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Bengals Bytes (10/2): Time to exhale

The Bengals finally win, and we can all breathe a little easier. Hue Jackson doesn’t blame fans for leaving early. Winners and losers from Week 4 in the NFL.

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Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller /Getty Images

Dalton paints Bengals to 31-7 win
In front of one of his NFL mentors Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton staged a clinic for Browns head coach Hue Jackson Sunday when he hit 19 of his first 20 passes that included 16 straight and threw four touchdown passes to give the Bengals their first win of the season in 31-7 victory. After an incompletion on a deep ball to wide receiver Brandon LaFell, Dalton logged the longest completion skein by a Bengal since Ken Anderson hit 20 straight in the 1982 regular-season finale.

Quick hits: Dalton's 81 percent response; Gio speed; Tez salutes Vigil; Lawson not long in tooth
We probably should have seen it coming. Coming into Sunday’s game the Bengals had defeated the Browns by an average of 30-8 in the last five games and after Sunday’s 31-7 victory it turned out that quarterback Andy Dalton fashioned it with a 146 passer rating that nearly eclipsed his career best 146.8 set here two years ago against the Browns.

Bengals at Browns Postgame Quotes
I was proud of how the guys fought today. They did a nice job and continued to play. There was great preparation to come out and play a good football game. We came out to a fast start; overcame the fumble early in the pocket and we were able to stop them there. He (K Zane Gonzalez) missed the field goal, so there was no harm done with the way it ended up; then we flipped field position again. We got a good stop on 4th down on defense – I can’t remember if it was the 3rd quarter or the 4th quarter, whatever it was – but it gave the ball back to the offense again and that was good.

Bengals quicken the pace to score 30 again
The Bengals kept their season beating Sunday when quarterback Andy Dalton cut the heart out of Cleveland’s Cover Two zone with an 83 percent scalpel that fashioned the Bengals’ first win of the season over the downtrodden Browns, 31-7. But then, this was the Downtrodden Bowl because who ever lost would be 0-4 and downtrodden and who ever won would be 1-3 and revived. With teams digging into play Cover Two against an offensive line rotating like its preseason, Dalton revived them with his most accurate passing day ever, that 83 percent on 25 of 30 passing. With the Browns dropping rookie safety Jabrill Pepper miles off the line to help their Joe Haden-less corners, Dalton racked up 286 yards with his first four-touchdown game since 2013.

Cincinnati Bengals' Carl Lawson loses teeth in win over Cleveland Browns
Bengals rookie defensive end Carl Lawson came out of Sunday's 31-7 victory against the Browns with two quarterback hurries and two lost teeth. Lawson wasn't wearing a mouthpiece when he attempted to sack Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer. He said he doesn't know exactly what happened, but he recalled seeing his teeth leave his mouth as he was making the tackle.

It's a step: Bengals dominate winless Browns, earn reason to celebrate
The Bengals needed this win badly. A meeting against the winless Browns couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. If the Bengals were going to save their season, they needed to build on their overtime loss to the Packers last week. A close game against Cleveland wasn’t going to cut it, but a 31-7 dismantling might mean something else entirely.

Bengals vs. Browns - Game Recap
Andy Dalton threw three of his four touchdown passes in the first half and Cincinnati's offense found the perfect opponent to work out some early season struggles and the Bengals rolled to a 31-7 win on Sunday over the overmatched Cleveland Browns.

Bengals' Carl Lawson loses his teeth: "I’m like, 'oh crap.' "
Carl Lawson didn’t want to get on camera after the Cincinnati Bengals' 31-7 victory in Cleveland on Sunday, but the Cincinnati Bengals linebacker did speak, even missing parts of his two front teeth. The rookie thought he had a sack of Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer on 4th and 10 from the Bengals’ 36-yard line early in the fourth quarter, but a few things went wrong.

NFL Week 5 odds, over/under: Bills open as underdog to Bengals
Despite back-to-back wins against the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons, the Buffalo Bills are again opening up as an underdog in Week 5. The Bills are a three-point underdog to the Cincinnati Bengals this week. With the game being in Cincinnati, that helps explain the spread. The Bengals got their first win of the season in Week 4 to improve to 1-3. However, that win came against the Cleveland Browns.

