Bengals maul Eagles to stay in playoff hunt
(Reuters) - The Cincinnati Bengals overcame a lackluster spell in the middle of the game to keep their playoff hopes alive with a 34-13 road win over the slumping Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday.
With the victory, the Bengals improved to 8-6 on the season to climb up to second place in the AFC North and, more importantly, into the second wildcard position.
Having capitalized on Eagles errors to forge a 10-0 lead within seven minutes, the Bengals lost their focus and intensity as Philadelphia hit back with 13 unanswered points to take a three-point lead into the halftime intermission.
However, the Bengals pounced on a number of Eagles (4-10) turnovers in the second half to compile a 24-point winning run that condemned the hosts to a ninth loss in 10 games.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton shook off six sacks, the most in his two-season career to date, to throw 13-for-27 for 127 yards.
He also rushed for one touchdown and threw to fellow second year player A.J. Green for another, continuing the young duo's impressive chemistry.
With games against division rivals Pittsburgh and Baltimore to come, Cincinnati remain in control of their own destiny as they fight to reach the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1981.
"The next two are really important. A lot of people throw the history of the organization out there and talk about the fact we haven't had back-to-back playoffs in 30 years but we don't know any different," Dalton told reporters. Continued...