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Monday, November 12, 2012
Upon Further Review: Bengals

By Jamison Hensley

Revisiting the Cincinnati Bengals' 31-13 win over the New York Giants at Paul Brown Stadium: 

Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green said before Sunday's game that he saw a lot of holes in the Giants defense. Apparently, quarterback Andy Dalton noticed them as well.

In what has been a disappointing sophomore season, Dalton put together his best game in the NFL, throwing a career-high four touchdown passes (all to different receivers). He also had a career-high 94.8 Total QBR.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis recently challenged Dalton to step up more as a leader. Dalton was just a week late in responding. The reason why the Bengals beat the defending Super Bowl champions is Dalton raised his game in two of his weakest areas this season.

Dalton didn't throw an interception after getting picked off in each of his first eight games this season. This was supposed to be a bad matchup for Dalton. He had averaged one interception every 25.9 pass attempts this season (third-worst rate in the NFL), and the Giants defense had picked off a pass once every 18.4 attempts (second best in the league). The difference Sunday was the offensive line, which didn't allow a sack.

He also was effective on third downs, where the Bengals were ranked in the bottom five in the NFL. Dalton was 7 of 9 passing on third down and threw three of his four touchdowns on third down, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

“We knew early on that this week was going to take our best effort to win today, and that’s what happened,” Dalton said.

STAT THAT STICKS: 10 -- Straight losses by the Bengals to Super Bowl winning quarterbacks before they beat Eli Manning on Sunday. This stat comes courtesy of The Cincinnati Enquirer.

OVERHEARD: "Well, the emphasis (this week) was we need to win a [expletive] game. We got to play like we normally can play. That was probably our first game playing relentless football for 60 minutes -- everybody." Cornerback Adam Jones in stopping a four-game losing streak from turning into five.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Bengals travel to the Chiefs (1-7), who will be coming off a short week after playing at Pittsburgh on Monday night. Kansas City is one of two winless teams at home this season.