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Quick hits: Dalton's 81 percent response; Gio speed; Tez salutes Vigil; Lawson not long in tooth


Giovani Bernard: a walk-in 61-yard TD

CLEVELAND - We probably should have seen it coming.

Coming into Sunday's game the Bengals had defeated the Browns by an average of 30-8 in the last five games and after Sunday's 31-7 victory it turned out that quarterback Andy Dalton fashioned it with a 146 passer rating that nearly eclipsed his career best 146.8 set here two years ago against the Browns.

-Naturally cornerback Adam Jones summed it up best when asked if the 0-3 Bengals were desperate.

"Yes," Jones said. "I hope they were, too. But it didn't seem like it. We're not used to losing. We got a lot of guys here with a lot of talent. A lot." …

-Browns head coach Hue Jackson, the former Bengals assistant, was getting heat from everywhere but the Cincinnati locker room.   

"If we had to go to Iraq right now and he had to pick seven friends, I would say yes," Jones said. "He's the kind of leader you need." …

-Dalton highlighted it with 16 straight completions, the best skein since Ken Anderson's 20 straight in the 1982 regular-season finale. After the disastrous first two games, Dalton now has six TD passes while completing 46 of 57 passes at an 81 percent clip …

"When Andy has that confidence, he can do anything ," said running back Giovani Bernard. "He's always been that type of player." …

-Dalton and Bernard clicked on the longest catch of Bernard's career, a 61-yard catch-and-run screen pass for a TD that was perfectly called against a blitz. If you've never seen a walk-in screen for a TD, now you have. What Bernard liked about it is that offensive coordinator Bill Lazor called it earlier in the game: "It was a play like  one he called similar in the game. He didn't just throw that play out. He came back to it and it worked out for us." …

-Vontaze Burfict was back off his three-game suspension and he was giving the game ball to fellow linebacker Nick Vigil after he got his first NFL sack: "Nick Vigil played his (butt) off," Burfict said. "He's even on special teams." …

He was also looking for a shutout because it meant a free dinner because Burfict said defensive coordinator Paul Guenther was buying for a shutout …

-The Bengals gave up 215 yards, the third fewest in Guenther's 51 games running the defense. The top two are also against the Browns ...

-Veteran middle linebacker Kevin Minter could only shake his head as rookie pass rusher Carl Lawson regaled the media on how he had his two front teeth chipped and needs some emergency attention when they got back home.

"Now you'll wear it," said Minter, since he's been telling Lawson since camp to wear a mouth guard. "Now you'll listen."

"I will now," Lawson said.

On fourth-and-10 early in the fourth quarter, Lawson had a big rush against Browns perennial Pro Bowler Joe Thomas and thought he hit Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer for a sack. But it was ruled a forward pass and as Lawson looked up after taking down Kizer he saw his front teeth "in the air," for two seconds.

But Lawson didn't seem all that upset.

"I guess it's give and take," Lawson said. "I got a good rush on a Hall-of-Famer … It was a freak accident mouthpiece or not."

-After 89 games in the NFL, Andre Smith did something he had never done before. He made his first NFL start at left tackle Sunday as the Bengals seem to be settling into a three-man rotation at tackle. He also seemed to get more snaps there than Cedric Ogbuehi, but he also played some right tackle. He was at right tackle for the first TD when he helped make a quick adjustment on a stunt on Dalton's touchdown pass to A.J. Green.

"I wasn't really nervous. I studied film all week and knew the guys I was playing against," Smith said. "I was trying to use the technique we're taught with good pass sets and run block the best I can."

Cincinnati Bengals take on the Cleveland Browns in week 4 of the regular season.

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