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Quick hits: Streaking Bengals; Dunlap hamstring to be examined


» The Bengals were savoring their first five-game winning streak since the 1988 team went to the Super Bowl. Even though it was so long ago four players weren't even born. Left end Carlos Dunlap, who was born a month after Super Bowl XXIII, sealed the win with seven seconds left on his second sack of the game.

Dunlap had to be helped off the field and indications were were that Dunlap suffered both cramping and a hamstring strain, but he said he would be examined.

"I think it's a cramp but I'm not a doctor," Dunlap said.

Best tweet of the day had to come from John Thornton, the former defensive tackle for the Bengals and Titans: "Dunlap closes a game like (Mariano) Rivera. Unreal."

Last week Dunlap's third-down sack in Seattle set up Brandon Tate's 56-yard punt return that sealed it with 3:22 left. Three weeks ago his 35-yard fumble return with 2:22 left finished off the Colts. And he very nearly scored another touchdown with 4:47 left when he batted down a swing pass to running back Javon Ringer at the line of scrimmage that was ruled a two-yard fumble return for a touchdown on the field. Replay overturned it with the officials saying it was a forward pass and not a lateral.

"It was a touchdown. I batted it behind the running back so I believe that's a touchown. That's why I finished the play the way I did," Dunlap said.

Noting that the Bengals had their streak of scoring on defense in three three straight times snapped, he said, "I guess they didn't want us to keep our defensive touchdowns going." 

» Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis remains unimpressed with his young team making history. "Some of these guys weren't even born," he said, alluding to the winning streak.

» Linebacker Thomas Howard on the Bengals:
"I'm tired of hearing about 23 years, nine years, eight years and three years. We're taking it one game at a time. It was a good road win against a tough team."

» Andy Dalton enjoyed his first three touchdown game, and two of the recipients referred to their throws as "darts." Andre Caldwell, who scored what proved to be the winning touchdown with 10:52 left, said he had to catch it to "protect myself."

» Caldwell said the key to the second-half comeback was the fact that the Bengals sent their outside receivers on longer vertical routes. Caldwell indicated that allowed the receivers to keep a closer eye on cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who was keying the defense from the slot. Working out of the slot, Caldwell beat a linebacker for his five-yard touchdown catch.

"That's the matchup we wanted. He's a bigger guy and I'm a skill player," Caldwell said.

» The Bengals have now outscored their opponents 87-43 in the fourth quarter and 126-59 in the second half this season.

"It's amazing the difference from last year," center Kyle Cook said. "If this was last year we'd be 2-6 instead of 6-2. We feed off the defense. They get an interception or a turnover and stop them, and then we score."

» This was the third game this season the Bengals haven't allowed a touchdown in the second half.

» Defensive tackle Domata Peko, who is part of an eight-man rotation on the D-line, said, "In the fourth quarter we feel like it's the first quarter, and we've got a lot of heart."

Peko said defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer made a host of changes at halftime.

"They were running to the outside, they weren't running up the middle at all," Peko said. "They were running tosses, so we set the edge and we told our outside guys to stay at home and get them in passing situations, and it worked. And we didn't blitz as much in the second half. (Titans quarterback Matt) Hasselbeck was really hurting us when we were bliting."

» The play of the game probably came from the two rookies that have carried the Bengals to this point. After right tackle Andre Smith was called for a holding penalty, Dalton faced a third-and-18 from the Tennessee 27 with 12:02 left in the game. Dalton hit Green on a rope for 20 yards in a window that was so tight that Titans cornerback Jason McCourty and safety Michael Griffin collided and both had to be helped off the field.

"That was an unbelievable play," Dalton said. "I didn't want to lead him to the corner, so he just went up and got it."

» Green, after an 83-yard day, is on pace for nearly 1200 yards in becoming the first rookie since Marques Colston in 2006 to get 1000 yards receiving.

» Green said he was more aggressive Sunday than last week in Seattle. He said he wanted to make sure he went up for the ball on the long bomb in which McCourty was called for a 45-yard pass interference penalty that ignited the Bengals offense.

"I didn't like how I went after the ball last week," Green said. "I wanted to be more aggressive on that ball."

» Lewis said that running back Brian Leonard suffered a knee injury. He said he doesn't think it's serious, but he may not be able to practice Wednesday and it sounds like his status for next week's game against Pittsburgh is in doubt.

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