Dalton, Bengals cruise past Colts
Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Andy Dalton accounted for four touchdowns -- three passing and one rushing -- to lead the Cincinnati Bengals to a 42-28 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
Dalton threw for 275 yards on 24-of-35 passing and BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 48 yards and two touchdowns as the Bengals (9-4) won their third game in a row and remained unbeaten at home.
A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Jermaine Gresham all had touchdown catches for the AFC North leaders and Giovani Bernard led all rushers in the game with 99 yards on 12 carries.
The Bengals missed tackles on touchdown catches by Da'Rick Rogers and LaVon Brazill that got the Colts back into the game in the third quarter but they scored three touchdowns in the last 18 minutes of the game to stay in front.
"We had some long drives, some big plays and kept scoring points," said Dalton. "We needed to keep it going and the offense did a really good job today being balanced. We had some big runs and some big catches."
Rogers, an undrafted rookie cut by the Bills in the preseason, had his first six career receptions for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Brazill also scored twice and Andrew Luck threw for 326 yards and four touchdowns.
The Colts clinched the AFC South (8-5) later Sunday after the Denver Broncos beat the Tennessee Titans.
Luck bounced back from a four-game stretch in which he had just two touchdown passes and five interceptions but the Colts lost their second straight game to the Bengals after winning seven in a row in the series.
"We got beat by a better team. The Bengals beat our butts fair and square, there's no way to really mince those words," said Luck. "A slow start hurt us. We got going a little bit in the second half but it wasn't enough."
The Bengals missed at least six tackles on the first two Indianapolis scores to allow the Colts back into the game.
Rogers slipped past would-be tacklers Adam Jones and Reggie Nelson on a catch over the middle and raced the rest of the 69 yards untouched to get the Colts within 21-7 in the third quarter.
Brazill broke even more tackles on his 19-yard score on the Colts' next drive as the Bengals, including four attempts in quick succession by tackle Domata Peko, safety Chris Crocker and corners Terence Newman and Jones.
Brandon Take returned the ensuing kickoff 44 yards and Colts safety LaRon Landry was whistled for an unnecessary roughness penalty for ripping Bernard's helmet off, setting up Gresham's 1-yard touchdown catch.
Jones' 29-yard reception on the next Bengals possession led to Green's 9-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter for a 35-14 lead, which the Colts trimmed on Brazill's 29-yard touchdown catch.
Dalton's 8-yard touchdown scramble pushed the lead back to 21 with 4:03 remaining and Rogers scored his second touchdown for the Colts on a 2-yard catch with 1:20 left.
Earlier, Dalton found Jones behind Colts corner Vontae Davis down the left side for a 29-yard touchdown pass and 7-0 lead seven minutes into the game.
Adam Vinatieri missed a 44-yard field goal for Indianapolis in the second quarter and the Bengals used much of the five remaining minutes in the first half on a scoring drive that ended with Green-Ellis's 1-yard touchdown on fourth down.
The Bengals running back was tripped at the line of scrimmage by Colts lineman Josh Chapman and stumbled to the goal line, crawling across at the end. He was ruled down, but the play was reversed upon review because officials said he wasn't touched.
Green-Ellis' second score capped an 80-yard drive to open the third quarter and gave the Bengals a 21-0 lead.
The Colts are home against Houston next Sunday ... The Bengals play at Pittsburgh next Sunday ... Brazill had one touchdown catch before Sunday. It came last season ... The Bengals are 6-0 at home ... Luck wasn't sacked after being brought down 10 times in the previous four games.
12/08 20:09:32 ET