CINCINNATI (AP) — LeSean McCoy ran 7 yards for a touchdown before suffering a thumb injury, and the Buffalo Bills got just enough out of their depleted offense, beating the Cincinnati Bengals 16-12 on Sunday.
The Bills (5-5) had lost three straight heading into their bye week. Their ragged win on Sunday preserved their hopes of a long-awaited playoff spot.
Playing their first game in nearly a month at Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals (3-6-1) couldn’t move the ball consistently or make an extra point. They also lost receiver A.J. Green to an injured right hamstring on the first pass of the game; he was taken off on a cart.
Buffalo’s defense clinched it by knocking down Andy Dalton’s desperation pass into the end zone on the final play. The Bengals managed only five first downs while being shut out in the second half.
The Bills lost two of their top offensive players in the first half. Receiver Robert Woods suffered a knee injury as he was tackled after a catch. McCoy hurt his left thumb late in the half. He is expected to return this coming Sunday following surgery.
Buffalo also overcame a lot of self-destruction. The Bills had nine penalties for 75 yards. Tyrod Taylor threw an interception to Dre Kirkpatrick at the Bengals 1-yard line late in the first half.
The Bengals had their own follies. Mike Nugent missed two extra points, hitting both off the upright. Nugent has missed three of his last seven PATs.
Bills: DT Marcell Dareus was active for only the second time this season. He was suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, then missed four of next five games with hamstring and groin injuries.
Bengals: LB Rey Maualuga was inactive with an injured leg despite having a full practice last week. … Kirkpatrick missed most of the fourth quarter with an injured left knee.
Buffalo’s Stephon Gilmore had the second two-interception game of his career. He has a career-high four interceptions this season and 13 in his career.
Bills: They host Jacksonville. They lost to the Jaguars 34-31 in London last season. Four of the Bills’ last six games are at home.
Bengals: They play a pivotal AFC North game at Baltimore. They also finish the regular season at home against the Ravens.