Bengals slip past Falcons

Cincinnati's A.J. Green, a former Georgia standout, scores against Atlanta defensive back Asante Samuel.

ATLANTA — Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and the Falcons’ Matt Ryan each directed a pair of scoring drives before Cincinnati’s reserves held on for a 24-19 preseason victory over Atlanta on Thursday night.


Ryan, who completed his first 11 attempts, finished 18 of 21 for 174 yards and one touchdown, a 2-yard screen to reserve fullback Lousaka Polite in the second quarter.

Dalton was 8 of 14 for 125 yards and one TD, a 50-yard pass that receiver A.J. Green caught while running past cornerback Asante Samuel down the right sideline.


In Green Bay, Wis., rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden showed improvement in his second preseason game, avoiding major mistakes as Cleveland beat Green Bay.

Aaron Rodgers looked sharp in limited action, but backup quarterback Graham Harrell was shaky for the Packers.

Weeden, a first-round pick out of Oklahoma State who already has been chosen the Browns’ starter, was 12 of 20 for 118 yards.

Rodgers threw a 20-yard touchdown to Jordy Nelson for the Packers.

COWBOYS: Tight end Jason Witten is hopeful that he will be ready to play in the season opener in three weeks.

Witten is dealing with a lacerated spleen sustained in the preseason opener.

“I’m doing all right. ... Stay optimistic. Take it one day at a time. Get healthy and regroup when we get back to Dallas,” Witten said.

BOUNTY UPDATE: The NFL has provided a federal judge with what it says is evidence Commissioner Roger Goodell did not improperly pre-judge players in the bounty investigation.

The evidence includes a copy of a letter the NFL Players Association sent the league on March 7 asking Goodell to delay punishment of players implicated in the bounty probe.

It also includes a sworn declaration from Goodell in which he states he was prepared to hand down player discipline at the same time he announced suspensions for coaches and executives on March 21. Goodell’s declaration states he held off after verbally agreeing to do so in a phone conversation with union head DeMaurice Smith.

Attorneys for four suspended players have argued Goodell showed improper bias with comments he made before announcing player discipline.