The Cincinnati Bengals followed up their flawless performance against the New York Giants with a clunker Monday night in a 25-11 loss at Tampa Bay.
The first-team offense turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions, beginning with Alterraun Verner’s 24-yard interception return for a touchdown after quarterback Andy Dalton’s pass clanged off the hands of wide receiver A.J. Green.
Dalton overthrew Tyler Eifert on the next series, resulting in an interception for Brad McDougald. And Jeremy Hill lost a fumble on the next drive.
The Bengals gained 54 yards on 27 plays in the first quarter, and the defense wasn’t much better.
Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston guided the Buccaneers on an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the game. Winston capped the march with a 1-yard touchdown run.
The No. 1 overall pick in May’s draft completed 8 of 13 passes for 90 yards against a Bengals defense that held the Giants to four consecutive three-and-outs to start last week’s game.
AJ McCarron made his NFL debut at the start of the third quarter. He went 11 of 15 for 97 yards and guided the Bengals on their lone scoring drive of the game, a 12-play, 80-yard march in the fourth quarter that Tampa native James Wilder Jr. capped with a 5-yard TD run and two-point conversion.
The Buccaneers outgained the Bengals 356-152.
Bengals linebacker Emmanuel Lamur (hamstring) and safety George Iloka (knee) left with injuries in the second quarter.
Cincinnati returns to the field Saturday night against the Chicago Bears at PBS.