Andy Dalton was a part of three touchdowns as the Cincinnati Bengals picked up their third straight victory after a 27-10 defeat of the Jaguars in Jacksonville on Sunday.
The Bengals (3-1) ran for 138 yards while holding the Jaguars (1-3) and the NFL’s second leading rusher, Maurice Jones-Drew, under 100 yards. Jones-Drew entered the day with 314 yards, but had just 38 yards on 13 carries as the Jaguars were forced to throw after falling behind by 14 in the fourth quarter.
The day started roughly for Dalton as he threw an interception on his first pass of the day, but Cincinnati caught a break when Kyle Bosworth fumbled and Bengals’ lineman Andre Smith recovered to give Cincinnati the ball. That second chance would lead to a 35-yard field goal by Mike Nugent for an early 3-0 lead.
The Jaguars responded with a 13 play, 78 yard dive that eventually led to a Blaine Gabbert two yard touchdown pass. The drive consumed over seven and a half minutes.
The two teams traded punts on their next two drives and the Bengals were nearly forced to go three and out for a second time when they pulled a trick play on special teams. Cedric Peerman took a direct snap on fourth and one and turned it into 48-yard scamper to set the Bengals up at the Jaguars 18-yard line.
After a pass interference call in the end zone and run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis for no gain, the Bengals chose to go play action from the one-yard line. Dalton faked to Green-Ellis and rolled to his left to find an unlikely target in fullback Chris Pressley for the touchdown. Pressley was one of eight different players to catch a pass from Dalton.
The Bengals would get the ball right back and get a big play from A.J. Green as he hauled in a 42-yard pass from Dalton, but stepped out of bounds at the one-yard. After another failed run from the one by Green-Ellis, Dalton called his own number and took it in on a quarterback sneak for a 17-7 lead.
Cincinnati opened the second half with a drive that got down to the Jaguars one yard, but Green-Ellis failed to punch it on third down. This time however, he lost his second fumble in as many weeks after not fumbling in his first four seasons. Jacksonville would turn that mistake into three points to cut the lead to 17-10.
The Bengals answered right back as first Dalton found Andrew Hawkins on a third and seven for 31 yards. Then Dalton connected with Green for an 18-yard touchdown and a 24-10 lead.
Cincinnati got the ball right back when Chris Crocker, who was just signed earlier this week, picked off Gabbert and returned the ball to the 16-yard line. The Bengals went nowhere on three plays an settled for another 35-yard field goal by Nugent.
Jacksonville would not advance the ball beyond its own 32-yard line and Geno Atkins would finish the Bengals strong defensive performance with the sixth sack of the day.
Cincinnati returns home next week for a Sunday showdown with Miami at 1:00 P.M.
Passing: JAX-Gabbert (23-34, 186 yards, TD, INT) CIN-Dalton (20-31, 244 yards, 2TD, INT)
Rushing: JAX- Jones-Drew (13 carries, 38 yards) CIN- Green-Ellis (26 carries, 82 yards)
Receiving: JAX-Justin Blackmon (6 catches, 48 yards) CIN-Green (6 catches, 117 yards, TD)
Turnovers: CIN-2 JAX-2
Sacks: CIN-6 JAX-0