Dalton leads Bengals to victory

DAVE SKRETTA AP Sports Writer Published:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Bengals had been written off just two weeks ago, when they were slogging their way through four straight losses that had cynics everywhere saying same 'ol Cincy.

How things can change after just a couple of victories.

The first came against the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, the kind of win that causes people to start paying attention. The second came Sunday, a 28-6 rout of the woefully inept Kansas City Chiefs that has thrust Cincinnati right back into the playoff hunt.

Especially with four straight upcoming games against marginal competition.

"We felt like we gave a couple of games away," said Andy Dalton, who threw four TD passes against the Giants and accounted for three more against the Chiefs.

"We had a four-game losing streak. We should have played better during that stretch. But now we've got momentum, and we've got to keep it going. We've had two great wins, full-team wins with everybody doing their part, and we've got to keep that going throughout these last six games."

Dalton threw for 230 yards, with touchdown tosses to A.J. Green and Mohamed Sanu, and also ran for a score. BenJarvus Green-Ellis had 101 yards rushing and another touchdown as the Bengals (5-5) handed the struggling Chiefs (1-9) their seventh straight defeat.

"There have been a lot of games -- a four-game stretch -- where I was not even playing in the fourth quarter," Green-Ellis said. "We were trying to come back and were not running the ball. It feels good to go out there and get some of those things under wraps."

The Chiefs sure wish they knew how that felt.

Jamaal Charles had 87 yards rushing, but that was the only highlight for a team whose only win this season required a franchise-record 18-point comeback to beat New Orleans.

Arrowhead Stadium was only about half-full most of the game, and a good portion of those who showed up were dressed in black -- a grass-roots effort organized by fans who have been trying to pressure team ownership to clean out the front office.

"I focus on the game. I don't get into the crowd," Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said.

Perhaps he should have let his eyes wander.

What happened on the field didn't put him in a very good mood.

Dalton and Green shredded Crennel's porous pass defense, Green-Ellis pounded away at a front line that had played better of late, and a middle-of-the-road Cincinnati defense looked like an iron curtain against a Kansas City offense that has been an utter failure.

The result: The Bengals are back to .500, and eying back-to-back postseason appearances for only the second time in franchise history, while the Chiefs have dropped seven straight games in a single season for the first time since Oct. 5-Nov. 23, 2008.

"We aren't babies. We know that when we aren't winning fans are going to get mad," Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers said. "We've got to find a way to turn this thing around."

Matt Cassel deftly led the Chiefs to a field goal in the closing seconds of the half, but Crennel elected to put backup Brady Quinn into the game at quarterback to start the third quarter.

Quinn didn't fare much better leading the Kansas City offense, and the Bengals tacked on Sanu's touchdown catch in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

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