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Vikings edge Bengals in preseason opener

CINCINNATI--Undrafted rookie running back C.J. Ham scored on a 10-yard run late in the third quarter and the Minnesota Vikings held on to beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 17-16, on Friday night in the pre-season opener for both teams.

Aug 12, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) drops back to pass in the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals in a preseason NFL football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 12, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) drops back to pass in the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals in a preseason NFL football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

CINCINNATI-Undrafted rookie running back C.J. Ham scored on a 10-yard run late in the third quarter and the Minnesota Vikings held on to beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 17-16, on Friday night in the pre-season opener for both teams.

Ham, an Augustana product, finished with team highs of 12 carries and 35 yards for the Vikings.

Sixth-year Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who missed Cincinnati's last four games of the 2015 season with a fractured right thumb, started and completed his first four passes for 32 yards before misfiring on a third-and-3 from Minnesota's 30-yard line in his only series of the game. Three of his passes went to A.J. Green for a combined 26 yards.

Third-year Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was even more effective. Playing into the second quarter, Bridgewater finished 6-of-7 for 92 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown pass to fourth-year wide receiver Charles Johnson for a 7-0 lead with 5:43 left in the second quarter.

Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, Minnesota's top draft pick out of Mississippi, was targeted a team-high five times and caught four for 41 yards.

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Backup A.J. McCarron connected with free-agent rookie wide receiver Alex Erickson on a three-yard pass for Cincinnati's only touchdown with 47 seconds left in the first half.

Erickson returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown to cut Minnesota's lead to 17-16 with 2:45 left in the game, but Cincinnati's two-point conversion pass attempt fell incomplete.

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