McPherson’s 33-yard kick in OT lifts Bengals over Vikings

Sep 12, 2021, 2:24 AM | Updated: 4:28 pm

CINCINNATI (AP) — Joe Burrow came to the line on fourth-and-inches on the Bengals 48 and planned to sneak the ball over for a first down late in overtime.

Seeing the middle stacked, Burrow checked to the second planned play, a pass to tight end C.J. Uzomah that had worked perfectly in practice last week.

That call worked. Burrow rolled out and hit Uzomah in stride for a 32-yard gain to set up Evan McPherson for a 33-yard field goal that gave the Bengals a 27-24 overtime win over the Minnesota Vikings in the opener Sunday.

“It was a beautiful ball, and he was dropping dimes all day, so I was just another one,” Uzomah said.

“They had that check-in there last year,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer noted. “Exact same play. We talked about it. It was a quarterback sneak, and they checked it and made a nice throw to the tight end.”

Cincinnati’s Germaine Pratt recovered Dalvin Cook’s fumble to set up the winning drive. Minnesota challenged the ruling that Cook had fumbled, but it was upheld after a replay review.

“I know I had it,” Pratt said. “There was no doubt in my mind.”

Greg Joseph kicked a career-long 53-yard field goal as time ran out in the fourth quarter to tie the game for Minnesota, which had battled back from a 21-7 second-half deficit.

Burrow threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns in his return after major knee surgery, and rookie Ja’Marr Chase had 101 yards on five receptions, including a 50-yard scoring pass from his former LSU teammate.

“That first game is important,” Burrow said. “You need momentum early in the season.”

Burrow, who flashed his considerable potential last season before tearing up his left knee in Week 11, completed 20 passes on 27 attempts and didn’t show any residual effects from being sacked five times by the Vikings. The 24-year-old played only one series in the preseason, in the final game, as he continued to rehab.

“When the game’s on the line, I like the ball in my hands,” Burrow said.

Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon, making a return from a foot injury that sidelined him much of last season, rushed for 127 yards and had a 2-yard touchdown plunge in the third quarter.

Kirk Cousins passed for 351 yards and two touchdowns to Adam Thielen for the Vikings.

“Way too many mistakes,” Zimmer said. “Very disappointing. Then we get a chance to come back and rally, then we fumble the ball and give up a fourth-and-inches throw. They played better than us today.”

KICKIN’ IT

McPherson, a rookie out of Florida who hit the game-winner, kicked his first NFL field goal earlier in the fourth quarter, a 53-yarder that was so high and long that it drew oohs and ahhs from the crowd of 56,525.

“It’s a good feeling to watch those balls go through the uprights and know I did it before and can do it again,” McPherson said. He also converted all three of his PAT attempts.

NO MORE DROPS

Chase, taken as the fifth overall pick by the Bengals in the draft, had been plagued with dropped passes throughout the preseason and took the social media criticism that came with it. He didn’t drop any Sunday. He grabbed five of his seven targets for 101 yards in his NFL debut.

“I had a couple guys come up to me and say, ‘You know, I hope Ja’Marr comes to play today.’ ” Burrow said. “I said don’t worry — it’s Sunday, it’s game day, he’s going to come ready to play.”

PENALTY PROBLEMS

The Vikings were penalized 12 times for 116 yards, including for three false starts on the first drive of the game. They had four penalties on their first eight plays. The only turnover of the game was Cook’s fumble in overtime.

UP NEXT

Vikings: At Arizona on Sunday.

Bengals: At Chicago on Sunday.

___

Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant (7) looks to drive against Chicago Bulls' Coby White (0) during ...
Associated Press

Reports: Suns get All-Star Kevin Durant in trade with Nets

PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns pulled a midnight blockbuster on Wednesday, acquiring 13-time All-Star Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets, according to multiple reports. The outlets, citing unnamed sources, said the Suns added Durant to a starting lineup that already includes an All-Star backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker, along with center Deandre […]
1 day ago
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, dribbles around Golden State Warriors forward An...
Associated Press

Lillard has triple-double, Blazers beat Warriors 125-122

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds as the Portland Trail Blazers rallied past the Golden State Warriors 125-122 on Wednesday night. It was just the second triple-double of Lillard’s career, and first this season. “I didn’t shoot the ball very well. But I think I approached the […]
1 day ago
Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving smiles as he warms up prior to an NBA basketball game against t...
Associated Press

Irving scores 24 in Dallas debut, leads Mavs over Clippers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kyrie Irving came out charging in his Dallas debut, keying a big run to open the game and sparking his new teammates in front of a cheering Luka Doncic on the bench. Irving scored 24 points and the Mavericks never trailed in beating the Los Angeles Clippers 110-104 on Wednesday night. […]
1 day ago
Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) goes to the basket as Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McD...
Associated Press

T’wolves top Jazz in matchup of teams trading with Lakers

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Anthony Edwards scored 31 points and Jaylen Nowell added a career-high 30 to lead Minnesota to a 143-118 win over Utah on Wednesday night amid word the Timberwolves, Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers were part of an eight-player swap hours ahead of the NBA trade deadline. “It was crazy, the […]
1 day ago
Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) is congratulated after scoring during the second period of t...
Associated Press

Benn breaks scoreless tie early in 2nd, Stars top Wild 4-1

DALLAS (AP) — Captain Jamie Benn broke a scoreless tie 23 seconds into the second period of his 1,001st career game, and the Dallas Stars beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1 on Wednesday night. Benn’s 20th goal on a perfect feed from 19-year-old rookie Wyatt Johnston started a three-goal second for the Western Conference-leading Stars. Radek […]
1 day ago
Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) signals after making a 3-point shot, next to Sacramento Kings...
Associated Press

Fox’s late FTs gives Kings 130-128 win over Rockets

HOUSTON (AP) — De’Aaron Fox had 31 points, including three free throws with less than a second left, to lift the Sacramento Kings to a 130-128 win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night. Fox missed a 3-pointer with .3 seconds left. But Eric Gordon fouled him to set up the game-winning free throws. “I […]
1 day ago
McPherson’s 33-yard kick in OT lifts Bengals over Vikings