Dalton sharp in short stint

DAVE SKRETTA AP Sports Writer Published:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Marvin Lewis only needed to see a few plays from Andy Dalton to feel good about his starting quarterback -- and the new contract that will keep him in Cincinnati for a while.

Dalton was sharp in the Bengals' preseason opener Thursday night, hitting A.J. Green on a deep pass to set up the game's opening field goal. And while he watched the rest of the night as the Kansas City Chiefs rallied for a 41-39 victory, the short stint left an impression.

"I liked the crispness of the first units," Lewis said. "Andy looked good."

As for the rest of the show?

"You can't have the sort of explosive plays we gave up," Lewis said.

Sean Smith and Malcolm Bronson returned interceptions for scores, and De'Anthony Thomas brought back a punt 80 yards for another touchdown. Kansas City added two more offensive scores and a couple of field goals before holding on in the waning seconds for the win.

Dalton, whose six-year deal could keep him with Cincinnati through the 2020 season, said he knew that there would be a lot of attention on him given the news of the week.

"So it felt good to get out there and have things go pretty well, even though it was brief," he said. "We hit a couple passes to A.J. but of course we would have liked to have finished it off with a touchdown instead of a field goal."

Dalton quickly gave way to backup Jason Campbell, and he was just 6 of 15 for 72 yards. And while he threw a pair of TD passes, Campbell also was responsible for the touchdowns by Smith and Bronson before getting banged up midway through the third quarter and exiting the game.

"Jason had an errant throw early," Lewis said, "but he came back and made a couple plays."

The Bengals were forced to use several backups to plug holes caused by injury. Starting offensive linemen Andrew Whitworth, Clint Boling and Andre Smith, tight end Jermaine Gresham, wide receiver Marvin Jones and defensive tackle Geno Atkins all sat out the game.

Chiefs safety Eric Berry and defensive tackle Mike DeVito also did not suit up.

Alex Smith, in negotiations on his own long-term deal, struggled along with the rest of the Chiefs' first-team offense. They went three-and-out on their opening series, and Smith was strip-sacked on their next possession to set up Campbell's short TD toss to Brandon Tate.

"That's certainly not playing up to our expectations," Smith said. "You have to bounce back. You have to have a short memory in this league. Mistakes are going to happen."

Albert Wilson returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards to set up Ryan Succop's short field for Kansas City. After the Bengals stalled on their next possession, Thomas fielded the punt and spun away from Kirkpatrick before racing 80 yards for a tying touchdown.

On the next offensive play, Campbell was intercepted by Sean Smith -- a former starter trying to win his job back -- and he returned it 36 yards to give Kansas City a 17-10 lead.

"I had tight coverage. He slipped a little bit and the ball was placed in a position where it was 50-50 for both of us," Smith said. "I guess I wanted it more."

Kirkpatrick atoned for his special teams flub when he intercepted a badly thrown ball by Chiefs backup Chase Daniel and returned it 40 yards for a TD. And after the Chiefs added another field goal, Campbell connected with Dane Sanzenbacher for another score and a 24-20 lead.

In the waning seconds of the half, Daniel found tight end Travis Kelce running open down the seam. The tight end, who missed his rookie season to injury, hauled in the 69-yard TD pass.

Bronson returned his pick-6 early in the second half to give the Chiefs a 34-24 lead, and the teams traded fourth-quarter TDs before Cincinnati scored another touchdown in the final seconds.

"There were a lot of good things and some things we need work on," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, "but we'll get those corrected. That's why we're doing the preseason here."

Notes: Bengals first-round pick Darqueze Dennard made a sack on a cornerback blitz early in the game. He later left with an undisclosed injury. ... Dalton finished 3 of 5 for 71 yards. Smith was 3 of 5 for 19 yards. ... Succop and Cairo Santos, in a battle for the Chiefs kicking job, each hit their only field-goal attempt.

REDSKINS 23, PATRIOTS 6

LANDOVER, Md. -- Tom Brady took the night off, and Robert Griffin III played one series Thursday night as the Washington Redskins beat the New England Patriots 23-6 in the teams' preseason opener.

