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A.J. Green, Calvin Johnson play big in Bengals-Lions tilt


Mike Nugent kicked a game-winning field goal on the road for the second straight week to give the Cincinnati Bengals the 27-24 victory over the Detroit Lions.

The back-and-forth contest at Ford Field was highlighted by big plays from two of the NFL's best wide receivers, A.J. Green and Calvin Johnson.

Green started fun with an 82-yard touchdown catch and consistently got behind the Lions' secondary, which couldn't slow him down. He ended with 155 yards on six receptions.

Johnson was back to his old Megatron-self after dealing with a knee injury the past two weeks. He equaled Green's 155 receiving yards, but hauled in nine catches and two touchdowns. His touchdown catch over three Bengals defenders is the type of play that leaves defensive coordinators shaking their heads.

Here is what else we learned:

1. Matthew Stafford put on another stellar performance. His two faults were some high throws down the seam and an inability late to avoid the rush. However, he snapped the Bengals' 20-game streak of not allowing 300-plus yards passing. Stafford has been quick getting the ball out of his hands, able to avoid the bone-headed mistakes, moving better in the pocket and seemingly more comfortable spreading the ball around than at any other time in his career.

2. Andy Dalton left a ton of yards on the field. Yes, he made the plays to win the game and threw for 372 yards with three touchdown passes. However, he missed Green on a multitude of deep routes. If Dalton was more accurate on his deep ball, Green could have had 300 yards receiving and the game probably wouldn't have been close.

3. The Lions' defense is not good when the front four doesn't get a pass rush. Dalton had all day in the pocket to pick apart a secondary that had zero answers for Green or Marvin Jones.

4. Until his shanked punt that set up the game-winning field goal, Lions rookie Sam Martin was having a solid season. I would have argued he was Martin Mayhew's best late-round pick. It will be more difficult to convince people after that stinker.

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