attempt at making the stop.
Luck, in his first game after missing the entire 2017 season, was trying to direct a fourth-quarter comeback. He finished 39 for 53 for 319 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
Joe Mixon scored on a 1-yard run as the Bengals took a 24-23 lead with 11:07 remaining. Cincinnati stretched the edge to 27-23 on Randy Bullock’s 39-yard field goal with 3:57 to play.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 243 yards on 21-of-28 passing. He tossed two touchdown passes and was intercepted once.
John Ross and A.J. Green caught Dalton touchdown throws from 3 and 38 yards, respectively.
Fejedelem also posted 10 tackles.
Both quarterbacks were sacked twice.
The Colts led 16-10 at halftime thanks in large part to three Adam Vinatieri field goals — including a 51-yarder with two seconds left in the half.
The game’s first touchdown came on tight end Eric Ebron’s 26-yard catch of a Luck pass in the second quarter.
Mixon finished with 95 yards on 17 carries.
Bengals safety Shawn Williams was ejected in the first half after he clobbered Luck with a hit to the head and was assessed a personal-foul penalty.
The teams had a strange situation in that they also meet in the final preseason game.
—Field Level Media