TAMPA- Three turnovers in six plays Monday night. They led to the Bengals' 25-11 loss to the Buccaneers and the only good thing about was it was the preseason and nobody got badly hurt.
A perfect Andy Dalton pass went off A.J. Green's hands for a pick-six. Dalton overthrew tight end Tyler Eifert for another interception. Running back Jeremy Hill fumbled the ball.
"We all had a hand in it," Dalton said. "I've got to be smart and check the ball down. A.J. has to catch the ball. Jeremy has to hold on to it. We know we can do it. It's routine stuff for us . . . We're not satisfied. We're disappointed with how we played…I'd rather have it happen now." . . .
Green said it will get better: "I have to catch that ball. I lifted my head." . . .
It was a good night for backup quarterback AJ McCarron in his NFL debut. He led the Bengals to their only touchdown drive of the night, an 80-yarder where he completed most of his 11 passes out of 15 attempts for 97 yards as he went underneath the Bucs' prevent. In front of family, he played his first game since Alabama's bowl game on Jan. 2, 2014.
"It was great just to be out there with the guys again," McCarron said. "It was tough. They were leading and playing back, but we were able to make some throws. . . .When you're in longer down and distances and they're playing prevent defense, you have to take what they give you. You have to check the longer throws and the windows are smaller." . . .
Running back James Wilder swapped rushing TDs with his good friend, rookie Bucs QB Jameis Winston. Then they swapped jerseys. Wilder, a Tampa product, heard the crowd when he scored on a five-yard run and then on the two-point conversion with 2:45 left.
"(The crowd) was cleared out, but you could hear them," Wilder said of family and friends.