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Pro Football Week 9 | DENVER 33, CINCINNATI 26

Bengals Kept at Bay by Elway's Magic

November 02, 1998|From Associated Press

CINCINNATI — The clock read 2:54, and the Cincinnati Bengals sensed they were in trouble despite playing one of their best games of the season.

And with John Elway on the other side, they were right.

Elway led Denver (8-0) to three fourth-quarter touchdowns and pulled off yet another game-winning drive in the closing minutes in the Broncos' 33-26 victory on Sunday that left them the only unbeaten team in the NFL.

The defending Super Bowl champions added to the best start in franchise history by turning to Elway and the fourth quarter.

"It's been a while since we've had one like this," said Elway, who completed all four of his fourth-quarter passes for 86 yards. "It's something we probably needed. We hadn't been in that situation. When you're not playing well, you've got to find a way to win."

The Bengals (2-6) became the first team to lead the Broncos in the fourth quarter all season and managed to tie it at 26 on Neil O'Donnell's touchdown pass and two-point conversion completion with 2:54 left.

But on their sideline, there was a sense of doom.

"I thought we might have scored too early," Coach Bruce Coslet said. "I talked during the week about 'Captain Comeback.' "

He was speaking of Elway, of course. Forty-five times during his 16-year career, Elway has put together a game-saving drive--one that either tied the score or put Denver ahead in the fourth quarter.

In only five plays, he had No. 46.

Elway completed passes of 30 and 14 yards to Ed McCaffrey, who had seven catches for a career-high 133 yards. Terrell Davis' five-yard run put the Broncos ahead, 33-26, with 58 seconds left and added to Elway's legacy.

Davis scored two of the Broncos' fourth-quarter touchdowns--the other came on Elway's 25-yard pass to McCaffrey--and complemented Elway's perfect touch in the clutch. Davis carried 11 times for 53 yards in the fourth quarter, and had 149 yards rushing for the game.

"You're going to face a few days like this," Davis said. "As long as you come together at the end of the game, that's all that matters."

The Bengals had one last shot after Tremain Mack's 61-yard kickoff return gave them the ball at Denver's 32 with 48 seconds and one timeout left. But they went nowhere after Neil O'Donnell was sacked by Alfred Williams, a former No. 1 pick of the Bengals, and two incomplete passes.

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