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    Categories: NFL

Dalton, Bengals ground Eagles, 32-14

With their first win in 42 days and two presidents, the 4-7-1 Bengals stopped the skid at four games with their most compete effort of the season. As WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict piled up 15 more tackles and two interceptions (one off yet another deflection), the Eagles didn’t score until 2:30 left in the third quarter. It took a 13-yard touchdown pass from rookie quarterback Carson Wentz on fourth-and-five to wide-open tight end Zach Ertz.

With two completions over 40 yards, Dalton finished 23 of 31 for 332 yards with a 130 passer rating and for the first time in 117 games the Bengals scored on their first six possessions .

After leaping to a 19-0 half-time lead, the Bengals went for the jugular when they took the opening kick of the second half and got another touchdown to go up 26-0 when Dalton threw an eight-yard arrow to wide receiver on third-and-five when LaFell ran past safety Malcolm Jenkins for the touchdown. The drive featured another perfect touch over-the-shoulder throw by Dalton, this time down the middle for 44 yards, LaFell’s longest catch since the opener on his way to a season-high 95 yards.

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“The defense did a nice job keeping points off the board in the first half. Later in the game, we allowed them some fourth-down conversions. We did a nice job reducing their success on third down, but we must stop the fourth down situations too. That kept their drives alive late in the game. We just need to execute better in those situations and get those things stopped. They ended up scoring a fourth-down touchdown as well. Those are things we can not allow. Basically, it’s taking better care of the football.

“When you’re up in the game, everyone needs to understand the situation. We got a couple of first downs when we took advantage of their looks. We also must hold on to the football.

The winner moves to the next must game while the loser ends up watching the postseason with the Bengals.com Media Roundtable. The group gives the Bengals a split decision (2-1-1) over the Eagles.

It must be December. The beat guys are tired trying to figure out their guys and Cincinnati Bengals jersey and pick against them on principle. The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Paul Dehner Jr. goes against the Bengals because they are in a rut, where they are unable to score in the fourth quarter, and The Philadelphia Daily News’ Paul Domowitch goes against the Eagles because they can’t score at any time and they’re 1-5 on the road.

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Charles Davis, one of the Fox analysts for Sunday’s broadcast, calls it a jump ball with the game hinging on which running game can help their young players the most, Wentz or the Bengals receivers trying to replace A.J. Green jersey.

It had been arranged by Keith Zimmer, the Nebraska football team’s life skills director. Jack Hoffman, Andy’s five-year-old son who loves the Huskers, had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor, had been granted his wish and had lunch and a stadium tour with Burkhead, the versatile and passionate Nebraska running back in his junior season. After meeting the shy, serious boy that reminded him a little bit of himself, how could Burkhead not put on the wrist band?

“The wrist bands were more to rally our family,” Andy Hoffman says. “It reminded us to pray for Jack. Where we really got our start is when we met Rex. Rex took that wrist band and threw it on and by wearing that wrist band; he drew attention to Jack’s fight against the disease. It gave attention to the disease. From there it just snowballed. When we met Rex Burkhead, there was no cancer foundation … There have been growing pains, but it’s had a lot of blessings along the way. Foremost of which has been the relationship with Rex Burkhead.”

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