CLEVELAND - It was a day of stats because there wasn't much else in the Bengals' workman-like, assembly-line dismantling of the Browns, 37-3.
While quartrerback Andy Dalton joined Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks to throw for 3,000 yards in their first five seasons, wide receiver A.J. Green joined Randy Moss as the only receivers to have 1,000 yards in each of their first five seasons.
Cincinnati Bengals travel to Cleveland to play the Browns in week 13 of the regular season 12/06/2015
"It's not about the stats," Dalton said. "But to have our names with those two guys is pretty special."
Green: It's great because Randy Moss is a guy I looked up to as a kid." . . .
The Bengals dressed eight rookies as first-rounder Cedric Ogbuehi took his first NFL snap, tight end C.J. Uzomah caught his first NFL ball, cornerback Troy Hill made his first NFL tackle, and wide receiver Mario Alford also had his first NFL catch. All in their debuts.
"They showed us why we're excited about those guys," said head coach Marvin Lewis. . . .
The Bengals had three sacks, but they hit Browns QB Austin Davis 11 times. Nose tackle Domata Peko found his career-best fourth sack, complete with belly rub and new wrinkle where he held out his arms.
"When they put the young kid in, No. 74, (rookie Cameron Erving (because of a first-series injury to left guard Joel Bitonio), we kind of went after him," Peko said. . .
Peko on the new riff with the belly rub: "Ever since I've been doing the belly dance, everyone has been telling me to add this, add that. The dab has been going pretty hard, so I threw a dab in there at the end." . . . End Wallace Gilberry had three of the hits and Peko, Carlos Dunlap, and Michael Johnson had the sacks. Dunlap was a man possessed. He also blocked a field goal and forced one of Davis's two intentional grounding calls. And he wanted more.
"They have to re-visit that," said Dunlap, who wants sacks to be counted if the play forces an intentional grounding.
He also had one wiped out on a face-mask penalty and finished the day tying his career best with 9.5 sacks on the season.
Johnson's sack came at a huge moment. On the first play of the second quarter on fourth-and-11 from the Bengals 36, Johnson came in unblocked when defensive coordinator Paul Guenther brought too many men to block in an eight-man front. He blitzed safety Reggie Nelson, played man coverage, and they didn't account for Johnson. The Bengals went up 14-0 three plays later.
"You take them anyway you get them," Johnson said.
It's the first time the Bengals have scored at least 30 points in three straight games since 2006 in a run from Nov. 12-Nov. 26. Like then, the Bengals are 2-1 . . .