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Bengals News (12/2): Getting that elusive first victory

The Bengals FINALLY got their first win of the season.

New York Jets v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Quick Hits: Game balls given all the way around after the Bengals dominate 22-6 win over the Jets
Head coach Zac Taylor gave one to Andy Dalton, the quarterback he benched, and Dalton gave one to Taylor 33 days after telling him he disagreed with the move. And if you’ve never seen that, then you’ve probably never seen this, either. Running back Joe Mixon took the ball he carried for the five-yard touchdown run that gave the Bengals control over the Jets at 17-3 in a 22-6 victory and gave it to the other offensive line coach as he walked off the field after the game.

Bengals Head coach Zac Taylor and players spoke with the media to break down the Week 13 victory over the New York Jets.
“Great feeling there in the locker room. These guys earned this and fought their tails off for the last nine months, waiting for a moment like this. I don’t know what the stats look like, but it felt like a complete game from all of our guys. In all three phases, I thought they did a really good job of controlling the game. For the most part, we felt like we were in pretty good control of it. That was a good team. That team has been playing well for the last couple of weeks. We knew it was going to be a tough game for us, but our guys responded the right way and made the plays. You look at both sides of the ball, there were some great plays made there in the first half that gave us that lead. We actually enjoyed playing with the lead for the first time all year it felt like. You can play a little bit differently. Our guys really did a good job of that. Proud of them, proud of the coaches, proud of the players for sticking together these 12 games and earning this win. Now, the pressure is off of you a little bit. Now, that it’s off of you, you get a chance to go and be free and get some more wins and finish this thing out the right way.”

Bengals Locker Room Celebration: Win No. 1 For Zac Taylor
Zac Taylor hands out game balls following the Bengals Week 13 victory over the New York Jets.

Jets vs. Bengals highlights | Week 13
Watch the highlights from the Week 13 matchup between the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Win No. 1 for the Zac Taylor era as the Bengals ground the New York Jets, 22-6
After record-setting quarterback Andy Dalton staked the Bengals to a 17-6 half-time lead, the defense pulled the plug on one of the NFL hottest offenses in the second half to break a franchise-long 13-game losing streak and give head coach Zac Taylor his first NFL victory with a 22-6 win over the Jets Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

Bengals avoid 0-12 start, beat Jets in Andy Dalton's return as starter
Later in the locker room, after the Bengals picked up their first win of the season with a 22-6 victory over the New York Jets, Dalton gave Taylor the game ball the equipment staff had shielded in the blissful moments after the final whistle.

NFL Week 13 grades: Bengals get an 'A' for picking up first win, Eagles get a 'D' for brutal loss to Dolphins
With Andy Dalton under center, a revived Bengals team stunned the New York Jets 22-6 on Sunday in front of the smallest crowd in history of Paul Brown Stadium, which opened in 2000. Although no one in Cincinnati really showed up to watch, Dalton and the defense still put on a show for the 39,804 fans who did decide to attend the game.

Jets dominated, 22-6, by previously winless Bengals
Well, they reminded you of who the 2019 Jets are on Sunday, a group capable of losing to anyone. On this day, it was the previously winless Bengals not just beating the Jets, but dominating them in a 22-6 Jets loss, their second to a team searching for its first win in the last month. They became the first team in NFL history to lose twice in one season to teams with 0-7 records or worse, according to ESPN.

Andy Dalton 'Absolutely' Open to Bengals Return in 2020 After 1st Win of Season
It was also Dalton's first game back as the starter after the Bengals benched him for Ryan Finley. He had previously expressed his frustration with the team's decision to demote him with little time left before the Oct. 29 trade deadline.

Andy Dalton wants to be back with Bengals next year
The Cincinnati Bengals picked up their first win of the season Sunday over the New York Jets right as Andy Dalton re-entered the picture at quarterback.

NFL Draft order 2020: Dolphins slip behind Redskins; Giants push Bengals for No. 1 pick
There will be no 0-16 team in the NFL this season. With their upset win over the Jets in Week 13, the Bengals notched their first victory of the year. Combined with the Giants' loss to the Packers on Sunday, though, Cincinnati's win jeopardized its chances of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Andy Dalton “absolutely” wants to return to the Bengals next year
After the Bengals benched Andy Dalton for rookie Ryan Finley, Dalton said that his agent had tried to finagle a trade to another team. (The fact that the benching came on the day of the trade deadline made that a little difficult, to say the least.) Now that Dalton is back under center, he no longer wants to be traded.

Baker Mayfield has hand contusion, expects to play vs. Bengals
With 16 seconds remaining in the first half of their Week 13 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, the Cleveland Browns saw their season flash before their eyes when Baker Mayfield took off sprinting to the locker room while holding his right hand.

Around the league

What we learned from Sunday's Week 13 games
No team loses in more heartbreaking and/or ridiculous fashion on a weekly basis than the Chargers. Sunday afternoon was no exception. Down by 14 points at one point to a woebegone Broncos side quarterbacked by a rookie signal-caller making his first start, Los Angeles clawed back to tie Denver at 17 early in the fourth quarter on the legs of Melvin Gordon (99 yards) and Austin Ekeler (67 total yards). After surrendering a go-ahead field goal to Brandon McManus with 4:26 to go, the Chargers faced a fourth-and-1 from their own 34 with just over two minutes to go. After timeouts from both sides, L.A. was called for back-to-back false starts, pushing the fourth-and-manageable back to a fourth-and-11 attempt. Miraculously, Philip Rivers completed a 38-yard desperation heave to Mike Williams, who leaped over Isaac Yiadom to corral the deep ball with one hand. The conversion gave L.A. extra life and a chance to tie the game, which the Chargers did on a 46-yard Mike Badgley field goal with 19 seconds left.

Freddie Kitchens: T-shirt not reason we lost to Steelers
Kitchens was spotted wearing a T-shirt displaying the phrase "Pittsburgh started it" Friday ahead of his team's rematch with the Steelers, with whom they engaged in a brawl just two weeks earlier. The Browns won that game, 21-7, but needed another win over Pittsburgh to both complete their first season sweep of the Steelers since 1988 and also keep themselves afloat in the AFC wild card race.

Ron Rivera: 'Not worried' about future with Panthers
Without a win since the first week of November and on the heels of a 29-21 defeat to the dreadful Redskins on Sunday, Panthers coach Ron Rivera isn't concerned about the future of his status as Carolina coach, but simply the immediate future of next week.

Nick Foles benched for Gardner Minshew in loss to Bucs
"One thing I didn't appreciate was a lot of the booing today," Minshew said. "You got guys that [are] putting their hearts out there every play, every game, and nobody deserves that. I hated how that was, but I was also super appreciative of the support."