Defenses dominate, Bengals beat Cardinals
GLENDALE - Cincinnati's Terence Newman returned an interception 54 yards for the only touchdown by either team's starters and the Bengals went on to a 19-13 preseason victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night.
Mike Nugent added field goals of 48 and 36 yards for Cincinnati (1-2).
Jay Feely, competing with rookie Chandler Catanzaro for the Cardinals' kicking job, made a 24-yarder but missed from 48 yards. Catanzaro made a 23-yard attempt.
The Cardinals (1-2) got their lone touchdown on a 30-yard pass from backup Drew Stanton to rookie John Brown with 1:29 left in the third quarter, tying it at 13-13.
Cincinnati backup Quinn Sharp kicked field goals of 34 and 51 yards after that for the deciding margin.
The Bengals' Andy Dalton completed 13 of 21 passes for 183 yards. Palmer was 7 of 19 for 92 yards. Larry Fitzgerald caught five of Palmer's throws for 71 yards.
Both teams played their starters the entire first half.
Palmer was facing the team he quarterbacked for the first eight years of his NFL career before an acrimonious split sent him to Oakland. Dalton replaced Palmer as a rookie in 2011.
Cornerback Leon Hall said "it means something to me, for emotional reasons I guess" to hold Palmer, his former teammate, without a touchdown.
"But really," Hall said, "I'd feel almost the same way regardless who we were playing. This was what they call a rehearsal game. ... This builds some momentum for (the opener against) Baltimore."
Bengals owner Mike Brown was taken to a Phoenix hospital before the game for what was termed a "minor" health problem. The team said he was to return to Cincinnati and did not attend the game.
Cincinnati inside linebacker Vontaze Burfict left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.
The matchup featured two of the top defenses from last season.
On the Cardinals' second possession, it was third-and-7 from the Arizona 40 when Palmer fired a pass intended for Fitzgerald. But the errant throw went right to Newman, who evaded a couple of early would-be tacklers and outran everyone else to the end zone.
The Arizona starters' biggest offensive threat came on their first possession of the second quarter. The defense forced the Bengals to punt from their 6-yard line, giving the Cardinals good field position at the Cincinnati 41.
Statistically, at least, the Bengals' starters had the advantage, outgaining Arizona 198-141 in the first half.
"On defense, we had some negative plays," Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said, "but overall the effort, and of course the point total, was what you are looking for."
Cincinnati led 13-3 at the half.
NOTES: Bengals rookie guard Trey Hopkins was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with a right shin injury. Moments later wide receiver James Wright left via cart with a concussion. Guard T.J. Johnson became the third Bengal carted off the field in the fourth quarter. ... Arizona was without starting inside linebacker Kevin Minter (pectoral muscle) and guard Jonathan Cooper (toe).