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Bengals News (12/14): Going with the flow

A.J. Green is keeping his options for the future open as he heads into an offseason of uncertainty.

Dallas Cowboys v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green leads the offense with six catches for 62 yards and a touchdown
As his wife sat in a Paul Brown Stadium suite with Dalton's wife, Green and his rookie hunger gave the Bengals' desperate pass game a much needed lift against Dalton's Cowboys with some vintage contested and clutch catches. But three consecutive fumbles in the run game to open the afternoon doomed the Bengals in a confounding 30-7 loss.

Bengals Notebook: Brandon Allen guts it out, A.J. Green gets back on track against the Dallas Cowboys
But after limping through a knee injury during the final 11 plays of a 15-play drive that yielded no points with 7:23 left in the game, Allen had to leave and he offered no excuses on the final two incompletions from the Dallas 10 when seven points would have cut the Cowboys' lead to 20-14.

Postgame comments from Zac Taylor and Brandon Allen after the Dallas Cowboys game in Week 14
"Irate, stunned. You give a team 10 points right out of the gate without having to take the field. It's a disappointing start to the game. I couldn't have felt better going into this game, but to give them 10 points before they had to do anything is a disappointing way to start."

Cincinnati Bengals lose 30-7 against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 14
But it wasn't enough to overcome the turnovers and Dalton's workman-like 16 of 23 for 185 yards and two touchdowns. The Bengals had 309 yards, their most without quarterback Joe Burrow, but for the third straight game they could only score one touchdown. And they had the ball nearly 10 more minutes than Dallas.

Photo Gallery: Week 14 | Bengals vs. Cowboys
Check out some of the best images from the Week 14 contest as the Cincinnati Bengals faced the Dallas Cowboys from Paul Brown Stadium.

Michael Jordan, Randy Bullock inactive for the Cincinnati Bengals versus the Dallas Cowboys
Seibert, a fifth-round pick out of Oklahoma in 2019, made 25 of 29 field goals for Cleveland as a rookie last season but missed five of 35 extra-point tries. The Browns cut him after he missed an extra point and field-goal in the opener The Bengals claimed him in the wake of Bullock injuring himself at the end of their opener.

Bengals fall to Cowboys, stretch losing streak to five
In many key categories, the Bengals outperformed the Dallas Cowboys at Paul Brown Stadium. It should have been enough to allow Cincinnati to snap its losing streak. Instead, the Cowboys won 30-7, handing the Bengals their fifth straight defeat.

Sweet Victory for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton in His Return to Paul Brown Stadium
“This one was special. Obviously, a team I played for, for a long time. A lot of range of emotions from just being back in the city, to being in the stadium, being on the other side of it.” Dalton said. “It feels good to come back to a place I was with for a long time to win. Like I said, it felt good.”

Cowboys QB Andy Dalton celebrates 'special' win over Bengals in return to Cincinnati
"I got water thrown on me and everything (in the locker room). Everybody was excited," Dalton said, via the team's official website. "(Coach) Mike (McCarthy) and a lot of the guys made it a big deal. It feels good to come back to a place that I was for a long time and to win."

A.J. Green comments on playing future as Bengals lose again
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green led the team in receiving during Sunday’s 30-7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, catching the touchdown that avoided a shutout.

Cincinnati Bengals face Andy Dalton and the Dallas Cowboys in Week 14
The Bengals veteran defensive end grew up in Cincinnati and was drafted by his hometown team in 2018. During his two seasons as a starter for the Bengals, the franchise has a 4-24-1 record.

5 takeaways from Cowboys-Bengals: In a season of turmoil, Dallas finally experienced some good in Cincinnati
The Cowboys scored 17 points off, guess what, turnovers. Yeah, turnovers. DeMarcus Lawrence, Darian Thompson and (technically) Leighton Vander Esch forced three fumbles. The turnovers were so bad that Bengals running backs Trayveon Williams and Giovani Bernard were benched after fumbling. Williams’ first-half fumble came when he ran into the backside of guard Hakeem Adeniji. It was the Bengals’ version of a butt fumble. Aldon Smith scooped up the fumble and scored on 78-yard return. The Cowboys had forced just 11 turnovers coming into the game and had three on Sunday. It was needed badly.

Around the league

NFL Week 14: What we learned from Sunday's games
Josh Allen runs and guns and is truly fun to watch as he comes into his own. Despite any criticism, Allen's shown the raw ability and exciting potential all along. Expecting a breakout season wasn't all that difficult to fathom. However, it's valid to wonder just how good Allen would look in 2020 if not for the addition of Stefon Diggs. Surely headed for his initial Pro Bowl trip, Diggs is turning in the best season of an already impressive career from his days with the Vikings. On Sunday, Diggs had another stellar showing and did so against a phenomenal Pittsburgh D. With game-highs of 10 catches and 130 yards to go with a touchdown, Diggs now leads the the NFL with 100 catches, which is tied with Eric Moulds for the Bills' single-season record, and has set a career-high with 1,167 yards receiving.

Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger after loss to Bills: 'We're not playing good football'
Their body language said more than their words. One by one, Steelers players took a seat and leaned back. Long sighs were followed by short sentences. Sometimes they stared off to the side or at their feet. The high of being the league's only unbeaten team less than a week earlier had been replaced by the frustration of back-to-back losses, the most recent 26-15 to the Bills on Sunday in Buffalo.

2020 NFL playoff picture: Rams, Seahawks among most trustworthy NFC fringe teams
Let's be clear about the premise of this column: Assessing which of the NFC's fringy -- for lack of a better word -- teams are to be trusted most as they make a playoff push. How to define fringy? Not the Green Bay Packers or the New Orleans Saints, teams that have already clinched playoff berths. Green Bay locked up the NFC North by beating the Lions, while the Saints' two-game lead in the NFC South -- with three to play -- feels fairly secure (get well soon, please, Drew Brees). We're talking about the inscrutable here, like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a super team that can lose to the Chicago Bears one week, demolish the Packers the next, and then have a halting victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. What are they, really, and what can they be expected to do in the stretch run?

Chase Young on Washington taking NFC East lead: 'We're not satisfied'
On Sunday, Young played like a possessed monster, wrecking seemingly every Niners offensive play. The rookie tossed aside blockers like they were throw pillows, gobbled up running backs, and harassed 49ers QB Nick Mullens into a boatload of mistakes. There is a good bet that when Mullens closed his eyes to sleep Sunday night, images of a raging Young haunted his dreams.

Raiders fire DC Paul Guenther after 44-27 loss to Colts
Guenther, 49, was in the midst of his third season as defensive coordinator for the Raiders, but was sacked Sunday in the aftermath of a 44-27 defeat that was the Raiders third in the last four games. Las Vegas has allowed 35 or more points in all of those losses and on Sunday gave up more than 40 points for the third time this season.