Lions 21, Bengals 13

Saturday, August 26th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Detroit Lions' depleted offense was dealt another major setback Friday night when receiver Herman Moore separated his shoulder during a 21-13 preseason victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

The injury, revealed after the game, was another blow to a team missing its top two quarterbacks and tight ends. Coach Bobby Ross said Moore will be out 4-6 weeks.

Moore had a 3-yard catch for a touchdown on the Lions' opening drive, his only catch. It's the second year in a row that injuries have limited him — he had only 16 catches last season after missing most of the first half with two knee injuries.

Even without Moore, the Lions' offense moved the ball easily behind Stoney Case, who threw two touchdown passes.

The Bengals' first loss at their new stadium gave coach Bruce Coslet an old concern. Four days after the Bengals cut Doug Pelfrey, the most accurate kicker in franchise history, rookie Neil Rackers missed both of his field-goal attempts and an extra-point try.

The sixth-round draft choice from Illinois was wide left on a 46-yard attempt early in the second quarter. He was booed after he missed a 27-yarder, also to the left, with 4 seconds left in the half, and fans chanted ``Pelfrey! Pelfrey!'' after Rackers was wide left again on an extra-point attempt with 6:09 left.

Detroit (2-2) headed toward the regular season hoping to get back quarterback Charlie Batch and several other offensive starters.

Case, who took over after Batch and Mike Tomczak sustained broken legs, gave Detroit some encouragement by leading the offense to a pair of touchdowns and 260 yards in the first half.

One of his touchdown passes went to a tight end — another reason for optimism. Walter Rasby, a third-stringer filling in because of injuries, made a nice leaping catch over cornerback Rodney Heath for a 12-yard touchdown.

The Bengals got another big play from rookie Peter Warrick, who ran past cornerback Bryant Westbrook for a 53-yard catch that set up Akili Smith's 3-yard bootleg touchdown run.

Smith finished a solid preseason by completing 6-of-8 passes for 67 yards. He completed 65 percent in preseason and had a passer rating of 90.4, well above average.

Corey Dillon also looked much better in his second preseason game, picking up 45 yards on six carries. Dillon missed the first two games in a holdout and was ineffective last week.

The Bengals completed another 1-3 preseason. They've gone either 1-3 or 0-4 five times in the last 10 years, and haven't had a winning season since 1990.

Attendance also dropped for the second game at 65,600-seat Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals sold 48,420 tickets for the Lions game, a week after they had a gate of 56,180 for the inaugural game against the Chicago Bears.

Case was 14-of-20 for 161 yards in the first half against a defense missing four starters, including linebacker Takeo Spikes. In addition to their regular quarterback and tight end, the Lions were without rookie guard Stockar McDougle.

Cory Sauter threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to finish off an 18-play, 82-yard drive in the fourth quarter.

Coslet had challenged his defense to stop giving up big plays — the Bengals were shredded for touchdown passes of 73, 45 and 45 yards in the first three games. It wasn't up to the challenge.

The Lions drove 80 and 67 yards for touchdowns on their first two possessions. Case completed a 40-yard pass to Germane Crowell and had five more completions of at least 12 yards in the half.

Detroit's Jason Hanson also had trouble kicking on a warm, clear evening, missing field-goal attempts from 43 and 40 yards.