NFL Preseason Preview - Cincinnati (0-2) at Arizona (1-1)
By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(SportsNetwork.com) - Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals will host the reigning AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals in a primetime matchup on "Sunday Night Football."
As a rookie head coach back in 2003 Bengals coach Marvin Lewis made Palmer the first overall selection in the 2003 draft and the Southern Cal product went on to make two Pro Bowls in the Queen City before moving on after the 2010 season.
These days Palmer is at the controls of the Cards, who are coming off a last- second loss to the Vikings in Minneapolis last week. Arizona was leading 28-24 with 1:07 left when Minnesota rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings offense got the ball back on their own 17-yard line.
Bridgewater found Rodney Smith for short gains of 10 and six yards and following a 12-yard completion to Jarius Wright, went back to Smith for 37 yards down the left sideline to the Arizona 18. Four plays later, Bridgewater hooked up with Smith for a 2-yard, go-ahead score.
Drew Stanton had a touchdown pass for Arizona and Jonathan Dwyer, Robert Hughes and Zach Bauman had scores on the ground. Palmer drove the Cardinals 93 yards on the team's opening drive, capped by Dwyer's one-yard plunge.
"It was good to come out fast," said Palmer about Arizona's first possession. "Good execution, good efficiency. That's what you want out of these games."
Bauman's 6-yard score with 1:11 remaining put Arizona back ahead prior to Bridgewater's heroics.
The Bengals, meanwhile, are still searching for that first preseason win although the first-team offense was brilliant in a 25-17 setback to the New York Jets last week.
Andy Dalton was crisp under center for the Bengals, going 8-of-8 for 144 yards and a score while guiding the team to a pair of touchdowns and a field goal during his three drives.
"He continues to play the way we think Andy should play all the time," said Lewis. "It doesn't surprise me. It's the way he practices every day. He doesn't need to be flashy. He just needs to be accurate and handle the offense. He does that very well."
This contest will be the first preseason matchup for these two teams since 1996 and will mark the Bengals first-ever trip to University of Phoenix Stadium.
08/22 13:15:33 ET