Andy Dalton, Bengals trounce Rams 31-7

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Nov 29, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) catches a pass for a touchdown from quarterback Andy Dalton (not pictured) in the first half against the St. Louis Rams at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

First Half

The Cincinnati Bengals jumped out to a 17-7 halftime lead behind Andy Dalton, who completed 14 of 18 passes for 145 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Dalton didn’t turn the ball over once, and he avoided taking a single sack.

The St. Louis Rams started off with the ball but were forced to punt after the Bengals stuffed Todd Gurley on consecutive runs and forced a three-and-out. On the ensuing Bengals drive, Cincinnati moved the ball down with ease. Dalton connected with A.J. Green on consecutive red zone passes, the second of which being a 10-yard touchdown.

St. Louis punted on its second drive, giving the Bengals an opportunity to extend their lead early. Cincinnati did its best to capitalize on the opportunity but couldn’t get anything going, electing to punt the ball back to the Rams.

On the ensuing Rams drive, the Bengals defense once again made a couple of huge plays, including a punishing run stuff by Geno Atkins and a pass breakup from Dre Kirkpatrick. Cincinnati got the ball back, moving the ball down the field with a couple of jaw-dropping plays. H-back Ryan Hewitt made a highlight reel catch, Marvin Jones took a reverse play for a 30-yard gain and Mike Nugent drilled a chip-shot field goal to extend the Bengals’ lead to 10-0.

The Rams finally responded on their next possession, thanks to Tavon Austin. The former first-round pick took a wildcat run play for a 60-yard gain and ran the ball in for a five-yard touchdown on the ensuing play, narrowing St. Louis’ deficit to 10-7.

The Bengals wouldn’t go out easy, however; Jeremy Hill rallied off his second big run of the game, and Tyler Eifert caught his league-leading 12th touchdown pass from 22 yards out. St. Louis tried to respond on its next drive, but Reggie Nelson ended the half with his sixth interception of the season, helping the Bengals maintain their 17-7 lead.

Next: Second Half