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Dillon Is the Fall Guy in Latest Bengal Loss

October 28, 2002|From Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Only three feet from their first victory, the Cincinnati Bengals tripped all over themselves.

Corey Dillon stumbled over his blocker and was tackled inches from the goal line with 1:08 to play Sunday, preserving the Tennessee Titans' 30-24 victory.

Steve McNair threw three second-half touchdown passes, and the Titans (3-4) needed that final Bengal blunder to hold on against the NFL's only winless team.

"I thought we'd won," said Dillon, who had 138 yards in 30 carries and saw a huge hole open on his final run. "What are you going to do? I got tripped up, and I came up short.

"I swear I would have walked in, just that simple. It was so big, I could have took my daughter and my wife through there."

Cincinnati (0-7) had first and goal at the nine. Two runs by Dillon and Jon Kitna's scramble put the nose of the ball at the one, revving up the crowd of 52,822.

The Bengals used a play the Titans hadn't seen by having guard Matt O'Dwyer pull with Dillon, following him to the right. But Kitna and O'Dwyer tangled their feet, and Dillon took the handoff and stumbled over O'Dwyer's legs, lunging toward the goal line as he fell. Dillon was ruled down at the one.

Fans threw cups and plastic beer bottles on the field, and security escorted the officials off the field after the game.

Kitna was 17 for 23 for 193 yards and two touchdowns, and McNair was 16 for 27 for 215 yards. Tennessee's Eddie George rushed for 106 yards.

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