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Dalton, Bengals rebound with win over Browns

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- Andy Dalton threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns to three different receivers Sunday as the Cincinnati Bengals bounced back from last week's thrashing.

This time, the Bengals came out on the winning side of a 34-27 shootout against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium.

Dalton set a career-high with a 128.2 passer rating and had touchdown throws of 10 yards to A.J. Green, 44 yards to Brandon Tate and 50 yards to Andrew Hawkins to offset the comeback performances by Cleveland rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden and running back Trent Richardson. Dalton completed at least two passes to six different receivers in his third career 300-yard passing game.

Dalton completed all eight of his passes for 115 yards and one touchdown in the fourth quarter after having his final pass of the third quarter intercepted by Cleveland linebacker D'Qwell Jackson.

"I've been saying all along that we've got a lot of talented receivers," said Dalton. "It's great to get in the game and great for these guys to make the plays that they did."

Green led Cincinnati with seven receptions for 58 yards.

"Yeah, the offense looked good," said Green. "When Andy is clicking, it's over."

Cleveland outgained Cincinnati 439-375 in offensive yardage. One week after throwing four interceptions and compiling a passer rating of 5.1 in a 17-16 loss against Philadelphia, Weeden completed 26 of 37 passes for 322 yards and the first two touchdowns of his career while compiling a 114.9 passer rating. The passing yardage is a Browns rookie record.

Richardson responded to critical comments made by Cincinnati linebacker Rey Maualuga this past week by rushing for 109 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown in the second quarter that was Cleveland's first offensive touchdown of the season. Maualuga, commenting on Philadelphia's defense holding Richardson to 39 yards on 19 carries last week, said he hadn't seen anything spectacular from the rookie from Alabama.

The two spoke after the game and cleared the air but Richardson was definitely more spectacular against the Bengals than the Eagles.

"It was a much better game," said Richardson. "I won't call it complete because we didn't win. As far as having more effort out there and being on top of my game and knowing everything I've got to do it was way better."

Cleveland hurt itself by committing 10 penalties for 103 yards.

The Bengals have won four consecutive games in the "Battle of Ohio" series and hold a six-game margin in the overall series, 42-36, for the first time in series history.

Adam Jones returned a punt 81 yards for the opening touchdown less than two minutes into the game to give the Bengals their first lead of the season. Cincinnati trailed throughout in a 44-13 loss at Baltimore Monday night.

Browns kicker Phil Dawson made his 280th career field goal, a 50-yarder with 9:01 left in the first quarter. He added a 25-yarder with 20 seconds remaining to provide the final points of the game and now has 34 field goals in his career against the Bengals.

Dalton completed all four of his passes for 50 yards on an eight-play, 78-yard drive that ended with his touchdown pass to Green to give the Bengals a 14-3 lead with 10:27 left in the second quarter. Dalton and Green connected on six touchdowns last season as both made the Pro Bowl as rookies.

Richardson's touchdown run cut the Cincinnati lead to 14-10 with 8:05 left in the second quarter. Cincinnati took a 17-10 lead into halftime on a 39-yard field goal by Mike Nugent with 4:45 left in the quarter.

Dalton hit Tate in stride for a 44-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the third quarter. Cleveland blitzed on the play but the Bengals picked it up, giving Dalton plenty of time to find Tate. It was the first touchdown reception for Tate since 2010 with New England.

Richardson took a dump-off pass from Weeden and went 23 yards to cut the deficit back to seven points. But Cincinnati again regained a 14-point advantage on Hawkins' touchdown reception. He grabbed Dalton's short crossing pass and then weaved his way through the Cleveland defense to score his first career touchdown.

The Bengals sealed the win when Green recovered an onside kick attempt with 16 seconds left.

Notes: Bengals DE Jamaal Anderson has a torn quad and is out for the year, according to multiple reports, but the team has not confirmed it. Anderson left the field on a cart with 1:41 remaining. ... Richardson became the first Cleveland rookie to rush for 100 yards since Lee Suggs ran for 186 yards on Dec. 28, 2003, against the Bengals. ... Cincinnati has allowed 869 yards and 71 points in its first two games. All but seven of those points have come against the defense. ... The game was a sellout, with an announced crowd of 63,036. ... Tate's four career touchdown receptions have been for 65, 40, 42 and 44 yards. ... Cleveland sacked Dalton six times, including three by linebacker D'Qwell Jackson.
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