- Associated Press - Sunday, October 11, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) - A Seahawks team known for closing ‘em out is having trouble in the final moments.

Andy Dalton led the Cincinnati Bengals from a 17-point deficit to a 27-24 overtime victory on Sunday, a collapse that matched the biggest in Seattle’s history. It was as mystifying as it was historic.

The two-time defending NFC champions are known for not letting leads slip away at the end.

“That’s why I’m baffled a little bit,” coach Pete Carroll said. “What’s startling is that it’s not happening. We’ve had to be terrific in this mode for years to be able to do what we’ve done.”

The Seahawks (2-3) have lost in overtime at St. Louis, lost at Green Bay and now lost in overtime at Cincinnati. They needed a defensive play late on Monday night to hold on for a 13-10 win over Detroit.



“It’s extremely frustrating knowing how talented we are and how poised we can be in those moments, and then to not finish, to not pull it out,” receiver Doug Baldwin said.

Their inability to stop Dalton had a lot to do with it.

Trailing 24-7 at the start of the fourth quarter, Dalton threw for a touchdown, ran for another and led the Bengals (5-0) on a 69-yard drive without a timeout. Mike Nugent tied it with a 31-yard field goal on the final play of regulation.

Seattle punted twice in overtime, giving the Bengals a chance to pull it out. Nugent’s deflection off the upright ended it with 3:36 left in overtime, leaving Cincinnati 5-0 for the first time since 1988, the last time it went to the Super Bowl.

It was the second time Cincinnati had overtime a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter and won, according to STATS. The Bengals also did it at Baltimore in 2004 for a 27-26 victory. Cincinnati overcame an 18-point deficit to beat Arizona 24-21 in the 1997 season.

The 17-point collapse matched the biggest in Seattle history. The Seahawks also blew such games in 2003 against Baltimore and 2004 against St. Louis, losing in overtime as well.

The Seahawks looked to be in good shape after scoring a pair touchdowns during a 2-minute span of the third quarter. Undrafted rookie running back Thomas Rawls ran 69 yards for a touchdown, part of a career-best 169-yard game.

Bobby Wagner then returned a fumble 23 yards for a touchdown, handing a 24-7 lead to the NFL’s second-ranked defense. Unlike Monday night, when Kam Chancellor stripped the ball from Detroit’s Calvin Johnson to preserve the 13-10 win, it couldn’t come up with the big play at the end.

Dalton was 30 of 44 for 331 yards with two touchdowns, an interception and a season-high four sacks. His 11-yard TD pass to Tyler Eifert on the game’s opening drive ended Seattle’s streak of 20 defensive possessions without allowing a touchdown.

That was all the Bengals managed until Dalton - who leads the NFL in fourth-quarter passer rating - started the big comeback.

Russell Wilson was 15 of 23 for 213 yards with a touchdown, a tipped interception and four sacks. His 30-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse was the first touchdown the Bengals had allowed before halftime this season.

Notes: The Bengals are one win shy of matching the best start in club history. They went 6-0 in 1975 and 1988. … Wagner had a strained chest muscle, but finished the game. … Wilson was sacked four more times, bringing the season total to 22. … Earl Thomas got the Seahawks’ first interception of the season. … Cincinnati had a potential 72-yard TD pass to A.J. Green nullified by a holding penalty in the first quarter. Green had five catches for 65 yards in the first half, only one more for 13 yards the rest of the way.

___

Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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