Griffin completed 2 of 4 passes for 9 yards in an 11-play drive that ended with a 39-yard field goal from Kai Forbath.

Coach Bill Belichick rested Brady, Darrelle Revis and most of his starters. The first-teamers already had plenty of good work against the Redskins this week during three days of joint practices at Washington's training camp facility.

Backups Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy each threw a touchdown pass for the Redskins under new coach Jay Gruden. Washington went a tension-filled 3-13 last year, costing coach Mike Shanahan his job.

BRONCOS 21, SEAHAWKS 16

DENVER -- The Super Bowl teams slogged through a preseason opener delayed by lightning and a flurry of flags Thursday night before linebacker Steven Jackson's end zone interception of Terrelle Pryor's pass sealed the Denver Broncos' 21-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

In between a 46-minute delay, both starting offenses put together long touchdown drives that ate up more than 9 minutes and were kept alive by a wave of yellow flags.

Altogether, there were 25 accepted penalties, 13 on Seattle and a dozen on Denver.

Ronnie Hillman's 1-yard TD run capped Denver's 14-play, 61-yard drive in which Peyton Manning completed 9 of 11 passes for 63 yards and the officials threw six flags, including one for offsetting penalties.

The drive lasted 9 minutes, 9 seconds -- a good two minutes longer than Denver's longest drive last season.

Seattle's 14-play, 90-yard drive that ate up 9:18 was kept alive by four defensive infractions, and Christine Michael's 1-yard run against a mix of starters and backups tied it at 7 following a debatable pass interference call on linebacker Danny Trevathan.

RAVENS 23, 49ERS 3

BALTIMORE -- Joe Flacco needed just one drive to show how effective the Baltimore Ravens' offense can be under Gary Kubiak.

Flacco produced an 80-yard touchdown march in his only series, and the Ravens beat San Francisco in a preseason opener.

It was the third time in three tries that Ravens coach John Harbaugh got the best of his brother, Jim Harbaugh, coach of the 49ers. Baltimore previously defeated San Francisco on Thanksgiving 2011 and in the Super Bowl ending the 2012 season.

In this one, each team played its starting unit for one series before the backups took over.

After Colin Kaepernick moved the 49ers 66 yards for a field goal, Flacco made himself right at home in Kubiak's variation of the West Coast offense, going 4 for 5 for 52 yards.

JETS 13, COLTS 10

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Michael Vick led the New York Jets on a touchdown drive, capped by fellow newcomer Chris Johnson's 1-yard scoring run, in a victory over Indianapolis in the preseason opener for both teams.

Geno Smith, looking to retain his starting job in his second season, was 4 of 6 for 33 yards in two series with the first-team offense that included a 51-yard field goal by Nick Folk before giving way to Vick. The 34-year-old backup received a hearty cheer from the crowd at MetLife Stadium, and moved the starting offense for the Jets down the field against the Colts' second-team defense.

The 14-play drive was helped by two 15-yard penalties on the Colts. Vick was 3 of 6 for 17 yards.

Andrew Luck played just one efficient drive, going 4 of 5 for 53 yards and leading Indianapolis to a field goal.

CHARGERS 27, COWBOYS 7

SAN DIEGO -- New backup quarterback Kellen Clemens threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Dontrelle Inman midway through the third quarter and the San Diego Chargers beat the Dallas Cowboys 27-7 Thursday night in an exhibition opener.

Inman, who played in the CFL the last two seasons, beat single coverage down the right sideline and was gone to give San Diego a 17-7 lead.

Clemens made his Chargers debut after signing as a free agent in March and replacing Charlie Whitehurst as backup to Philip Rivers.

After Inman scored, the Chargers got the ball right back on a strip sack by Thomas Keiser and recovery by Damik Scafre. Kerwynn Williams scored on a 1-yard run two plays later to make it 24-7.

Rivers played just the opening series, completing all four passes for 61 yards.

Brandon Weeden, making his Cowboys debut, finished the ensuing drive by weathering a big hit and completing a 4-yard scoring pass to James Hanna, who pulled it in while falling to the ground in the back of the end zone.

With Tony Romo sitting out to rest his surgically repaired back, Weeden started and played the first half. He completed 13 of 17 passes for 107 yards.

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