ORCHARD PARK, N. Y. - The Bengals took their history-making 6-0 start in stride, just like wide receiver Marvin Jones grabbed his 42-yard bomb on the first drive of the second half that fueled Sunday's 34-21 victory over the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
"That's not history. History for us is winning the Super Bowl said safety George Iloka after his defense subdued Bills backup quarterback EJ Manuel.
After his fifth triple-digit passer rating game of the season at 118, quarterback Andy Dalton is still in the MVP conversation on Oct. 18.
"When you look at the schedule before the season with the bye week coming up, this is they way you wanted it," Dalton said. "
Dalton is now tied with Jeff Garcia for fourth on the list of most TD passes thrown by a QB in his first five seasons with 113. He's got 14 this year against just two picks. He's on pace to throw 37 TD passes, which would break his club record of 33 set in 2013 . . .
With the Bills shading their coverage to wide receiver A.J. Green, Dalton found Jones deep on the way to his career-high nine catches that accounted for 95 yards.
"Willie Mays Hayes," said Jones, alluding to the speedster of baseball movie fame. "I told Andy just launch it, I'll go get it."
Minutes later Jones scored from 10 yards out on a screen pass in spectacular fashion, cartwheeling over safety Duke Williams as he steadied himself with his hand on the ground before going into the air.
"I had to get in there," Jones said. "He hit me low so I was able to stretch it over the goal line."
That put the Bengals up 24-14 less than five minutes into the half and running back Jeremy Hill said, "It sucked the air out of the building." . . .
Hill (16-56) and Giovani Bernard (8-50) got the running game going just enough as the Bengals rushed 28 times for four yards per carry and Hill tipped his hat to offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.
"He does a great job getting (the defense) back on their heels and when we feel them backing up we have all the confidence we're going to finish," Hill said. . . .
How good was the Bengals offensive line against a Bills' front four called "The Quarter Billion Club?" They may want a raise. They allowed no sacks and one hit on Dalton, but Dalton said, "I don't remember getting hit. " . . .
Cornerback Darqueze Dennard, playing in the slot for the injured Leon Hall, came up ith his first NFL interception working on wide receiver Chris Hogan on a deep ball down the middle late in the first quarter.
"It's really exciting. How many people can say they have an NFL interception?" Dennard asked.
He credited film study because he said Hogan offered a similar release last week in Tennessee. . .
Early indications out of the locker room were the ankle sprains suffered by WILL backer Vincent Rey and right end Michael Johnson won't be long term. As Rey said, 'We're glad we've got a bye week." . . .
And the luck (knock on wood) seems to keep going.
Left end Carlos Dunlap kept it going Sunday. When the Bills lost their right tackle, Seantrel Henderson, with a concussion, Dunlap took advantage. The NFL's co sack leader waited until the two-minute warning, but he got a full sack that gave him 1.5 for the day and 6.5 for the season. But he was in Manuel's face a bunch in addition to those two hits.
The Bills bit the Bengals early with LeSean McCoy's 33-yard run and tight end Charles Clay's 19-yard catch on the first two snaps.
"They got us early. They hit us with plays we weren't prepared for because we weren't sure who was going to play," Dunlap said of the Bills' injured list. "They started off with their best punch because we weren't sure who was going to be out there. Then we got back and do what we do. We got settled in, got three three-and-outs and the pick."
Cincinnati Bengal travel to face the Buffalo Bills in week 6 of the regular season