Dalton To Eifert Deadly To Browns

Positives aplenty in unbeaten Bengals' 31-10 victory over the Browns Thursday night in Cincinnati.

One year is a long time.

But, in that past year, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has become a changed quarterback.

Plus, his targets are healthy.

The result Thursday -- a 31-10 Bengals win over the Browns at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.

Indeed, Thursday was a night for the Bengals to show how far they've come in a year. No one has improved more than Dalton, who had his worst showing -- a 2.0 passer rating -- during a 24-3 loss to the Browns during a Thursday night game at Paul Brown Stadium last November.

This time, he threw touchdown passes of 9 and 2 yards to tight end Tyler Eifert in the first half, the latter after a Browns penalty kept a drive alive. Dalton also played lead blocker on Mohamen Sanu's 25-yard TD reverse in the fourth quarter, a play that took the Browns by such surprise that there was nobody there for the quarterback to block.

His 19-yarder to Eifert put Cincinnati in control and gave the tight end nine touchdown catches, tying the Bengals record for a tight end, at the season's halfway mark, and giving him the NFL lead.

Eifert missed all but one quarter last season due to injuries. His return has helped make a world of difference for the Bengals' quarterback.

Dalton finished with a passer rating of 139.8 Thursday night.

Meanwhile, Browns QB Johnny Manziel got a rematch against the team that taunted and then tormented him in his NFL debut last December, a 30-0 Bengals win. Coach Marvin Lewis referred to him as "a midget" leading up to the game, and several players mocked his money-rubbing gesture while frustrating him.

Instead of mocking him this time, they chased him around before ultimately shutting him down.

Manziel had some of his best NFL moments during a 10-play, 92-yard drive late in the first half that cut the Bengals' lead to 14-10. He scrambled and threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Duke Johnson with 19 seconds left, the type of play the Browns had expected to see a lot but have gotten so little from Johnny Football.

He couldn't do anything as the Bengals increased the pressure in the second half. Manziel was sacked three times in the contest, twice by Carlos Dunlap.

Two penalties on Browns defensive end Randy Starks helped the Bengals pull ahead 14-3.

Starks jump-started Cincinnati's 80-yard touchdown drive with a taunting penalty after making a tackle. At the Cleveland 6, the Bengals went for it on fourth-and-2 but Dalton's pass was incomplete. However, Starks was offside on the play, giving the Bengals a first down. Dalton then threw his second touchdown pass to Eifert.

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