Final

Bengals 31

(4-3, 1-2 away)

Lions 27

(0-6, 0-3 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, October 28, 2001

 

1 2 3 4 T
CIN 7 14 3 731
DET 3 10 14 027

Detroit reaches club-worst 0-6 start

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) -- Corey Dillon's biggest worry was that he would be stuck with the same old Cincinnati Bengals when he signed a five-year contract worth about $32 million in May.

So far, they have turned it around, thanks to their star running back.

Where does Corey Dillon rank among NFL running backs?
Dillon is definitely in the top five -- and possibly on the high end of that five. He can run and catch, and he had a big day today (184 yards, two TDs). After getting blanked by the Bears last week, the Bengals really needed that from him in this game.

When Dillon runs effectively, he makes Jon Kitna a better quarterback, giving the Bengals a strong play-action pass option.

ESPN.com NFL analyst Vinny Cerrato has served as director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.

Dillon scored three touchdowns, including a 96-yard run on the first play, and accounted for 202 yards as Cincinnati beat Detroit 31-27 Sunday, keeping the Lions the NFL's lone winless team.

The Bengals (4-3), who haven't won five games in a season since 1997, are off to their best start since 1990, the last time they finished with a winning record. They won on the road for the first time this year and for just the fourth time in three seasons.

"My instinct and my heart wanted to be here, and it's paying off," Dillon said. "I could've gone somewhere else, possibly. But this is where I wanted to be and it's very satisfying and rewarding."

The Lions (0-6) are off to their worst start since 1955, two years before their last NFL championship.

"Everybody feels miserable," Detroit's Todd Lyght said.

Dillon ran for 184 yards on 27 carries and caught three passes for 18 yards. The Bengals are 9-0 when he rushes for more than 130 yards.

"We've been talking all week about running the ball, and I guess the guys took it to heart," said Cincinnati coach Dick LeBeau, who made a franchise-record 62 interceptions for the Lions from 1959-72. "After that first one, I thought Corey was going to get to 200 again, but he didn't quite make it. He had a tremendous game, though."

Dillon's 96-yard run was the longest in Bengals history, the longest ever against Detroit and tied for the fourth-longest in NFL history. He also caught an 8-yard TD pass and ran in the go-ahead score from the 1.

His third touchdown, with 8:06 to go, capped a 13-play, 85-yard drive that took 7:38 after Detroit rallied for its only lead of the game.

Cincinnati gave Detroit the ball four more times, but the Lions failed to score.

"A couple of years ago, I don't know what would've happened," Dillon said.

Detroit has lost its last three games by four, three and five points.

"This is the third week we have battled right up to the very end, and we will continue to do that," Detroit's rookie coach Marty Mornhinweg said. "I am upset right now."

Safety Ron Rice was as well.

"This is the worst I've ever felt in my football career," Rice said. "I feel like there's nothing we can do right."

Cincinnati's Jon Kitna was 17-of-27 for 204 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Darnay Scott caught six passes for 99 yards and a touchdown.

Detroit's Charlie Batch, who barely practiced this week because of a sore right shoulder, was 20-of-35 for 239 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and two fumbles, one of which was recovered by the Lions.

Dillon's 96-yard touchdown run, on which he was untouched, came one play after Curtis Keaton muffed the opening kickoff.

After Batch's second fumble, which the Lions recovered, Jason Hanson's 51-yard field goal made it 7-3 late in the first.

Cincinnati took a 14-3 lead Dillon's 8-yard catch.

A pass thrown behind Peter Warrick was tipped by teammate Terry Fair and intercepted by Rice, who returned it 8 yards to the Bengals 24. The Lions got to the 6, but had to settle for Hanson's 24-yard field goal that made it 14-6.

On the next drive, Scott caught a 27-yard pass and a 30-yard TD pass from Kitna -- after Detroit safety Kurt Schulz knocked Lyght away from Scott -- putting the Bengals ahead 21-6.

Desmond Howard returned the ensuing kick 91 yards, his career-best regular-season kickoff return. Three plays later, Lamont Warren's 1-yard run made it 21-13 with 21 seconds left in the half.

Howard's 65-yard return, to the Bengals 28 to start the second half led to Batch's 27-yard pass to Johnnie Morton and 1-yard TD toss to David Sloan. The Bengals still led 21-19 after Detroit failed on a 2-point conversion.

Neil Rackers' 39-yard field goal gave the Bengals a 24-19 lead.

Detroit took its first lead late in the third on Batch's second 1-yard TD pass to Sloan. A 2-point conversion pass to Warren put the Lions ahead 27-24.

Game notes
Dillon has averaged 121 yards rushing in Cincinnati's four wins and just 47 in its three losses. ... Howard's 229 yards in kickoff returns was a career high and second highest in team history. ... Sloan caught two TD passes for the first time.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERCINDET
cinTD14:51Corey Dillon, 96 yd run
Drive info: 1 plays, 96 yds, 0:00
60
THIRD QUARTERCINDET
detTD14:21Touchdown
Drive info: 2 plays, 28 yds, 0:51
2119
FIRST QUARTERCINDET
cin14:51
Drive info: 1 plays, 96 yds, 0:00
70
SECOND QUARTERCINDET
cinTD2:00Touchdown
Drive info: 4 plays, 60 yds, 1:59
206
detTD0:40Lamont Warren, 1 yd run
Drive info: 3 plays, 9 yds, 0:59
2112
cin1:53
Drive info: 4 plays, 60 yds, 1:59
216
det0:21
Drive info: 3 plays, 9 yds, 0:59
2113
detFG3:51Jason Hanson 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 18 yds, 0:56
146
THIRD QUARTERCINDET
cinFG5:09Neil Rackers 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 29 yds, 0:51
2419
FIRST QUARTERCINDET
detFG2:22Jason Hanson 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, -4 yds, 2:20
73
THIRD QUARTERCINDET
detTD0:55Touchdown(Charlie Batch pass to Lamont Warren for 2pt conversion)
Drive info: 8 plays, 58 yds, 3:47
2427
FOURTH QUARTERCINDET
cinTD8:20Corey Dillon, 1 yd run
Drive info: 13 plays, 83 yds, 17:06
3027
SECOND QUARTERCINDET
cinTD9:06Touchdown
Drive info: 13 plays, 84 yds, 17:11
133
FOURTH QUARTERCINDET
cin8:06
Drive info: 13 plays, 83 yds, 17:06
3127
SECOND QUARTERCINDET
cin9:00
Drive info: 13 plays, 84 yds, 17:11
143