Doc: Finally, it was a day for the Bengals to exhale
The Bengals 31-7 romp at Cleveland’s Masochists Memorial Stadium – motto: “Expect the Worst and You’ll Never Be Disappointed’’ – was as easy as the rhythm Andy Dalton found after his first fade-back of the day, a sack-fumble mess that, looking back, was as fluky as snow in July. Dalton is the ultimate rhythm quarterback and Sunday he played the ultimate rhythm game. Good Andy completed 16 throws in a row and 19 of 20, against a holey Browns Cover 2 zone defense.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns: 5 things to know
The Cincinnati Bengals took their first step toward rescuing a lost season Sunday at Cleveland in a battle of winless teams. The Bengals shook off a sluggish start and dominated the Browns for the final three quarters of a 31-7 triumph at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Hue Jackson understands fans leaving early, “I probably would have”
Browns fans have seen enough bad football over the years to know what to do when the home team goes down 31-0 before the end of the third quarter. They headed home in plenty of time for Sunday dinner, leaving patches of empty seats to watch the Browns avoid a shutout against the Bengals with a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game. The sight of the exodus from the stadium was hard to miss from the Browns sideline and coach Hue Jackson said after the game that he could understand why so many headed for the doors.

Cleveland rocked: Browns in shambles after rout by Bengals
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis found his good friend near midfield and gave him a hug. Hue Jackson needed one. The besieged Browns coach could use a lot more than an embrace right now. After Cincinnati got its first win this season, thrashing Cleveland 31-7 on Sunday, Lewis weaved his way around players, coaches and cameramen to greet Jackson, his former offensive coordinator who is 1-19 in two seasons with the Browns.

Hue Jackson's Browns turnaround in doubt
With the 2017 season quickly spiraling out of control for Hue Jackson’s Cleveland Browns, things took a turn for the worse as the visiting Cincinnati Bengals inflicted a 31-7 beatdown. Perhaps the biggest disappointment for Jackson was his defense, who turned Andy Dalton into John Elway for 60 minutes. Dalton completed 25 of 30 balls, doing anything he wanted Sunday. The 29-year-old tossed four touchdown passes along with 286 yards and a stellar 146 quarterback rating.

No signs of progress to be found as Bengals continue domination of Browns: Dan Labbe
Cedar Point gave away tickets to Browns fans in attendance on Sunday afternoon against the Bengals. The fans who stuck it out for the full four quarters deserve lifetime passes to the park for what they sat through. The Bengals' domination of the Browns has been Steelers-esque ever since the Browns beat them back in 2014 to move into first place on a Thursday night in November. Since that night, it hasn't been close.

5 Things We Learned From Bengals Win Over Browns
Someone had to win the Battle of Ohio, emphasis on the O, because both the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns entered Sunday’s game with 0-3 records. The Bengals won easily, as Andy Dalton threw for 286 yards and four touchdowns to lead the way in a 31-7 rout at FirstEnergy Stadium. Dalton’s 83.3 completion percentage was a career best. He connected on 25 of 30 passes, including 16 in a row at one point.

AFC North Bytes

The Steelers Make a Statement to the AFC and Themselves in Throttling of Ravens
In the second quarter Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium, a seething Antonio Brown approached a Gatorade bucket. The bucket didn't stand a chance. Brown tossed it about a yard. (Likely giving him a better quarterback rating than Jay Cutler in Week 4.)

Joe Flacco and Ravens' offense sputters again in loss to Steelers
This week, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco insisted it was too early to say the NFL's worst-ranked offense is playing poorly. Sunday's dismal performance in a 26-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers says otherwise. Flacco finished 31-of-49 for 235 yards and two interceptions as the Ravens fell to 2-2. This comes after he was held to a career-worst 28 yards passing last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Random Bytes

Derek Carr Suffers Back Injury During Raiders vs. Broncos
The Oakland Raiders announced quarterback Derek Carr suffered a back injury during Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos. Broncos defensive lineman Adam Gotsis appeared to inadvertently knee Carr in the back after defensive end Shelby Harris sacked him on a 1st-and-10 in the third quarter, which knocked Carr out of the game.

Is Cam Newton Back on Track After Upset of New England Patriots?
Over the first three weeks of the 2017 season, the Carolina Panthers looked completely out of sync on offense. The Panthers were 27th in the NFL offensively entering Sunday's action and 30th in passing, averaging under 170 yards per game. The team managed to win two of its first three games, but it rode the NFL's No. 1 defense (entering Week 4) to those victories. The Panthers won in spite of their sputtering passing game, not because of it.

Winners and Losers of NFL Week 4
Week 4 in the NFL has been full of exciting matchups. Which young quarterbacks made the winners list? Which teams put together disappointing efforts? Watch the video above.