NFL: Bengals beat Colts 42-28 to stay perfect at home

JOE KAY AP Sports Writer Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A disputed call went the Bengals' way -- not that they absolutely needed it.

Getting Andy Dalton back in form was quite enough.

Dalton regained his passing touch in time to keep the Bengals perfect at home and in control of the AFC North on Sunday. He threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in a 42-28 victory over Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.

The Bengals (9-4) kept their firm grip on first place, two games ahead of Baltimore with three to play.

"We're on a roll," middle linebacker Rey Maualuga said. "At the beginning of the year, we had three goals. We wanted to be undefeated at home, win the AFC North and eventually be world champions.

"We're close to the goals we wanted to get to. We've got to be good from here out."

It had been a while since Dalton was this good.

He was the AFC's offensive player for October, but hadn't put together a consistent game since. He was as good as ever on Sunday, helping the Bengals improve to 6-0 at Paul Brown Stadium on a cold, windy day -- 28 degrees at kickoff with a wind chill of 19.

"We know what we're capable of, and we've got some momentum now," said Dalton, who was 24 of 35 for 275 yards without a sack or interception. "But we've got to keep it going."

BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs -- one of them on a review that overturned a call -- as the Bengals got ahead 21-0 and held on.

The Colts (8-5) had another slow start in the cold, falling behind 21-0 before Luck threw four touchdown passes to keep them close. Despite the loss, the Colts clinched the AFC South later Sunday when Denver beat Tennessee 51-28.

"We've got some things to clean up, but we certainly came down here with the mindset that we wanted to win this football game and certainly win the division that way," coach Chuck Pagano said.

The Bengals are having their best season at home since 1988, when they won all eight regular-season home games and two playoff games on the way to a second Super Bowl appearance and loss to San Francisco.

They're in position to clinch their first AFC North title since 2009 with two home games in the last three weeks.

Dalton was sharp from the outset, completing 6 of 7 for 81 yards on the Bengals' first drive, including a 29-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones. The Colts have been outscored 49-9 in the first quarters of their past six games.

The Bengals got a pivotal touchdown on a reversed call with 1:06 left in the first half.

They went for it on fourth down from the Colts 1-yard line. Green-Ellis took the handoff and appeared to get tripped by nose tackle Josh Chapman, who dived into the backfield and swiped at his feet.

"I hit his foot when he came through," said Chapman, who started celebrating his play.

Green-Ellis said he felt someone trip him. He stumbled ahead, avoided a couple of defenders, landed at the 1-yard line and slid into the end zone. He was initially ruled down, but the Bengals were awarded a touchdown after a review.

BRONCOS 51, TITANS 28

DENVER -- Unbothered by the freezing weather, Matt Prater set an NFL record with a 64-yard field goal and Peyton Manning threw four more touchdown passes, lifting the Denver Broncos to a 51-28 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

The temperature was 14 degrees when Prater kicked his record setter to close the first half and pull Denver within 21-20.

Manning opened the third quarter by leading the Broncos on a pair of touchdown drives, and the Broncos (11-2) easily wrapped up a playoff spot.

Denver's quarterback set a franchise record with 39 completions and finished with 397 yards.

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 172 yards for the Titans (5-8).

EAGLES 34, LIONS 20

PHILADELPHIA -- LeSean McCoy ran for a franchise-best 217 yards, including touchdowns of 57 and 40 yards, and the Eagles overcame two TD returns by Jeremy Ross in a blizzard.

Ross returned a punt 58 yards for a score and ran a kickoff 98 yards. But McCoy sprinted 57 yards up the middle for a tying TD, and Nick Foles connected with Riley Cooper on the 2-point conversion. Foles sneaked in from the 1 and Chris Polk had a 38-yard touchdown run to cap a 28-point fourth quarter for the Eagles (8-5).

Snow began falling two hours before kickoff and intensified after the game started. Workers used shovels and handheld blowers to clear off yard lines. Conditions were so poor neither team tried a field goal, and there were 2-point conversion attempts after seven of the eight TDs.

The Lions (7-6) have a half-game lead over the Bears in the NFC North.

RAVENS 29, VIKINGS 26

BALTIMORE -- Joe Flacco threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to rookie Marlon Brown with 4 seconds left to ice the win. Brown's catch concluded a five-play, 80-yard drive that took only 41 seconds.

It came after Matt Cassel threw a 79-yard touchdown pass to Cordarrelle Patterson with 45 seconds remaining. Just before that, Baltimore's Jacoby Jones took a kickoff 77 yards for a score, which followed a 41-yard touchdown run by Toby Gerhart, who had replaced an injured Adrian Peterson (ankle) for Minnesota (3-9-1).

