Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
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Bengals use wild finish to beat Jaguars


Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) is tackled by Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Dawan Landry (26) the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Reggie Nelson ran around the field with his arms held high.

Sure, it was a great feeling to win in his return to Jacksonville. Nelson had another reason to celebrate: the come-from-behind victory got him off the hook.

Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes, Bernard Scott scored with 1:56 remaining, and the Bengals rallied to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-20 Sunday.

The Bengals (3-2) took advantage of Matt Turk's 22-yard punt into the wind to set up the winning score, a touchdown that was needed because Mike Nugent missed an extra point in the first half and because Nelson blew coverage on a 74-yard touchdown pass in the fourth.

"I've had a lot of success on this field and had some good wins here, so it was nice to continue that trend," Nelson said. "Bottom line, it's a W. A win is a win, even if we did make some mistakes out there."

Cincinnati's mistakes were overshadowed by Jacksonville's gaffes, which resulted in a fourth consecutive loss and more questions about coach Jack Del Rio's future with the franchise.

"At the end of the day, he's not playing," Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew said. "If somebody has to go, obviously it's going to be one of the players. You can call whatever you want, we have to execute the play. It's not on the coach. It's sad to say that he has to take the heat, but he shouldn't because he's not out there strapping it up, going out there to play. All he can do is sit and watch.

"It ain't on him. He's not wearing a jersey number."

The Jaguars (1-4) had plenty of blame to go around.

Tight end Marcedes Lewis had a pass stripped from his hands in the end zone in the second quarter, and the Jaguars had to settle for a short field goal. Mike Thomas and Jason Hill dropped balls. Rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert failed to handle a botched snap in closing minutes, denying Jacksonville a chance to tie the game with a field goal. And then there was Turk.

The Bengals came up big down the stretch, something that eluded them in close losses to Denver and San Francisco earlier this season.

After Turk's punt bounced out of bounds, Dalton hooked up with Jermaine Gresham on a fourth-and-6 play to keep the drive alive. He then found Andre Caldwell for an 8-yard gain, and with the Jaguars expecting a pass on third down, Scott weaved his way into the end zone to make it 23-20.

"The more experience I have going out and seeing different looks, I feel like I'm becoming comfortable," Dalton said. "Definitely getting easier."

Dalton completed 21 of 33 passes for 179 yards.

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