Cincinnati Bengals Grades: Week 9 vs. Browns

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Nov 5, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) looks to throw against the Cleveland Browns during the first quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals improved to 8-0 on the season with a convincing divisional win over the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night. The Bengals showed the depth, speed, and options they have to adjust and win games. The primetime jitters and nightmares were no issue on a night where they commanded the game from the start and shut down Johnny Manziel and the offense, while exposing a thinned out defense due to injury.

Quarterback: A-

What three days make for Andy Dalton. He looked like a more confident, more composed, and a more fundamental quarterback than we saw in week eight against the Steelers. Dalton made four of his first five passes and on the first drive for the Bengals found Tyler Eifert for a touchdown.

The play calling and decision making by Dalton was what we saw before their week seven bye. The win over the Steelers, even though was ugly and one of the worst performances this season, seemed to give Dalton full confidence in primetime. This meant the Bengals offense was firing on all cylinders.

Dalton completed at one point 11 straight passes, which is a season high. He had one moment of questionable play calling in the third when he tried a quarterback option that failed and forced a Mike Nugent field goal. He threw a couple balls down the field but the big plays came from short passes and finding open receivers across the middle. This was Dalton’s best game since Oakland in week one of this season.

Next: Running Back and Wide Receiver