Baltimore (7-6) has its first three-game winning streak of the season and the inside track for the second AFC wild card.

49ERS 19, SEAHAWKS 17

SAN FRANCISCO -- Phil Dawson kicked a 22-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining and the Niners held off the nemesis Seahawks, denying Seattle a chance to clinch the division at Candlestick Park.

Frank Gore broke a 51-yard gain with just more than four minutes left to set up the go-ahead 11-play, 76-yard drive as the 49ers (9-4) kept the playoff-bound Seahawks (11-2) from grabbing away the West in San Francisco.

Dawson's fourth field goal of the day gave him 20 straight converted field goals, a franchise record topping Joe Nedney's 18 consecutive in 2006-07.

Russell Wilson threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Luke Willson and Marshawn Lynch ran for an 11-yard score for Seattle.

CHIEFS 45, REDSKINS 10

LANDOVER, Md. -- The Chiefs scored on their first four possessions in the snow, sacked Robert Griffin III five times and Kirk Cousins once, and returned both a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown.

The score was 17-0 after the first quarter and 38-10 at halftime.

Jamaal Charles ran 19 times for 151 yards for Kansas City (10-3).

The Redskins (3-10) lost their fifth straight game.

CARDINALS 30, RAMS 10

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Carson Palmer completed 27 of 32 passes, 12 of them to Larry Fitzgerald, and the Cardinals ended an eight-game losing streak against NFC West foes.

Palmer, questionable for the game with a sore right elbow, threw for 269 yards and a touchdown as the Cardinals (8-5) won for the fifth time in six games.

Arizona's Karlos Dansby returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown and John Abraham tackled Kellen Clemens for a safety.

Tavon Austin's 56-yard run set up the only touchdown for the Rams (5-8).

DOLPHINS 34, STEELERS 28

PITTSBURGH -- Charles Clay caught two touchdown passes, including a 12-yard strike from Ryan Tannehill with 2:53 remaining.

Daniel Thomas ran for 105 yards and a score. His zig-zag 55-yard burst at snowy Heinz Field set up Clay's winner. Tannehill completed 20 of 33 passes for 201 yards and three scores for the Dolphins (7-6).

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 349 yards and three scores but the Steelers (5-8) lost their second straight game. Antonio Brown raced into the end zone after a series of laterals on the final play, but officials ruled he stepped out of bounds before scoring.

PACKERS 22, FALCONS 21

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Matt Flynn threw for 258 yards and the Packers' struggling defense forced a key fourth-quarter turnover to snap a five-game winless string.

Mike Neal's sack forced Matt Ryan to fumble. Defensive lineman Johnny Jolly scooped up the loose ball and celebrated with a little belly dance at chilly Lambeau Field.

Four plays later, Flynn found Andrew Quarless for a 2-yard go-ahead score with about 12 minutes left for the Packers (6-6-1).

Matt Bryant missed a 52-yard field goal with 6:42 left for Atlanta (3-10).

JETS 37, RAIDERS 27

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Geno Smith threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score as the Jets set a season high for points and stopped a three-game skid.

Chris Ivory had a touchdown run, Nick Folk kicked three field goals and Antonio Allen blocked a punt and returned it for a score to help the Jets (6-7).

Matt McGloin threw two touchdown passes and fullback Marcel Reece, starting because Oakland was down three running backs, had a 63-yard TD run for the Raiders (4-9).

CHARGERS 37, GIANTS 14

SAN DIEGO -- Philip Rivers found rookie Keenan Allen for two of his three touchdown passes, and the Chargers kept alive their long-shot playoff hopes.

Manning dropped to 0-3 against San Diego since 2004, when the Chargers took him with the No. 1 overall draft pick and then sent him to the Giants for Rivers and a handful of draft picks. The Giants (5-8) were knocked out of playoff contention.

Allen had three catches to push his season total to 61, breaking LaDainian Tomlinson's team rookie record of 59 in 2001.

BUCCANEERS 27, BILLS 6

TAMPA, Fla. -- Mike Glennon threw two touchdown passes and Bobby Rainey scored on an 80-yard run on the second play of the day. The Bucs (4-9) intercepted EJ Manuel four times en route to their fourth win in five games following an 0-8 start.

Manuel, Buffalo's first-round draft pick out of Florida State, was sacked seven times and doubled his interception total for the season.

The Bills (4-9) have lost five of six, are assured of finishing without a winning record for the ninth straight year, and also are likely to extend the NFL's longest current playoff drought to 14 consecutive seasons.

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